If you are a student who plays sports in high school, you may want to consider playing in college too. Talking with a high school coach, friends, family members, college athletes and college coaches can all help you decide if college sports may be right for you.
If you want to consider college athletics, you should add a “sports visit” when you visit and tour a particular college. You can meet with current athletes at the school and coaches. You should carefully think about the kind of information you are going to need to eventually make a decision. Here are some questions you may ask particular people to help guide you to a decision.
What to Ask the Coach/Recruiter:
- How do players qualify for the team?
- What are the expected time commitments (practice, weights, films, study table, etc.)?
- Can I participate in more than one sport?
- What position or role do you see me playing on the team?
- Is there an athletic trainer, team doctor and/or team medical insurance?
What to Ask the Admissions Counselor:
- Does the school have the academic curriculum I want?
- Can I meet the admission standards and academic requirements?
- Do professors allow tutoring and make-up tests when the team has schedule conflicts?
- What is the overall attitude of the student body towards athletics?
- How many credits/ GPA will be required to maintain to remain eligible?
- What are the different graduation rates for athletes in my sport?
What to Ask of the Players at the School:
- What does your typical schedule look like? In-season? Off-season?
- Approximately how many hours a night do you study, or you have to go to study hall?
- How do the teachers, professors, and students treat you in class?
- How are the living arrangements? Can we live off campus? Fraternity/Sorority?
- Do you have access to an academic advisor and tutor? Is he/she any good?
- Do the coaches care about your academic progress?
What to ask about Finances:
- If a scholarship is offered, what exactly is included? How much will I have to pay?
- Is the scholarship renewable each year?
- If I am injured and cannot play, will I still have my scholarship?
- If my grades drop or I choose not to play, will I lose my scholarship?
After the Visit
You will want to ask yourself several important questions after you have visited your schools in order to ultimately decide on the right school. These questions will provide a good start. Take the time to think about your answers, and be sure to talk to your parents, counselor and coach about answers that might be difficult for you. Remember, you want the right academic and athletic experience, so each question is important.
- Would I attend this school if I had no intention of competing in my sport?
- Do the coaches and players seem to genuinely care about each other?
- Will I be academically successful at this school? Athletically? How do I measure up?
- Were the coaches interested in academics? Did they question my educational and career interests? Were they knowledgeable about my intended program of study? If not, did they introduce me to someone who was able to answer my question?
- How will I feel if one or more of the coaches leaves? Will I still be happy with the school?
- Does the school satisfy all the requirements that I identified earlier with my parents, coach and counselor?