“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.
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?
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 Scholarships, I 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.
LIKE WHAT YOU READ?
Here is another great article for parents: Surprise! You Lost Your Athletic Scholarship
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