Even though most every college and university in the country has some sort of competitive athletic program, not every student who aspires to be part of a college team will get to do so. College athletics is an extremely competitive venture, especially when athletic scholarships are involved. Only the most talented athletes with the most exposure will get the opportunity to play in college.
But how do the students who do end up participating in college sports get chosen? And how can you improve your chances of being recruited?
The first thing you can do to get ready for college athletics is simple: register with the NCAA. A quick and painless step, registering with the NCAA Eligibility Center ensures you’re eligible to play college sports when you first step on campus.
It used to be that college coaches would tour the country, going to high school games, matches, and meets to track down the next college superstar. But this isn’t really the case anymore. Nowadays, coaches converge at summer athletic summits; tournaments featuring thousands of athletes on hundreds of teams who come to show off their skills to the many college coaches in attendance. While it’s still important to show that you can contribute to a winning high school team, it’s becoming increasingly crucial that you take part in multiple summer competitions with a high-level summer team.
If you’re interested in competing at a certain college or university, tell them so. And don’t be shy; this is your opportunity to brag about all you’ve accomplished. Emails and letters to college coaches are an excellent way of getting your name in the mix, but highlight videos and athletic resumes can be an even stronger way of gaining the attention you want.
In today’s age, the Internet and YouTube can be your ally in getting noticed. Don’t be afraid to not only show off your skills, but your personality as well, just like Sheldon Jeter does in this high school basketball recruitment video.
College Athletic Camps
Say you want to go to Florida State University, but you’ve tried letters and emails but have failed to make any connections with coaches. Why not sign up for a summer or weekend camp and spend some time on campus face-to-face with the coaches you so desperately want to connect with? These sorts of camps, while sometimes pricey, can help you network with coaches who might be able to help you find a home for your athletic talents. It’s in no way a sure thing, but just like the jobs you’ll apply for later in life, networking is key to forming bonds that will help you fulfill your goals, both athletically and academically.
Find out more about college athletic scholarships and how sports affect college admissions or see how you can fine tune the college search process. Follow Campus Explorer on Facebook or Twitter to keep up to date on college sports recruitment.