For student-athletes looking to attend college via athletic scholarships, there are a number of steps you can take in high school to make the process easier for recruitment.
If you’re a fresh student-athlete looking to use your skills for college, then take a minute to check out these student-athlete college prep tips.
High School Student-Athlete Recommended Roadmap
Start Planning During Freshman Or Sophomore Year
Register as early as possible with the NCAA Eligibility Center.
During either your freshman or sophomore year if possible, register with the NCAA’s website and get familiar with the information on there. It will help guide you in moving forward.
Don’t Slack On Grades
More schools want student-athletes that athletes who can just attend a class today.
Admissions officers and coaches are looking for prospects that can do the following: Handle the responsibilities and rigors of college courses, Provide positive contributions to the teams themselves.
If you cannot keep up with your academic course load, sooner or later, you will run into trouble with your coach because of eligibility problems.
Take Difficult Course In High School
Don’t feel like you can coast while still in high school.
Make sure that the classes you take will help you meet the academic eligibility requirements you need. Different divisions have varying eligibility rules.
To find out what you need:
- Go to the NCAA Eligibility Center website
- Click on the Resources tab for the “List of NCAA Courses” option
- Learn the requirements for Division I, Division II, Division III, and NAIA
You can then see what you’ll have to take before graduation to qualify.
Let The Eligibility Center Know About SAT/ACT Scores
Make sure to have your results reported directly to the center.
When you finally decide which test to take, make sure to enter in the code “9999” when registering for your actual date. When you do so, your scores will be sent directly to the center itself. You won’t have to worry about manually submitting them.
Update Your Online Profile
Make sure that you are working on marketing yourself to coaches.
Serious student-athletes work on getting themselves in front of the coaches they’re interested in.
Tips to help marketing include:
- Making sure your online profile is updated every year at the eligibility center
- Follow the coach contact guidelines listed on the eligibility center
Make sure you’re making contact with coaches, not your parents.
College Choice And Application Tips For Student-Athletes
Figure Out Your Level Of Play
Think about which Division level you want to play at.
You should think about:
- Desired Division level
- Scholarship chances
- Eligibility for each level
Once you have that information, you’ll be able to plan for a level you can realistically play at in college.
Attend Summer Sports Camps
If you have a particular school or two that you’re interested in, then see if they offer a summer sports program.
If you can attend a summer sports camp, you can accomplish the following:
- Letting the prospective coach watch you play and start assessing you
- Getting a chance to check out the campus itself
Send Letters Of Interest
Once you find schools that you think are a good fit, work on creating your letters of interest.
This process should be completed during:
- Sophomore year
- Junior year
Prepare An Athletic Resume
You will need to have an athletic resume prepared for coaches to check out.
It should have the following sections:
- Basic student information
- Academic record
- Personal sports statistics (starting in ninth grade and covering high school career)
Make sure to have it pulled together when you’re ready to start speaking with coaches at different schools. Also, be ready to create a video showing off your athletic skills too.
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