One may be a good sportsperson with great potential or one may just be happy to play for the love of it. Colleges offer great opportunities to continue and hone one’s sporting abilities. However while choosing a college one should bear in mind that college is more important than the sport.
Choosing the College:
While choosing college athletic options it is better to make a critical assessment of your athletic abilities.
How this should be done?
Discuss with your coach what NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) division may be best suited to your abilities and interest. You may also participate in college showcase which rates student abilities according to the requirements of different divisions. NCAA has three divisions.
Division 1: It is the most competitive with highest profile offering athletic scholarships;
Division 2: It is the next level with an above average competition with lower profile and scholarship opportunities;
Division 3: Consists of smaller colleges where athletes are students first and athletes second and has no athletic scholarships but does have financial aid academic scholarships.
If you are Division 1 material you will, in all probability, know it. Sports in Division 1 are serious business with extensive and nation-wide recruitment effort.If you are not Division 1 material it is better to consider Division 2 or 3 scholarships. To assess your strength at Division 2 you should to their coaches your information, statistics and videotapes of your games/playing indicating clearly which player in the videotape you are.If the coaches there are enthusiastic about your skills and willing to offer scholarship it is better to send your information and videotapes to a few Division 1 colleges as well to explore all options.
At Division 3 schools although no athletic scholarships are available they still have financial aid and other scholarships available to students including athletes.
It is important to bear in mind whether you have the necessary commitment for Division 1 even if you have the sporting ability since sports there are serious business.There are advantages and disadvantages at each level. While Division 1 offers best chance to make it to pro ranks you should make a careful assessment whether you want it before deciding.
If you want to make it to Division 1 or 2 you should know all the requirements of NCAA and fulfill them as you complete high school. NCAA requires the athletes to complete a core curriculum with a minimum grade point average and a minimum SAT or ACT score. Student athletes who want to join Division 1 or 2 college programs should send their High school transcripts to NCAA Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse as early as possible preferably in junior year so that you have the time to schedule any course you may need to fulfill eligibility requirements