How to Get Recruited Guide
my coach's fault

It was my high school coach’s fault I didn’t get an athletic scholarship

“It was my high school coach’s fault I didn’t get an athletic scholarship to a Division 1 school.”

Last week I met a young lady in her early twenties. She is a newlywed, owns a horse and is beginning her adult life.

In our brief encounter, she mentioned she was a high school volleyball player and then out of the blue she added that she would have played Division 1, but her high school coach ruined her chance.

She had no idea that I help athletes and their families through the recruiting process. But now I was curious and so I had to ask a few probing questions. I did not expect what was coming, but after our conversation, I realized she is not unique in her beliefs.

See the bottom of the article for a link to my new book, The Ultimate Guide to Athletic Scholarships.

Join me in this conversation.

Coaches, you will recognize this bitter athlete as they have come and gone throughout your career.

Parents, you will say this is not your child. Of course, it is always the child of someone you know.

It was my high school coach’s fault I didn’t get an athletic scholarship.

Anna: I just moved here. I got married three weeks ago.

Bryan: Where are you from?

Anna: Colorado. I brought my horse with me.

Bryan: Oh. I’m from Colorado too. Where did you grow up?

Anna: I went to ________ high school. I played volleyball there. Some Division 1 colleges were looking at me, but my high school coach screwed me and I haven’t played volleyball again since high school.

  • Remember, I don’t know Anna. She was someone I met in the course of interacting with people as I went about my day. And she threw this juicy tidbit in about her coach. If that was a bit strange, it was about to get a lot more interesting.

Bryan: How did your high school coach keep you from being recruited?

Anna: The coach from the University of Hawaii saw me and said to me I needed to play more and join a club team and that I would get a full ride athletic scholarship.

  • To the coach at the University of Hawaii volleyball team: This was all so bizarre. I hope it brings you a chuckle if you ever read it.

Bryan: Really.

My high school coach wouldn’t play me.

Anna: My high school coach wouldn’t play me. He only played his favorites who played for club teams. He didn’t even play me on senior night.

  • She was just winding up.

Anna: I went to all of the club teams in town and none of them had an open spot for me. And because of that my high school coach wouldn’t play me.

  • She was long-winded. I have edited down her comments to the main point and deleted the choice words she used for her coach.

It was my turn to throw out some questions.

Bryan: Did the coach from Hawaii promise you a spot and a full ride? Did other Division 1 coaches show interest in you?

Anna: Uhm.

Bryan: Did you ever consider trying to go to a smaller school, not Division 1?

Anna: My coach kept me from getting a full ride at Division 1.

Bryan: Did you ever try contacting the coach at Hawaii or any other school?

Anna: No. I ended up going to a local community college.

Bryan: Did your community college have volleyball? Many do and offer athletic scholarships.

Anna: Mine didn’t.

Thus ended our slightly longer than a brief encounter.

Here are my observations from Anna and twenty plus years of coaching.

Is it the high school coach’s fault?

95% of coaches don’t play politics. They put the athletes they believe to be the best players on the field or court. Coaches care about winning much more than they do about politics. Lack of talent is what shortens a players career.

100% of coaches have been accused of playing politics and ruining an athlete’s career.

Should the player take responsibility?

If a player could not succeed in high school athletics, why would they be recruited to play at the collegiate level?

Without talent, there is no athletic scholarship waiting.

Without work ethic, your athletic career will never be great, even if you are lucky enough to get on a college roster.

A bitter attitude does not make you right.

Are there athletic scholarships available?

For those of you whose child is talented, work their tails off, and has a good attitude there are roster spots and athletic scholarships available. However, if you wait for college coaches to come knocking down your door and throwing scholarship money your way, the fate of your athlete will be no different than Anna’s (though for different reasons).

I want you to know the truth about athletic scholarships. In The Ultimate Guide to Athletic ScholarshipsI provide you with actual facts and statistics. I interviewed over a hundred college coaches and asked them to help you to understand scholarships.

The truth isn’t so glamorous as promising your child a full-ride. But once you know the truth, you will have the ability to evaluate the offers your child does receive. You will have the tools to make the best decision.

The Ultimate Guide to Athletic Scholarships


Here is another great article for parents: Surprise! You Lost Your Athletic Scholarship

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P.S. Parents ask me about athletic scholarships more than anything else. In response, a new book for you, The Ultimate Guide to Athletic Scholarships. Released February 12, 2019

5 thoughts on “It was my high school coach’s fault I didn’t get an athletic scholarship”

  1. I am certain there are coaches that play favourites, it happened with my son as he played the same position as the coach’s son. Rather than play the blame game or complain about the injustice of it all, we worked around that and got the training and exposure we needed. My son is playing college ball on scholarship now while the coach’s son is unemployed and no longer playing. You can not leave your child’s future solely in the hands of others.

  2. Wow this is very true my nephew who has played varsity ball since ninth grade now a senior had at least six invites from D1 schools for wide receiver and many from Dll schools he lead his team to a state championship title suddenly has no scholarship offers from D1 schools 3.9 gpa has traveled out of the country to win gold medals in track was this in vain first kid to practice last to leave . How do I explain this to him that every thing will be fine the only thing I can tell him is academically he can get into those schools but financially it will be a hardship for the family. We didn’t blame coaches their job is over they have to try to win another title with out him.

  3. Actually in my cases rival coaches in my district got my tape to college coaches. My high school did nothing for me yet i left half my body on the field for 3 years. Yea, favortism is played at a good % of sports programs. If your denying that it happens your delusional. Thanks to coaches in my district I recieved prefered walk on offers at a couple of Mid major D 1’s. Luckily had the grades for an Academic scholarship. Until I graduated with my degree the defensive coordinator at my University would message me every spring to come try out. Now I help him spot unknown talent in the area were I stay. So far my alma mater has been doing extremely well with these under recruited, pushed to the backburner talents.

  4. What is a high school coaches role in assisting their athletes get to the next level? Let’s say a coach sees a kid play on their high school team and reaches out to a coach but never hears back? This student athlete may or may not play club so the only way to get any info is to reach out to the high school coach and/or athletic director but for some reason they do not respond to emails or calls? Should high school athletic departments take classes/seminars on how to help their athletes.

    1. I was going to answer here, but I thought it was such an important question I decided to write about it. I made a space on my calendar and I will post an article about the role of coaches on February 26. Thanks again!

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