Decide Who You are More: an Athlete or a Student
Set priorities as early as possible in school. It will affect your choice of a college, major, life direction. If you see yourself in sport only (and you objectively have the makings of a professional athlete), pay greater attention to training. Otherwise, balance time and efforts between the academic and “field” life.
Do not bet everything on one school. Taking into account that the application process costs money, it is not wise to apply for dozens of unis, but you should definitely secure yourself. Make a list of possible options and weigh up the pros and cons considering:
- Which organization governs the scholarships in the chosen school, NCAA, JUCO, or NAIA
- what your chances to be accepted are
- how far from your hometown the college is
- if they offer a program, you want to study
- whether the school has enough facilities for your sport
- if the team of this particular college is successful
Visit interesting schools and ask coaches if you can meet and talk in person. Photos, videos, and articles will never replace your own impressions.
If you do not delay this research, you will have plenty of time for the next stage.
Be One Step Ahead of Other Applicants
Coaches want to observe an athlete's development. It is impossible to do if they see you only once. Follow coaches from the chosen schools for a few years to let them measure your true potential. The sooner you send them the first email, the better. Contact them once you get stats from your first season. The coaches may not answer you at the beginning. There is no reason to worry about it; you have just started to build communication. Move on in the same spirit!
Let Coaches See Your Serious Intention through Writing
Emails are the simplest way to show a coach that you are not just an amateur but also a responsible, motivated, and smart person. Watch your grammar and spelling while writing to a person who can influence your future. Format your text as a business letter with a formal greeting, signature, and other typical characteristics. Pay attention to your email address. Get a neutral one if your current address looks funny or weird.
Show What You are Worth
While contacting coaches by email, attach a link to the video where they can see your abilities. The clip should be of high quality, up to 7 minutes, without annoying background music. Send a fresh video every season.
Improve Your Grades
You cannot count on getting a scholarship without meeting the minimal academic requirements. But coaches do not look for good athletes only; they also select smart students to boost their team GPA. So, the higher your grades are the better chances to win a scholarship you get.
Your characteristic from people who have been teaching and training you for several years is not less important in the recruiting process than your grades. College team coaches will want to ask your high school teachers and coaches about your athletic and academic achievements. Multiple references are a sign that you are the person who can be vouched for.
Applying to a college and asking for a scholarship are two separate processes with different deadlines. Take care of required document packages ahead. It would be silly to get no scholarship because you simply missed the deadline.
Summing up, we can say that a sports scholarship is given to hardworking, motivated, and tenacious athletes. Do your best, and may the force be with you!