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How to Discuss Athletic Scholarships With Coaches

discussing scholarships with coachesHigh school athletes in the recruiting process understand all the work that goes into it. Not only are you working hard to perform your best on the field and in school, but you also need to stay organized as you search for the college program that is right for you. Between emails, letters, and phone calls, it’s very easy to lose track of your progress when trying to get recruited.

High school athletes who are looking to get recruited will compile a sports resume and a highlight video to send to college coaches. These items are crucial in your introduction to college coaches because they won’t respond to you without them. College coaches are busy and need your information put right in front of them if they are ever going to garner interest in you.

After you get in contact with college coaches, you will start a series of conversations with them if they are interested in you. These contacts are all about getting to know you and watching your progress on your high school or club team. Developing a relationship with a college coach is something that happens slowly and over a long period of time. It is important to take the time to become familiar with each other and make sure that this school is the right fit for you.

As the conversations continue and you know for sure that the coach is interested in pursuing you as a potential student-athlete, you will start to get curious about where you stand against other recruits. If you are looking for an athletic scholarship, it may be time to start asking the college coach these questions. The timing of these questions can be crucial, so make sure not to ask them too early in the process; coaches will be turned off by athletes who are just looking for money and not truly dedicated to contributing to the team.

When you feel ready to discuss scholarships with college coaches, here are some tips to help you negotiate a better scholarship opportunity:

  1. Be realistic: Earning a full ride scholarship is rare and only saved for the top-tier athletes. You need to understand and realize that an opportunity for any scholarship at all is great and not to snuff at coaches who don’t offer you more than you think you deserve. Make sure to have a discussion with your family about what you can afford to pay for college, and be honest to the coach about it.
  2. Watch your commitments: Make sure to take the time to talk to college coaches about scholarships before you make any verbal commitments. Be honest to the coaches about who else you are talking to but you don’t have to share what the other schools may be offering. You don’t want to rush into a verbal commitment that you back out of because the coaching community is well connected and your value as a potential student athlete may crumble.
  3. Don’t wait too long: As you start getting scholarship offers, you will want to take time to make the right decision. It’s about more than just the money; you want to consider the school, coach, and many other things that will affect your experience. But if you take too long in making your decision, coaches will move on to the next athlete of their choice. Never assume that the coach will wait to hear from you because their goal is to get their roster set. If they have another athlete who is ready to commit, chances are they will offer the scholarship to them.

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