4 Steps To Getting Recruited And Gaining That Athletic Scholarship
If you have a goal of being recruited and earning an athletic scholarship but are unsure about the best way to go about it, then this article will give you a step-by-step sports scholarship success process to follow. Sports recruiting can be confusing and frustrating, but if you have the sports skills and drive to play at the collegiate level you owe it to yourself and your pocketbook to at least give earning an athletic scholarship a try.
Athletic scholarships are fairly difficult to earn, depending on the sport only.8% of high school varsity athletes will be awarded one, and even fewer will be awarded the full-ride version. While the odds might be stacked against the majority of young athletes, it is still worthwhile to have all of your academic and athletic ducks in a row just in case you are one of the fortunate few.
1. First on your agenda is to make sure you are taking the right courses in high school to be eligible to receive an athletic scholarship if offered one. There are varying course requirements for the NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA, the 3 major collegiate organizations that offer athletic scholarships.
The best way to be sure you’ve taken the right courses to qualify for each is to meet with your school’s athletic counselor and your academic counselor and ask to be placed in the right set of classes to ensure you can qualify for an NCAA Division 1 scholarship. This is the highest level of collegiate athletic competition and has the most stringent academic qualification requirements. With few exceptions if you can meet their standards you will qualify for all of the others.
2. Next you’ll need to join the NCAA and NAIA clearing-houses, these are online databases that are used by the NCAA and NAIA to help ensure all athletes are on track to meet the athletic and academic eligibility requirements set by each organization. These clearing-houses will be the first stop for potential college coaches who might be interested in recruiting a player, they’ll want to verify that a player is eligible or at least on tract to be eligible before wasting precious recruiting time and resources.
The clearing houses tracks your SAT/ACT scores, amateur status, and school transcripts among other things. Your school’s athletic counselor can help you get the process started online, or you can get started on your own by visiting the NCAA and NAIA official websites.
3. Now it’s time to schedule and prepare to take the SAT and ACT exams. It is important that you take both exams because although most schools accept either as a part of their entrance acceptance process, some only accept one or the other. It is also worth noting that the two exams are completely different in their approach to assessing academic prowess, and in many instances a student struggling with one will do quite well on the other. Many people pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for classes and study programs to prepare for the test or to improve their scores, but there are many free or low cost online and offline services available to help you prepare, again ask your school counselor for help finding resources.
4. Assuming you posses the athletic skills and ability to play at the collegiate level, your next order of business is to get noticed by college coaches. Many players believe they will be ‘discovered’ by playing in as many showcases, viewing tournaments and/or combines as possible, most of these players end up very disappointed. A better approach is to identify colleges you would like to attend or even better all of the colleges you qualify to attend that offer athletic scholarship in your sport of choice, and contact them with your information and where you’ll be performing. This way instead of hoping they’ll notice you, they’ll actually be there to see you. A proactive approach is much better than a reactive one when it comes to the athletic recruiting process.
You’ll have to do your research to find the colleges that fit, but there are online tools to help.