5 Tips for Student-Athletes

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5 Tips for Student-Athletes

“You’re not that good.”

A shrewd coach I know uses that line to motivate the athletes he feels have real potential. Doubtless there are parents that will raise an eyebrow at his method, but the reality is he’s a successful coach, with an eye for talent, and if he’s not annoying players with his one-liners, then those kids may not be that good.

We meet a lot of students who dream of playing their sport at the college level and parents who dream of big scholarships to pay for their child’s education. In our local area there are a lot of kids with extraordinary talent and many of them may land a scholarship, but according to the statistics, only about two percent (2%) of high school athletes are awarded athletic scholarships every year. Many of those scholarships in Division-I and -II are only “partial” and may end up covering only a small portion of the cost to attend the university and are not the “full-rides” that people dream about.

We love our Student-Athletes’ passion and dedication to their sport and always encourage them to continue working hard at school and on the field. Student-Athletes and parents should keep in mind that playing high school athletics is a great Extra-Curricular activity and one that admissions counselors view positively and independent of whether a student is or isn’t a recruited athlete.

If you are you a Student-Athlete who aspires to play at the college level here are some things you should know.

Tips for Student Athletes

1) Start planning in your freshman or sophomore year. Create a profile at the beginning of your sophomore year or thereafter at the NCAA Eligibility Center and become familiar with the information on the site.

2) Grades matter. Colleges want Student-Athletes, in that order. Admissions officers and coaches want students that can handle the rigors of the college coursework and are capable of making positive contributions to the team.

3) Take the most rigorous core academic courses available at your high school. For a listing click “List of NCAA Courses” under the Resources tab on the eligibility center website. Become familiar with the academic eligibility requirements for each level of play, Division I, Division II, Division III, and the NAIA.

4) Use the NCAA Eligibility Center code “9999” when registering to take the SAT/ACT tests so your scores will be directly reported to the center.

5) Update your online profile yearly. Independent of your profile put together a marketing (yes, marketing plan) for how you–the athlete–will get in front of prospective college coaches. Be sure to follow the strict guidelines for coach contact listed on the eligibility center website and then work your marketing plan. Athletes should take ownership of their own promotion, not parents. There is a fine line between being a parent who wants to promote their kid to one that is overbearing. Coaches want to hear from the athletes; not Mom or Dad.

Most importantly, Student-Athletes should remember that there are great schools at all sports level divisions and that the more willing they are to cast their net far and wide in their college search, the more schools and opportunities they will find to play at the college level.

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