Do you want a college athletic scholarship? Do you have a son, daughter, family member or friend who is interested in playing a sport in college? It can be a tricky process, but if you take a few necessary steps it will help immensely in choosing the best school for its academic prowess and athletic tradition. Here are a few questions you must ask yourself. What size school would I be most comfortable? What type of degree is important? Do I want to be in a big city or college town? Does the coach need to be a supportive father figure or a Vince Lombardi clone? Is team chemistry important? Do I know the type of players on the roster? Have I engaged them at all?
These questions are just a few to get your mind in the right place to make the most important decision in your life to this point. A number of companies have popped up recently helping athletes with this important decision. A good friend of mine started the firm Scholarship for Athletes a few years back. I recommend highly their help in choosing the best spot for you. Owner Ross Greenstein played tennis at the University of Florida and he has developed an excellent program for getting the athlete to ask the right questions and understand fully where he/she would be the happiest which in turn will make them the most successful.
When I was the assistant golf coach at UF and would be recruiting student athletes rarely were they asking questions. If they did ask questions they usually weren’t the right ones. We also received hundreds of letters and resumes from players that wanted to play golf for UF and Buddy Alexander. Very rarely were the letters creative and unique to catch our eye. If you have a school dead set in your mind to attend and want to grab the coach’s attention, do you homework. Understand what type of player the coach likes and recruits. Does your ability match the other players on the team? What will you add to the team and why would the coach have to have you?
I urge all parents and family members to be as objective as possible when evaluating their child’s talent. I also urge you to encourage your child to play lots of sports in high school. The better athlete they are the more impressive they will be to their future coach. Always remind them it’s a game and to keep the proper perspective. Getting a great education is paramount to their long term success and happiness. Very few athletes go on to play their respective sport professionally. Instill in them to live their life as if they will achieve their goals but to prepare for any and all outcomes.
Enjoy the process, it is a fun ride. Please contact me if you would like an introduction to my good friend Ross at SFA. He knows his stuff and has helped hundreds of student athletes find their perfect spot. I’d love to hear comments of your experience with the process as a player and a parent.