Many athletes strive to become an athlete who advances past the high school level, but they often give up hope during some point in their young life. My advice is this: Take advantage of the opportunities available to you and don’t give up on your dream.
Photo by: Ryan Rerich
Many kids grow up wanting to play in Major League Baseball, the Women’s National Basketball Association, the National Football League, the Ladies Professional Golfers Association or many other professional organizations, but fall short of the skill level needed beginning in high school or maybe even junior high.
This is when they usually just part ways with the dream to be a pro athlete and focus on possibly playing in college.
When varsity comes around their sophomore and junior years in high school and they are not succeeding as much they would want to, they possibly give up on playing in any college atmosphere.
This is where I believe the above-average high school player goes wrong.
Especially when a student-athlete grows up in small town or does not have a standout physical stature, the opportunities to play in college are not as easy to realize.
This is why it is important to not give up just because your friends are throwing in the towel, but to do some research and start sending emails to coaches at least midway through your junior year, if not earlier.
There are countless colleges around the nation that need athletes for their programs.
Depending on your skill level, try starting out your search at the National Collegiate Athletic Association [NCAA] Division III level, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics [NAIA] level or the National Junior College Athletic Association [NJCAA].
These college levels have athletes who are generally less skilled and they can offer opportunities for athletes who are not the absolute best in their schools to have a chance to make an impact in a collegiate athletic setting.
The three levels can also be a great starting ground for someone even wanting to transfer into a larger school such as an NCAA Division I or Division II university in a few years.
There are many recruiting websites out there, such as the National Collegiate Scouting Association [NCSA], which is the one I used to be evaluated and emailed by numerous coaches from a variety of colleges.
There are also other recruiting agencies and websites, notably BeRecruited.
With the help of these agencies, scholarships can become easier to attain, and the dream to step on your playing field in college can be fulfilled.
You can also narrow the search in the recruiting websites to fit your skill level and select the colleges you already have in mind for possibly attending.
With these agencies, your name will be spread throughout the nation if you approve of it, and coaches will contact you if they see that you could be a positive fit for their program.
I am not saying that a recruiting service has to be used, but I believe it could only help the situation of high school athletes nervous about their athletic futures.
The scholarship money that is attainable through collegiate athletics can definitely aid the student in many ways in paying for college.
Obviously college is not cheap, and every dollar counts. Why not take the time to fill out some forms and send emails to coaches? You never truly know what can happen.
Also, do not be afraid to go out of your comfort zone and try colleges out of state and many miles from the place that you call home.
It is always pleasant, even if you are not in complete consideration of some particular colleges, to see the interest coaches around the nation have in your skills.
Hopefully with the sending of emails and trying various methods of recruiting, you, as an above-average graduating high school athlete, will be able to live out your lifelong dream.
Never give up on the collegiate athletic dream. There are numerous ways for you to become a college athlete on scholarship and to keep your passion burning for making an impact in the sporting world.
Not many collegiate athletes are going to go play professional sports, but the impact you can make on a team and on your own life in a college environment can stand out for an entire lifetime.