Get Athletic Scholarships: 6 Tips to Stand Out from the Crowd
Getting an athletic scholarship to college can be the difference between graduating with little debt and graduating with tens of thousands in debt. However, competition for these scholarships can be intense. Fortunately, there are ways you can improve your chances of winning an athletic scholarship, and it’s easier than you might think! Read on to learn how to get athletic scholarships and start on the path toward a better financial future today!
1) Focus on Great Grades
If you’re a high school student, grades are essential for athletic scholarships. Colleges want to see that you have good grades and have challenged yourself academically. Therefore, your GPA is usually weighted more heavily than your SAT or ACT score because it indicates how you will do in college. Plus, schools want athletes who can handle their academics and stay competitive on the Field. And if your grades aren’t excellent? That doesn’t mean there’s no hope of getting an athletic scholarship; it just means you’ll need something else that makes up for it.
Your grades will become even more critical in college if you’re a younger athlete. If you don’t perform well in high school or have too many absences, your chances of getting an athletic scholarship are much lower. Schools look for promising students with great potential on their sports teams. What is the best way to do both? Focus on excellent grades! You can do everything else right and still only get an athletic scholarship if your grades are where they need to be.
2) Build a Solid Support Network
1) Join a club or team in your area of interest. Joining a club or team is one of the best ways to get involved in your community, develop leadership skills and have fun. If you need help finding an extracurricular activity that interests you, start one! Make sure it’s something you’re passionate about, and be ready for it to take up some time.
2) Become a mentor. Mentoring is rewarding and educational and will look great on your resume. If mentoring doesn’t work with your schedule, offer to volunteer at schools or local organizations where you could make an impact. You can also always donate your old clothes or books—you’ll make someone else’s day while giving yourself a break from clutter!
3) Volunteer at Your School
If you’re going for an athletic scholarship, make sure your school knows what you’re up to. As a student, you’re already on campus every day and can be in direct contact with coaches. Volunteer at your school’s athletics department, where you’ll have a chance to show your skills and build relationships. Plus, if there are any volunteer opportunities related to open sports, take advantage of those as well! Showing coaches how committed you will help them know how much they can rely on you when it comes time for recruitment.
Keep track of your volunteer work with school athletics by keeping a calendar. You don’t need special software for it. Just use a primary calendar that you can use on your phone or computer. That way, if you’re asked about what you did during your time on campus, you’ll have evidence and won’t forget anything! The more opportunities on your calendar, especially those relating to sports, the better off you will be in getting an athletic scholarship. After all, if they’re going to invest money into sending a student-athlete to their school instead of recruiting someone who isn’t associated with them in any way, they’re going to need reassurance that student-athletes are people they want representing them.
4) Become an Active Participant in Athletics
Don’t just be a spectator. Participating in sports is one of the best ways for you to get noticed. College coaches and recruiters are looking for athletes who are leaders, team players, and good examples for their programs. So the more involved you are on your team, the more likely you’ll gain recognition as an athlete schools want to know about.
Be active in school as well. For example, if you’re interested in a sports career, you’ll need a degree that demonstrates your interest and ability. That’s especially true if you want to be an NCAA school’s coach or athletic director. In addition, demonstrating leadership through extracurricular activities, such as coaching younger students or being active in student government, can show future coaches and staff that you have what it takes to succeed at their college.
5) Prove Yourself on the Field
Athletic scholarships are given on a case-by-case basis and usually require you to be a standout player. Therefore, you need to showcase your talents and prove yourself on the Field to get an athletic scholarship.
1) Get involved in your school’s sports programs. Play for a team and learn about what it takes to be successful. 2) Join as many outside sports teams as possible. Many competitive leagues will allow you to showcase your skills. 3) Work with your coach and ask them for feedback after each game or practice session so that they can help you improve your skills. 4) Practice every day to maintain physical fitness and improve any weaknesses you may have.
6) Apply Early and Often
Apply early! Most athletic scholarships are given out on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you are applying for a football scholarship and have been waiting until December, you will compete with all of the kids who used it in September. In other words, applying early gives you more time to stand out from the crowd and show coaches and recruiters that you are serious about playing college ball.
Apply often! Once you’ve applied for one or two scholarships, start researching more schools and sending applications. By doing this, you’re not limiting yourself to just one or two offers but instead increasing your chances of being offered a scholarship somewhere.
Keep Your Grades up! Make sure your grades are good enough to get into a decent college. Most schools will give athletic scholarships only if you’ve maintained an average GPA of 3.0 or higher, which means you’ll need at least a 2.7 GPA on a 4-point scale. Although not everyone can have high GPAs, work hard in school, and make sure that when you apply for a scholarship, your academic record reflects your passion for playing football or another sport at the college level.
When looking for scholarships, put yourself in your future school’s shoes. What do they want? What are their needs? Once you have identified what they need, please find a way to provide it. The more unique and valuable your scholarship is the better your chance of being selected for it. Good luck!