Athletic scholarship: how to get one?

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Winning an athletic scholarship is possible by being active in the recruitment process. Coaches have many responsibilities and cannot begin recruiting until junior year. Attend camps, send performance DVDs, and maintain good grades to increase chances of receiving a scholarship. Most scholarships are awarded in the fall of senior year.

Receiving an athletic scholarship may seem out of reach, but one in fifty students receives such an award. If you have athletic ability, good grades, and determination, winning an athletic scholarship is very possible. Probably the biggest mistake students make when seeking an athletic scholarship is being too passive.
Many students feel that if they are good enough to get a college scholarship, they will automatically be on the radar screen of college coaches everywhere. This is not true. College coaches have many responsibilities, and while they have a lot of help with recruiting, you can’t count on chance if you want a college scholarship.

Another reason not to wait and hope college coaches notice you is that they are required to abide by certain rules. Varsity coaches cannot begin recruiting until the end of your junior year. If you wait until then to see if the coaches are interested, you’ll be behind the game. Once summer rolls around between your junior and senior years, everything moves quickly and competition is stiff. To make sure you’re on the coach’s radar screen, attend camps hosted by the coaches you want to play for and send the athletic office a DVD of your performance along with your stats.

Prior to the player’s high school year, college coaches may send out a short questionnaire to players they are interested in. During the year they can send out a recruitment brochure. Active recruiting typically begins on July 1 of the summer between a player’s junior and senior year.

Most athletic scholarships are awarded in the fall of the senior year of high school, during a period known as the early signing period. When you consider this, the time frame to prove yourself to college coaches is only a few months. To make the most of this time, it’s important to have every aspect of your academic career under control.

Take time to talk to your high school counselor when you sign up for classes. Let them know your goals for winning an athletic scholarship. It’s important to take courses where you succeed, but not at the expense of courses that won’t prepare you for college.

While some high profile high school players are able to win athletic scholarships with poor grades and come to school unable to compete, this is the exception rather than the rule. Coaches don’t want to award scholarships to players who won’t be academically eligible. You can make yourself more attractive to college coaches by getting good grades every semester. They need to know that you can keep your grades high while attending practice and during the off-season, when it’s more tempting to slow down.

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