Athletes believing that attention and letters equal a scholarship offer and why this is a terrible way to think
I recently had an opportunity to speak with a basketball recruit about what college programs had been showing him interest. This talented athlete is very gifted but he just wrapped up his freshman year on the court. For the record, let me state that he obviously is very young and early into the recruiting process.
This player has had a lot of success while growing up in hoops but he seemed to believe that because a school sends you a letter, there is a good chance that he will have an opportunity to go there. This unfortunately is the mindset of many athletes and parents who go through the recruiting process.
As a multiple sport athlete, should you narrow your focus to one sport or consider all of your options in the recruiting process?
The majority of high school athletes have skills in a number of sports. This athleticism is what has helped you catch the eye of college coaches and also intrigued them about your ability to be a standout in multiple sports. For most of these athletes, it is obvious what their future sport will be in college because you may just be much better at one sport compared to a few others.
But what about the athletes who excel in two and maybe even three sports? You may be already receiving college interest for all of these sports. With camps, showcases, AAU, summer teams, and things along that line, making an effort in all the sports is nearly impossible. So should you just play all two or three sports at the highest level and hope the interest will come? Or should you focus on the one you love the most/are the best at?
Unless you get an early scholarship offer, the athletic recruiting process is not easy. There are going to be times of stress, frustration, and hopefully joy when you finally make a final decision. But before picking a college, there is going to be a lot of things to do.
But instead of focusing on that, we are going to talk about the ten things you should not do in the chase for a scholarship offer. These are many things we have talked about at times but thought this would be a good article to put ten things in an article that are things you should definitely avoid. Onto the list!
While the goal is to get an athletic scholarship, I would assume that the vast majority of families out there reading are ones that currently are offer less at this point of the recruiting process. But the good news is that you are on the right path because you are doing your due diligence and educating yourself about the process by reading this site.
For those that do not currently have a scholarship offer, I have put together five different things that you should be doing in order to separate yourself from the competition. The first thing that I think you must do is take a hard look at your current recruiting options. They obviously haven’t offered you a scholarship for some reason.
Each coach will say that they have a unique evaluation process for scholarship offers during the athletic recruiting process
When it comes to college coaches and their evaluation process, it is always extremely interesting how some vary compared to others. And while most have similar processes on how things are handled, each school wants to say that they take a unique path when offering scholarships.
I personally think when coaches say that, it is basically a line. What they really mean is that we have better prospects ahead of you or we just haven’t had the time to actually look into your highlight video. In the end, most college coaches are looking for the same things in prospective athletes. Ability, work ethic, and character are three of the main things that they are searching for.
I have talked about this before but I believe it is nearly impossible to take the bias out when thinking about your kids. And because each and every parent wants the best for their children, having them go through the recruiting process is never easy. Parents feel that in a lot of the cases, they are better off answering the questions for their children.
When interviewing athletes at a variety of different age groups, I have heard a lot of different responses. What I really want is the kid to be honest with me. I personally would prefer not to hear the parent in the background answering every question. But the problem is that happens and for a number of different reasons, it should not be.
While I recently talked about the NCAA requirements and their sliding scale that allows you do be eligible as a freshman, a big part of that scale is determined by your SAT/ACT score. While you don’t need to take both, scoring high on one of the tests will allow you to have a little more breathing room if you have a low GPA.
And while the dream for everyone is to get a scholarship that will pay for college and allow you to play the sport you love all year, that may not always work out. You may not be good enough for that scholarship coming out of high school or eventually decide to transfer out. That is where the real importance of an ACT/SAT score comes in.
The slippery slope for early scholarship offers by Division I-AA and II schools throughout the football recruiting process
When it comes to scholarship offers in the football recruiting process, 95% of the news is from Division I-A (BCS) schools doing the offering. Most of the scholarships are from programs in BCS conferences in hopes that they are able to land top recruits early in the process. If they do that, the coaches are not going to be sweating it out on Signing Day in February.
I have talked that some Division I-AA and II schools do end up offering athletes this early at their camps and during the summer. But if this happens, why is it not publicized and talked about much? Why are athletes not broadcasting their summer Division II football scholarship offer?
One of the things that I hope to break down in the next few weeks is to give readers a better feel for the difference between all levels of post high school options. This includes Division I, II, III, NAIA, Junior College, and Prep Schools. While there are other options that you can choose, these six are more than likely where you will be continuing your sporting career. Here is a quick look at the scholarships offered at each level. Look for more breakdowns in the future as well:
Division I Scholarships
In football and basketball, these colleges are required by NCAA rules to offer you full rides. It really is an all or nothing proposition. They can bring you in as a scholarship athlete or a walk on. In other sports, most of the time these schools offer partial scholarships to athletes. Instead of a set number of full scholarships, these programs have a set budget that they can use for their athletes in each academic year. It depends on the program and the sport.
Outside of a scholarship offer, I have said that one of the most telltale signs for interest from a college program is a call from their coaching staff. This shows that they are interested enough in your ability to take time out of their day to call you and sell their program.
But one thing that I have rarely talked about is if you should take the time to call a college coach. According to NCAA rules, college coaches are limited in their calls to prospective athletes. But prospective athletes can call college coaches as much as they want. So should athletes call college coaches? In what circumstances should this happen?