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These are all legitimate questions. This guide will help provide these and many other answers. For any student-athlete thinking of going to college and participating in sports, there is a specific process involved. This book will guide you through that process in distinct stages.
The first is deciding which schools make the best match for you. This is best done without considering athletics as a factor. For many reasons, you should first choose colleges you would like to attend on a non-athletic basis. Only after you have reached a target list of schools, should you then narrow down further using athletics as a factor. The first section of this book will give you the criteria to make an intelligent decision on which of the thousands of colleges would be most suitable for you.
The second step is to determine which of these colleges meets your athletic skills and goals. This section will explain the differences in college athletic divisions and give you a clear cut way to determine what school is best for your talent level. Further, I will cover the type of situation that is best for incoming freshman. Many athletes have gotten into the wrong athletic situation because of a lack of understanding of the recruiting process. This will give you the opportunity to learn from those who have made mistakes before you.
After narrowing down the list of target schools, step three will show you why it is hard to get coaches to notice you. Many times athletes think that because a coach did not contact them, they are not good enough to play at that school. I will explain why nothing could be further from the truth. I will then cover the recruiting process from the coaches point of view to show how difficult it is from their side and how this affects you.
Step four teaches you how to overcome the problems of the recruiting process and take matters into your own hands. Simply put, this section will teach you a specific set of methods you can use to get exposure to college coaches. It is impossible to say whether or not the coach will want you to play for their program, but at least you will be evaluated.
The next section discuses the various academic eligibility and recruiting rules one needs to meet in order to participate in college athletics. An overview of these rules and the function of the NCAA Clearinghouse will be covered.
In the sixth chapter, I will provide you with a list of questions to ask both players and coaches at schools you are considering. Most student-athletes fail to ask questions and find out upon arrival at the school that the real situation is completely different the one they had imagined.
The next section will discuss how to maximize your chances of getting accepted into the schools you desire. If you have the perfect school and athletic situation, but don't get accepted, nothing else matters. No one can promise to get you into a school, but there are some clear cut ways to maximize your chances. That will be the focus of the seventh chapter.
In the eighth section, you will learn how to maximize your scholarship potential. Once a coach has shown interest, there are a specific set of questions you can ask that will help you determine if any scholarship money is available to you. Many qualified athletes never get any athletic money because they don't ask for it. If you want more money on a job, ask for a raise. You may not get it, but it is better than waiting for someone to reward you when they are ready. By reading this section, you will learn all about the athletic scholarship process.
Finally, the last section will discuss how to make the final choice of schools. After narrowing down schools based on non-athletic and athletic factors, maximizing exposure to coaches, becoming eligible, giving yourself the best chance to be accepted, and maximizing your scholarship potential, you will be left with one more decision. Which one of the several schools you are considering do you choose? How do you come to this conclusion? This section will give you a guide to this process.
It is now time to begin this process, but before you do keep your end goal in mind. College should be the best four years of your life. You will spend four years of your life learning, making friends, becoming responsible, and having fun. If you are one of the lucky few who play college athletics, this should add to your experience. If you received a scholarship, congratulations, I am sure your parents are happy. But always remember, whatever happens to you in college and in life, never stop striving to be your best. The Japanese have a word for this; Kaizen. It means constant improvement in small increments. Keep working hard to achieve your goals and live life to the fullest. If you do so, more often than not you will have a wonderful life, full of great experiences and memories. I wish you luck!