Many student-athletes choose to walk-on to college programs initially, which gives them an opportunity to play at the college level and perhaps earn a scholarship later on in their career.
We understand how fast high school happens, and how most student-athletes are not always fully prepared to meet the demands necessary for them to get recruited. High school recruits and transfer students need to make the most of recruiting opportunities early, so they aren’t the ones caught waiting until the last minute trying to find potential colleges to play for.
When should you make being a walk-on athlete a priority?
If you are currently in high school or are a graduate not currently playing at the collegiate level and have not had a chance to talk with or reach out to college coaches at the beginning of your process than your last option will most likely be walking-on to a team.
As a recruit, it is your job to begin reaching out to coaches and letting them know who you are and why you want to be a part of their team. Even if you think you have no time left and NLI’s (National letters of Intent) have already been signed, you will only be hurting your chances by not getting your information out to coaches. If college coaches do not know who you are than chances of you getting to walk-on will become slimmer.
What are your chances of making the team?
If you are planning on walking-on to a top Division I or II team, but have never gotten a response back from a Division I or II coach; chances are you will not be a top choice to fill an open team spot. Even if you have gained acceptance to the university, you will still need to be good enough to make the cut. Coaches need to see your skill level early, along with your attributes, and what you will bring to the team. If you are in contact with coaches early, they will be more inclined to ask you to try-out for the team than they would if a player who has not already applied to the college filled out a recruiting questionnaire and wasn’t updating the coaching staff about athletic and academic progress.
What is the point of walking on if you will not be able to have financial assistance for playing?
This is a tough question, only you will be able to answer. If you want to play at the college level you will see there are many factors which go into the process and need to be accounted for before deciding if college is the right decision for you. Financial aid is one of those areas. If you are able to support yourself through loans, scholarships and grants you will be better off because you have a plan. Athletic scholarships which cover all costs are hard to come by, especially for recruits who do not jump on their recruitment process early. Don’t wait for athletic scholarships; you need to have more to fall back on.
Walking-on is more than just showing up for try-outs you need to know when they are and what will be expected of you. Begin building relationships with coaches as soon as possible so you are up to date on team happenings.
If you have more questions about finding a spot on a college team than leave a comment below or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!