Many athletes and parents have questions about getting a sports scholarship. They want to know how hard it is to get a sports scholarship, and how they can achieve their goals. The answers to these questions really do depend on each individual athlete, however we have come up with 5 steps that we think are very important to achieving your goals of getting a sports scholarship.
1. Get Good Grades Stay Eligible for a Sports Scholarship
If your goal is to get a sports scholarship, you must keep your grades up to par. There are thousands of young athletes competing for a college sports scholarship. If your grades are less than average you risk turning away scouts and schools. As an athlete you will be compared to other athletes not just on skill and sports performance, but also in academics. It does no good for you to practice, practice, practice and flunk out of school. If you don’t have the grades and classes you will be passed up and scouts won’t consider you. Why? Because they don’t want to bring someone on their team that they can’t rely on. For example, if your academics are poor in High School, then you will likely struggle in college and become ineligible for play. Why would they have you take up a spot on the team and not play? They won’t. So keep your grades up, take extra credit, get a tutor if you need one. Just work as hard on your grades as you do at your sport. The results will show, and scouts will appreciate your hard work and dedication to your academics.
One of the biggest tips I could give any parent or coach is to get your athletes a tutor to help them with any problem areas. Your child is likely to struggle in some area of academics, it is up to you to give them the tools to gain confidence in these areas and strengthen their sports resume for college.
2. Play Traveling Sports
I know I harp on this in a lot of my blogs, but it is only because I know it is so important to get a sports scholarship. Put plainly, if you don’t play where college scouts can see you, then your chances of getting a sports scholarship are cut down dramatically. Research traveling teams in your area and find one that has a good reputation, gets results, and fits your personality. Parents, do your own research, talk to the coach and ask if they have had any past players get a sports scholarship. If they have, and get good results then that is who I would choose. Another great question to ask is if you can talk to another player on the teams parent. The coach will often give you a parents number. Asking questions from another parent gives you a great perspective.
3. Register for the NCAA Clearinghouse
DONT FORGET THIS STEP! If you are not registered with the NCAA Clearinghouse you cannot commit or be recruited! The NCAA Clearinghouse is now called the NCAA Eligibility Center. What they do is make sure that student athletes are qualified to compete at the NCAA level for all college sports. They will need to be sent a student athletes high school transcripts and SAT or ACT test results. The clearinghouse process can be very tricky. This page has more detailed information about how to register etc. http://www.athleticscholarships.net/ncaa-clearinghouse.htm
4. Write and Send Letters to at Least 30 Colleges
Some athletes and parents think if they just show up to games, or play in High School that they will get recruited for a sports scholarship. This is false. You have to do some work, getting college scouts to come recruit you is harder than you think. Your goal is to get as many good college coaches to come watch you play, the more eyes on you the better your chance of a scholarship. Make a list of at least 30 schools your interested in playing at, then write a letter introducing yourself and expressing your interest in their college. Send a picture of yourself, a video, and include anything that you think will catch their attention.
The coaching staff for colleges often have their emails listed on the college website, and/or you can old school mail your letter to the athletic department with attention to: (Your Sport) on the label.
5. Stay Healthy and Fit
This is another very important area. If you hope to play sports in college you must keep your body healthy and fit. Try to avoid risky hobby sports, and dangerous activities that might get you injured. Injury can often end an athletes career and believe me that’s the last thing you want. To prevent injuries it is important that you are eating healthy.
We recommend a diet of lean meats, vegetables, nuts & seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar. This is a great article on nutrition http://www.crossfitmemorialhouston.com/nutrition/
If you have any questions about getting a sports scholarship please put them in the comments below. Our athlete community would be happy to help you achieve your goals in any way they can.