Be Proactive When Pursuing College Athletic Scholarships
While it is true that for a select few extremely talented young athletes future D1 college athletic scholarships will pour in unsolicited, for many more athletes the scholarship dollars they will receive will come as a result of being proactive and working hard to get noticed by college coaches. It is for this reason that I strongly recommend that parents help their son or daughter stay on top of doing self-marketing — even if it doesn’t result in a D1 scholarship, it could lead to college athletic opportunities (i.e. DIII) that might not have been awarded otherwise.
Aside from playing well in high school sports, future college athletes will also want to attend camps, clinics, and showcases where college coaches will be present. But that’s just the beginning — if your child wants to have a chance to play college sports, many more things should be considered:
- Develop a succinct video of your child in action. The video does not need to be more than a couple minutes long but it should have clear footage of the things a college coach might look for — for example, baseball and softball coaches will want to see hitting, fielding, and pitching.
- Develop a portfolio that outlines your child’s athletic, academic, and leadership activities. Again, this doesn’t need to be a book, but it should be detailed enough to provide a solid overall picture of your child and his or her abilities off as well as on the field.
- Reach out and ask for a shot. These days kids can easily go onto college team webpages and learn about the coaches, the team, and the team’s recent success (or lack thereof). Encourage your child to draft a note to the coach and take the time to personalize it with a working knowledge of the current team, as well as how your child can help in the future. The worst that can happen here is a no response, while the best thing that can happen is a future opportunity to meet with the coach for a potential scholarship.
- Network. Check around and see who your child’s current coach knows at the college level. Of course, it’s highly unlikely a college coach will sign your child simply because he knows your child’s travel team coach, but it never hurts to “connect the dots” networking to see what potential opportunities might arise.
The bottom line is this: When working toward a future athletic scholarship being shy won’t help! Be sure to help your child start this process early in high school and stay on top of the things listed above – while there is no special “trick” to getting an athletic scholarship, there are certainly things you can do to help your child at least get a look from a college coach.
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