We are often asked- what does it take to get a college scholarship? To be honest, there isn’t one fool-proof formula or answer. There are so many variables that factor into why some athletes get scholarships and others don’t. You or your friends might have seen someone less talented than you go onto play in college, and it puzzles you; I know this because it puzzled me as well.
What you need to understand is that every coach will be looking for something different; sometimes coaches on the same coaching staff will be looking for something different. It isn’t uncommon for coaches on the same team to see different qualities in a student-athlete and recruit those qualities as such. When you are being recruited, remember that and use it to your advantage!
“Onions Have Layers”
Just as employers welcome community and volunteer experiences on resumes, coaches enjoy seeing their recruits go beyond being great athletes. Coaches like student-athletes with layers; recruiting someone who is one dimensional can lead to problems down the road. This is why coaches spend so much time getting to know each student-athlete during the recruiting process; it’s why they make home visits and why recruiting doesn’t happen in 3 months, but instead over long periods of time.
Do You Have Moral Fiber?
Having a good sense of character and strong moral fiber will take you a long way in the recruiting process. This isn’t simply keeping good grades and doing what you are told, but going beyond what is expected of you to make yourself a better person and give those around you a better experience. It is the focus on the person you are or the person you want to be that can impact your recruiting efforts.
The Power of Sportsmanship
Sportsmanship is one aspect of character that can make a coach’s heart melt; It’s something every coach in the country looks for in potential student-athletes; this is something every student-athlete is constantly judged on. Sportsmanship is why we shake hands after games, and why we take a knee when there’s an injured player. In the end we are all there to have a “friendly” competition and coaches are looking for those athletes who understand the true nature of that statement.
Every so often a story comes across the news that displays an unbelievable act of sportsmanship. Heroic stories involving softball player Sara Tucholsky and most recently Ohio track state champion Meghan Vogel are the basis of why we play sports. Both stories although very different gave a very positive message- Sportsmanship matters over everything else and people are always watching.
The most difficult part of the recruiting process is understanding that you must always be “on” because someone’s always watching. You truly never know who is in the stands at your game, on the street or at the park in your neighborhood or at the mall in your town, but they are there. They are watching you make good or bad decisions and forming opinions based on your actions. How do you want to be perceived today?