School Life
College Counseling

Athletics in the College Process

WANT TO PLAY COLLEGIATE SPORTS?
 
Athletic talent can provide opportunities for student-athletes in the college process. While it can present unique advantages, it can also bring unique challenges.
 
If you want to play sports in college, there is the right fit for you, as long as you…
  • Stay open-minded
  • Start early and be proactive
  • Meet with your current coach and get on the same page
  • Keep your options open, but be realistic
  • Promote yourself, but be true to yourself
  • Target a school that if you were no longer able to play a sport you would be happy to attend
 
While researching colleges with athletics as part of the process there is a blending of both academic and athletic criteria to consider.  
 
Academic criteria to consider:
  • School Size (small, medium, large)
  • Academic Challenge
  • School Location (rural, small town, suburban, urban)
  • Geographic Region and Distance to Home
  • Tuition/Available Scholarships
  • Majors Offered
  • Internships/Research/Study Abroad Opportunities
  • Social Activities
 
Athletic criteria to consider:
  • School commitment to athletics
  • Program Strength
  • Conference Strength
  • Coaching styles
  • Team dynamics
  • Positions available
  • Training Schedules
 
Key Questions to ask

During Process/Ongoing ---
  • How many players are you recruiting?
  • Where do I fit in this group?
  • What will be the size of your class?
  • What is your timeline like?
  • What are your academic requirements?
  • What does it mean to commit early?
  • What is the Parent’s Role?
  • Am I scholarship worthy/eligible for financial aid?
From here…
  • Committed V/VI formers -”Get To Work”
    • Academically: Continue to develop study and preparation habits to transition to college work.
    • Athletically: train your body to prepare to play against 21 year olds. Train your mind to raise your game IQ (film, watch games, ask questions). Address shortcomings.
    • Get to know your future teammates.
  • Uncommitted VI formers: “Know Yourself/Game”
    • Review contacts/depth of interest.
    • Determine the fit of your level and academics.
    • Update academics and test scores.
    • Walk on opportunities at a reach vs. “guarantee” at D2/D3.
    • Love school/sports vs. “sweatshirt” prestige.
  • Current V formers: “Deep Breaths”
    • Contrast early September communications vs. November feedback/collect new video.
    • Show grade and SAT/ACT improvement.
    • Don’t Panic.
    • Ask key questions again & again.
    • Develop core skills.
  • Current IV formers: “Stay Young & Pure”
    • Have fun, work on the shortcomings in your game.
    • Don’t focus on the destination but the journey.
    • Show academic growth from 9th to 10th grade.
    • Prep for PSAT/ACT/SAT.
    • Play!
  • Current III formers: “Play, then Play Some More”
    • Learn and apply study habits/time management skills.
    • No need to speed up the process, have fun playing and working on your game.
 
 
A FEW THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
 
The Numbers
  • 60 x 45 = 2700 is D1 players (60 teams, 45 players on each team)
  • 40 x 40=1600 is D2
  • 200 x 40=8000 is D3
  • 45 divided by 12.6 scholarships in D1 assuming fully funded
  • 40 divided by 10.8 scholarships
  • 40 covered by Financial Aid (need, academic)
  • So….since you and your family will be investing time and money in the college search you need to determine how hard you will work, train, study, and prepare to make it a reality.
Key Truths
  • Beauty is in the eye of the Beholder
  • We do not have a crystal ball
  • People are “creative” on their Q-Air’s/Resumes
  • Video helps but is not always conclusive
  • Recruiting rankings don’t mean much
  • Admissions leverage, recruiting timelines, style/messaging/money etc. all vary by school
  • A truth can become a “lie” quickly
  • Daily shifting landscape
  • You are you, not someone else
The Myths
  • ________ is on a full ride
  • You are our #1 recruit……
  • Early is always better
  • A college coach oversees the admissions process and has 100% power/control
  • There is an unlimited amount of scholarship and aid for student-athletes
  • You decide whether you are a D1, D2, D3 player. You decide if you are a good student
 
MESSAGE ABOUT THE RECRUITING PROCESS
 
You may begin to feel as though you are being recruited when college coaches contact you over the phone or by email. Keep in perspective that coaches will contact a large number of athletes. If you are offered an official visit to a Division I level school, it may be an indication of strong interest on part of the coach; however, this does not automatically result in an offer.
 
An official visit is one that is paid in part or in full by the college. An unofficial visit is one in which the student incurs the cost.
 
In some cases, coaches will push you toward applying early action or early decision. They are encouraging other athletes they are recruiting to do the same, and, thus, admission is not guaranteed. If you elect not to apply early, keep in mind that a coach only has “x” amount of spaces and if “x” players are admitted, the coach is done with their recruiting for the year. THIS IS BY NO MEANS A REASON TO APPLY EARLY, but it is a reality of the recruiting process. YOU SHOULD NOT APPLY E.D. TO A COLLEGE UNLESS YOU ARE 100% SURE IT IS THE RIGHT SCHOOL FOR YOU!
 
Choose the school that is the right fit for you. Coaching is a unique profession in that coaches tend to switch positions often. Choose the college for the community and the program, not for the coach.
 
The athletic recruiting system is not designed to protect you; instead it is designed to protect the schools and the coaches. No matter how supportive a coach may seem, only the admission office can make the final decision.
 
The recruiting process is not over until you receive an official letter of acceptance from the admission office. It is imperative that you continue to work with your college counselor and high school coaches involved in your college process to craft a balanced college list that you believe will offer you a successful collegiate experience.
Millbrook School | 131 Millbrook School Road | Millbrook | NY 12545 | T. (845)677.8261   F. (845)677.8598 Contact Us