Athletes have twice the amount of research to consider when they prepare for college. The hardest decisions to make when planning for college is finding the right college fit.
Many people can offer advice to help you make the decision, but ultimately you need to do what you can to learn everything about each college so you can make the best decision.
College: It’s not all about sports
Sure you are a student-athlete and finding a college to play for may seem like that is all that matters in your recruitment, but in reality you need to think about your major and academics just as much. Plus, knowing your major and having plans for life after college will help in your recruitment too. College coaches love to recruit players with long term goals; it proves you are a serious competitor.
Look at how your friends are searching for colleges and DO MORE
You see how much stress your non-athletic friends go through in choosing their college, so you better believe you will need to work twice as hard to find the right school. Not only will you need to think about test scores and GPA, but you need to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center, (The NCAA Clearinghouse has been re-named), and make contact with college coaches to see if you have what they are looking for in a recruit.
Being a college athlete means you are a student first and an athlete second
Once you reach your dream of playing college sports you must be prepared to stay there. Athletes are required to keep up their grades in order to keep competing. Athletes who fall behind academically are left behind on the court. Athlete failing to meet the academic requirements for continued eligibility will be unable to compete and are at a greater risk of losing their scholarship.
This is why picking the right college matters
Ask about the type of resources colleges have to assist athletes. Find out who you should meet with to discuss your academic schedule and where you need to go if you need extra help with a course. Don’t just focus on team questions; sure it’s important to know what’s expected of you on the field, but knowing how the athletics department will be supportive of you as a student-athlete will help you understand what you need most in a college to be successful.