My Child Wants To Play College Sports—Now What?
Aug 24, 2017 07:38AM ● Published by Caitlin Marshall
Every parent wants the best for their child, so what do you do when your high school student-athlete tells you their heart is set on playing sports in college?
Well unless they’re a highly recruited superstar, you’ll need a plan and a lot of questions answered before you even start looking at colleges and universities.
Should they play Division I, II, or III?
Is my child eligible to play?
How can my son/daughter get a tryout?
How do we contact the athletic department at a college?
How can I help my son/daughter achieve their goals?
The questions can be overwhelming for the parents and the first-time college athlete, so we asked local expert Pablo Mejia of Avail Sports Marketing to explain what parents can do to help their child have the best shot at earning a spot on a college roster.
“There are a lot of things parents should consider and also discuss with their student-athlete before starting the process of contacting schools or coaches. It’s very competitive to earn a spot on a team roster. Not only does the student-athlete need athletic ability, desire, dedication, and a good attitude to play on a collegiate level, they need to perform academically. Fail to perform academically and you’ve cut your chances of making a team drastically,” says Mejia.
FACE: Okay, so my child has lots of athletic abilities and their grades are average or above. What’s next?
Mejia: Start by collecting every report card, photo, video, statistic, and accolade your child has earned or received while playing in middle and high school. It’s important to have enough data on your student-athlete to create a great college resume highlighting everything they’ve accomplished.
FACE: Do colleges and universities offer scholarships for all sports and what if my child does not earn a scholarship; can they still make a team?
Mejia: There’s a big misconception that only the best of the best athletes receive scholarships. The fact is, almost all colleges offer some sort of athletic scholarships for each sport on campus, including Soccer, Golf, Tennis, Volleyball, Track & Field, Basketball, Baseball, Football and more. Whether your student-athlete receives a scholarship offer or not will depend on many things. My recommendation to parents is to get involved; learn everything you can about the recruiting system, eligibility requirements, and what coaches are looking for in a student-athlete. Make sure your child is committed, stays healthy, and engaged in the learning process as well. It’s competitive, but with the right action plan, your student-athlete will have the best chance possible of reaching their goal of making the team, even if they Walk-On.
This brief overview is just a starting point. There are many more questions that should be addressed before your child commits to a college program. The path to collegiate sports can be a long and bumpy road, but making a team can be a great experience filled with life lessons and experiences that will last a lifetime.