What if athletes getting an athletic scholarship are no more talented than you?
What if there are things you can do to greatly increase your chances of being recruited and receiving athletic scholarship offers?
Of the nearly 8 million high school athletes in the United States only 480,000 of them will compete in college. To see the numbers for your sport here is a chart from the NCAA. Only 150,000 will receive athletic scholarships, or 2%.
Imagine yourself lined up with 100 other high school athletes. Out of the 100, seven are asked to step forward; these are the only ones who will play in college. There are seven of you. Look over your shoulder and see 93 high school athletes who won’t have the opportunity to compete in college. Again two of you are asked to step forward. Just two out of the 100 will receive an athletic scholarship. Behind you are 98 athletes, many as talented as or more talented than you, who won’t receive an athletic scholarship.
Surprisingly, the differences in athletes who receive an athletic scholarship (aside from the blue chip athletes), have little to do with the coaches and everything to do with the athletes. Do you want to be among the 7% who compete in college or even better the 2% who receive an athletic scholarship?
There is no denying you must have some talent. But given that, who do college coaches give scholarships to?
Scholarships have very little to do with luck and everything to do with you! Here are three reasons you may not be getting athletic scholarship offers.
You won’t get an athletic scholarship if nobody knows you are alive.
You are one of eight million high school athletes; you are lost in the crowd. There are so many qualified athletes college coaches can’t recruit them all. If you are waiting for your Hollywood moment, when the NCAA D1 coaches are lined up ringing your doorbell – you’ll be waiting a long time. Contacting college coaches is easy, but if you don’t initiate contact and show interest the coach will never know you are out there. If no coach knows you’re alive, nobody is calling with an athletic scholarship offer.
“Be proactive in your recruiting! That is the number one thing. The most important thing is to remember, they should be proactive!” Coach Timothy Dixon, Women’s Basketball Missouri Valley College
“In order for an athlete to get on our radar, they need to reach out to us and show genuine interest in our program.” Coach Jeff Jenkins, Cross Country and Track Piedmont College
“As a staff we look for recruits who are willing to put themselves out there. Student athletes can reach out to us via email and identify themselves as being interested in learning more about our program and institution.” Coach Timothy Balice, Volleyball Urbana University
“It is important to establish a relationship with coaches early on. A coach should know you by name, understand your level of interest, and be familiar with you as a person well before the time they can make that first call to you.” Coach Vicky Maes, Women’s Tennis University of Arizona
You won’t get an athletic scholarship your parents raise a red flag.
Coaches are watching your parents. If your parents are out of control on the sideline, coaches make note of that. If your parents take over and control the recruiting process, coaches notice. Coaches can spot emails written by parents. Coaches don’t want to receive a phone call from your parent. If you make a campus visit and your parents do all the talking, they’re ruining your chance at an athletic scholarship. Coaches know if you play for their program they’ll be dealing with your parents for the next four years. Time to grow up and do the work yourself.
“Let your child do the talking when meeting coaches – the college soccer experience is about, and for, her. NOT the parents! A good college experience can be life-changing. Please do your best not to hinder this.” Coach Aileen Ascolese, Women’s Soccer Ursinus College
“It is crucial for parents and players to understand that it is the player’s recruiting process – not the parents!” Coach Timothy Balice, Volleyball Urbana University
Parents need to advise and not sell their kids. A visit is the coach’s time and the recruit’s time. Don’t make it about you and don’t talk more than your son or come across as wanting it more than your son. Lastly, any husband who runs the whole show or belittles his wife or any couple who doesn’t come across as a trusting, together, united front will usually throw red flags.” Coach Andy Fleming, Men’s Soccer Xavier University
You won’t get an athletic scholarship if you fail to follow up on communication
It takes a lot of discipline and hard work to be a student-athlete. Coaches look for recruits who will succeed in their program and at their school.
Do you take weeks to respond to a college coaches’ email? Do you return phone calls? Do you say you will fill out admissions paperwork, but you don’t? If you are a communication black hole, you communicate you don’t have what it takes to be a student-athlete.
“The three most common mistakes prospective student athletes make are:
- They wait too late to begin.
- They make premature, uninformed decisions.
- They don’t effectively communicate.”
“It’s crucial to build these relationships with college coaches. If a coach reaches out to you, you should respond in a timely manner so that you stay on their list.” Coach Ian Hankins, Cross Country and Track Catholic University of America
”A big mistake is not following through with what is asked of them in a timely manner. Whenever a recruit puts things off I may have a hard time taking them seriously.” Coach Kevin Corbet, Women’s Wrestling Lyon College
These are three of the 6 major reasons college coaches won’t give you an athletic scholarship.
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