What Are The Odds of Competing On Scholarship?

 

Recently, I had the privilege of spending some time at the ESPN Wide World of Sports-Disney in Orlando, FL….. My inner child was having a really hard time not breaking away and running around every square inch of every field, gym and venue!  Although, we did tour some of the spectacular areas of their complex and got to take in quite a few AAU basketball games, along with some softball, lacrosse and field hockey!  All in all, a pretty great set up they have and I highly recommend a trip in your future, either to compete in one of their numerous events or simply to do as I did and play tourist!  Of course, you can certainly do both!

One thing that immediately became apparent was the number of youth and high school athletes that were crawling all over the place.  They were everywhere!  In the gyms (2 gymnasium facilities, with over 6 games going on in each of them at the same time), on the softball fields (too many to count) and on the other playing surfaces for lacrosse and field hockey (again, too many to count) and everywhere in between!  I thought to myself, this is only ONE location, in ONE city, in ONE state and only in the U.S.  There are tournaments of all varieties all over the U.S. that are going on and the number of athletes competing is absolutely mind-numbing!  To an athlete or to their parents, the thought of this much overall “competition” for a potential collegiate athletic scholarship is even more frightening.

Most athletes (and their parents) go into the recruiting process pretty much blind to the fact that there is so much competition for the coveted college scholarship.  This is either by choice or by the simple fact that they don’t have a clue about what they are facing.  Again, some realize that it is competitive and go in giving it their all and hoping things pay off in the end, while some choose to ignore the facts and think that they are destined for greatness because they are dominating (or at least pretty darn good) in their association, local school or their small segment of the planet. Regardless of how they choose to handle their recruiting process, the facts and numbers speak for themselves……


Enter the FACTS (reflecting numbers from 2012):

–  4,484,987  – Total number of high school boys participating in sports

–  341,588      – Total number of boys participating in college sports (not all on scholarship)

–  3,207,533  – Total number of high school girls participating in sports

–  246,162      – Total number of girls participating in college sports (not all on scholarship)

The message is pretty clear, the chances of your kid competing in college and on an athletic scholarship are very low, not impossible, but simply very low.  Why even bring this up?  Well, because there are too many out there that feel you just have to be a good or even a great athlete. Yes, skill is part of it, but there is so much more!  The thing is, you can be the best kid on your team, in your school or association, but your “best” may not even make the Top 20 of another school or state, etc.  That is a dose of reality that athletes and their parents (and some coaches) need!  I know it sounds like I’m promoting the “don’t even try” attitude, but nothing could be farther from the truth!  I’m simply saying that the competition is extremely stiff and you need to be open-eyed about it.  Understand that there are many really good athletes, many with good grades and many who are very active in their communities, so don’t get cocky or brag just because you got a camp invite letter from a college, as everyone is getting them!  Keep your feet on the ground and work hard (and smart) towards your goal of taking your craft to the collegiate level.

A lot of athletes and parents will spend upwards of thousands of dollars, thinking that the recruiting specialists or services will take them to the Promised Land.  Certainly, having assistance in an area that you are not familiar with is helpful, but you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to do it.  You can educate yourself on the process very easily, use the tools presented by websites like www.ViewMySport.com and their outstanding mobile recruiting app, ViewRecruit, where they not only give you both the education in the recruiting process, but also the tools to carry out the necessary tasks to gain exposure and connect with college coaches and recruiters.  Once you have accomplished that, it comes down to the fundamentals.  Communicate with the coaches, keep them up-to-date with your progress in your sport, in the classroom and in your community.  No amount of money you pay a service will change that!  Remember, the college coaches want to communicate with YOU, not some paid representative!  I won’t get into those details at this point, as that is for another posting….many many many postings!


Just remember, stay focused, do the fundamentals really well, in your sport, in the classroom and in your community and don’t worry about where you’re ranked or how awesome you are in your region!  Try being humble, realistic and have fun doing what you do best!  It’ll go a long way in your recruiting process and your quest for the coveted college athletic scholarship!  You might just pick up a few life lessons along the way!  ALL THE BEST!

 

* For more High School athletics and college recruiting / scholarship assistance, visit:     http://www.ViewMySport.com/

* Visit iTunes to download the ViewRecruit mobile recruiting app:      https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/viewrecruit/id495931580?ls=1&mt=8