High school athletes often dream of going on to play at the college level and obtaining athletic scholarships to pay for the cost of attending college. While the college level athletic recruiting process can be competitive, there is no reason that a high school athlete should not apply.
It is important to understand that you do not necessarily need to a be an outstanding athlete, or even in the top percentage of your sport in order to be scouted and considered for an athletic scholarship.
Since you may not receive a full-ride scholarship at a college with a Division I ranking, it is still possible to receive a scholarship as a result of your athletic talents to help you pay your way through college.
Also keep in mind that while most people think of sports such as football, basketball and baseball in terms of athletic scholarships, many other lesser well known sports can also help you to land a scholarship.
The most important tip to remember when seeking athletic scholarships is that college coaches will never be able to recruit you and offer you a scholarship if they do not even know you are out there. Many students dream of a college scout spotting them from the sidelines or the stands one day and offering them a full-ride. In today’s competitive world; however, it is important that you be proactive and make certain scouts and coaches notice you.
Ability – Test Scores – Grades – Motivation and Exposure for College Athletic Scholarships
Toward that end you need to understand what coaches and scouts look for when seeking high school athletes. Ability is certainly important, but so are grades, motivation and exposure. To qualify for an athletic scholarship you must have the test scores and grades to gain admission to your desired college as well as the motivation to market yourself to prospective college coaches.
Talent determines What Schools for Athletic Scholarships
When contacting colleges and universities to market yourself for athletic scholarships, make it a point to be realistic. The reality is that there are relatively few athletes who are able to play basketball at Duke or football at Oklahoma. Speak with your high school coach and obtain advice regarding the level at which you are able to play competitively and then choose colleges and universities that will be a good fit for you academically as well as athletically.
How to Get the College Scouts to Notice You – Internet!
In contacting college coaches for athletic scholarships, feel free to be creative. Have a desire to attend a college that isn’t necessarily close enough for the coach to scout you? Take full advantage of technology and post a video of one of your best games and then send the coach a link with an invitation to check it out. The Internet can be a great way to create buzz about you and market your athletic abilities.
Don’t Overlook the Smaller Schools for Athletic Scholarships
Make sure you do not overlook opportunities that may be available at less well known or smaller colleges. Due to the fact that they receive less exposure you may well be able to obtain a larger or even a full-ride scholarship far easier at a smaller college than a larger university. Be sure you are aware of regulations regarding recruitment and adhere to those regulations to avoid possible problems. Athletic scholarships in the United States are primarily regulated by the National Collegiate Athletic Association or NCAA. Keep in mind that college coaches typically receive a wealth of inquiries, so exercise patience. If you have not heard from a coach within a one month time period, go ahead and make contact once again. Make it a point to keep all of your options open and maintain contact with all coaches who express an interest in you.
Check with Organizations and Foundations for Athletic Scholarships
Remember that while colleges are best known for offering athletic scholarships there are also organizations and foundations that will provide athletic scholarships for stellar athletes as well, including Southeast Atlantic Trainers’ Association, Big Sun Athletics Scholarship and the YMCA. Be sure to check with your local YMCA as well as Boys and Girls Club to find out whether they may offer athletic scholarships to students graduating from your high school.