Does your child dream of playing sports at the collegiate level? Athletic scholarships don’t come easy so it makes sense to prepare years ahead of time if that is the goal. The first thing to do is research opportunities for a scholarship in your child’s chosen sport. Very few institutions offer full rides, the exceptions being football and some volleyball. Division One is everyone’s ideal but smaller colleges should also be on the radar. Across the country, colleges and universities hand out more than three billion dollars in athletic scholarships yearly.
Coaches will tell players to work hard at academics and get specialized tutoring for the SAT or ACT so that eligibility for merit scholarships can also come into play. If your child has the athletic talent and aims to play beyond high school, he or she should start creating a game plan in 7th or 8th grade to get noticed. This may mean playing select sports along with school teams. They should get private training on areas in their sport that may be their weak spot so they can become a stronger overall candidate.
By high school they should have the years mapped out. It’s vital to have a nutritious diet and stay healthy. A serious illness or injury can really be a setback when seeking a scholarship. Video, or hire someone that does that, to film your athlete during games or competitions. Start visiting colleges and contacting coaches during sophomore year. Many families use a recruitment service to help with these meetings.
Along with performance, student athletes must continue to focus on keeping good grades. They should also have a few other activities to put on their resume besides sports. Colleges like to see kids that are well rounded and value community service. Have your student seek out opportunities to serve.
Social media postings are a reflection of character of a person and potential college athletes need to watch what they say and retweet, etc. Recruiting coaches do look at that when making the decision to give money or not.
According to the NCAA, some 8 million students play sports in high school, but only about 480,000 move on to play in college and some of those are walk-on athletes. For more information on playing beyond high school check out their website at NCAA.org.