Thousands of athletes from many different sports aspire to compete within the US College system each year. Needless to say, competition for scholarship offers is tough and you need to know what you’re doing in order to succeed!
So, we’ve detailed five ‘myths‘ or common misconceptions that many recruits and parents adopt without knowing any different. Take a look below!
1. “I’m good at my sport, so College coaches will find me…”
Newsflash! There’s hundreds of athletes/players around the world that may be equally as good as you. There’s also plenty that are not as good as you, but they might’ve done a better job of getting noticed by College recruiters.
The truth is, you need to be able to stand out from the rest and get seen. American athletes can get evaluated/meet College coaches all the time at events and showcases in the US. For internationals, it’s a little harder, but that’s why you need to be proactive, organised and persistent!
Athleticademix will develop an athlete profile for you, which will detail your academic and sporting achievements. We will send that directly to coaches that fit with your competitive level and match your academic needs and other preferences. However, you still have a big responsibility to communicate with them professionally and in a timely manner throughout the recruitment process.
2. “I’ll start looking at Colleges later when I’m older…”
Another very common mistake athletes make is thinking that they are too early to be looking at College options. Many assume that you should begin looking during your final year of school (e.g. Year 13/Second year of College/final year of Gymnasium). But doing so can seriously limit your opportunities!
In the US, College coaches are recruiting American student-athletes as young as 14-15 years old! So, while we don’t encourage you starting quite that young, you should certainly think about this sooner rather than later. A guideline of when to start the process is 18 months to 2 years before you’d be going to the US. But, give yourself an absolute minimum of 1 year!
Time is either your best friend or your worst enemy in College recruiting. Don’t waste it if you know you want to have the best possible options in America! You also should not rush into this process; instead, make an informed decision and prepare early.
3. “I’m a high-level athlete, so my school grades aren’t important…”
Wrong again. Your academics are, and will always be, incredibly important in the recruiting process. The same applies when you get to College. Your school grades and SAT scores will determine which Colleges you can get into. In addition, your academic standing also dictates how much ‘Academic Scholarship’ you may be eligible for.
Read more on Academics at College and the SAT test.
A phrase you will often here at College is: “Student-athlete… the student comes first!” It really is as simple as that. You do not need to be a ‘straight-A’ student in order to succeed at College in the States. However, you do need to try as hard as you can in school and in tests if you want to enhance your opportunities.
4. “I’m already talking to a College coach, so I don’t need any help…”
Again, if you want to maximise your options, you need to see the bigger picture. It’s great if you’ve been contacted directly by a College coach. That could turn out to be a really good option for you. However, that particular school or team may not be the best fit for a number of other reasons. With nothing to compare with, how would you ever make an informed decision?
Ultimately, if you’re in dialogue with a great school that is making you a reasonable scholarship offer, we will tell you! But this is a huge decision and it’s crucial that you take time to compare your options with others. You won’t lose your original College interest by doing this, you’ll only gain more! Additionally, you’ll have expert guidance and help throughout not only the College decision-making process, but all of the administration that follows, too.
5. “The Coronavirus outbreak will surely delay College recruiting, so I don’t need to start anytime soon…”
Okay, so this one is not as common as the others given how recently the virus has become a global issue. Nevertheless, we have heard student-athletes say it and they could not be further from the truth.
College recruiting in all sports is relentless and extremely adaptable. It’s worth remembering that most Colleges have just about completed their recruitment for 2020 and have moved on to 2021 and even 2022! So, while the Coronavirus pandemic will be with us for the foreseeable, it should not prevent or impact your College search for next year and beyond. If anything, College coaches now have more time to recruit remotely; assessing athletes and communicating with them via emails and calls.
To sum up, if you’re looking to sink your teeth into a project during this lockdown period, beginning the College recruitment process is something that will help you now and later down the line. Just because you can’t train or even attend school, it doesn’t mean that your dream university is not waiting to hear about your talents!
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Thanks for reading!! 🙂