For many high school athletes it is a dream to take their game to the next level and play in college. If your goal is to play a sport at the college level here are a few things you should know:
- Become familiar with the NCAA Eligibility requirements. Here is a great site for both students and parents: http://web1.ncaa.org/ECWR2/NCAA_EMS/NCAA.jsp be sure to register and set up a profile at the end of your junior year with the NCAA Eligibility Center.
- Take challenging classes throughout high school.
- Start the process early. College coaches start to recruit/contact players as early as sophomore year, so do not wait until your senior year to contact a coach if you have identified schools you would like to attend.
- Look for summer camps at schools you may be interested in and pay attention to the coaches who will be there.
- Prepare to market yourself. Develop a student profile that highlights your athletic and academic accomplishments that you can send to a coach at any time. Prepare highlight videos and post them to a running blog so you can pass along a link for a coach to take a look.
- Do your homework on the team. Know how your stats stack up against the current players on team. Be realistic in your choices. Get an understanding of where you might fit in athletically by watching the team and say to yourself “can I play at that level”
- Do not over or underestimate any school. Find out about each school and the philosophy of the athletic program. Do not get caught up with Division Status (D I, II, or III)
- Plan an overnight to meet the team and learn more about the school. Being a student athlete is hard work, you have to manage your class time and practice time. Academics do come first! Realistically most student athletes do not make it to the professional level so it is vital that you are certain that the school you choose will be a good academic fit as well.
- Ask questions of the coach. Topic including: coaching philosophy, roster make up, scholarship availability, academic requirements, off-season program, graduation rate of team members, how many days of classes does the team miss each season ( just to name a few).
Here are a few websites that I have used recently that have been helpful: