So you think you’d like to play your sport in college?
Use this webquest by your Junior year to help seek out your best opportunities…
Rationale: Why participate in athletics in high school. Why look to participate beyond high school?
It is a researched fact that students who engage in athletics (or other forms of extra-curricular activity) while in high school have better grades, attendance, satisfaction with school, and long term career success combined with lower rates of disciplinary action, drug/alcohol and tobacco use.
In addition, the NCAA has determined that students who continue to remain involved in athletics at the college or university level have higher graduation rates (particularly female and minority students).
Also, be prepared to have the “student” part of high school student-athlete given greater consideration by college coaches due to the NCAA’s recent academic reforms. Colleges and universities have to prove academic progress and satisfactory graduation rates among student-athletes in order to continue offering scholarships and aid in the amounts they are used to.
First: Get Organized
The first thing you need to do is click here to download and save an Webquest Organizer that you will use to keep on track through this process. Right click this Student-Athlete Organizer hyperlink and “save target” as a Word document to a safe and secure place.
Second: Make a Student-Athlete Profile
Then you’ll need to create a Student-Athlete Profile (similar to a professional resume) that you will eventually send to the coaches or recruiting coordinator for the schools you are interested in. This document briefly, but in a clear and organized fashion, describes who you are as a student, athlete, and community member. As you progress throughout your high school career you should revisit this profile to update or add to your accomplishments. Right click this Student-Athlete Profile hyperlink and “save target” as a Word document to a safe and secure place.
Third: Get to Know the NCAA
Next, if you haven’t already applied to the NCAA Clearinghouse to establish your initial eligibility for college athletics, click here to access of copy of the NCAA’s Guide for the College Bound Athlete (includes the application for the NCAA Clearinghouse in Appendix A).
After having read through the Guide for the College Bound Athlete you should print out the Clearinghouse Application in Appendix A, make an appointment to see your OHS guidance counselor, and work with him/her to complete and submit the application.
Fourth: Research Schools
You should also be considering where might be a good place for you to go: what schools compete in my sport? At what level of play? How do my skills, physical attributes, and academic performance match up with other students and athletes that are already there? Click here to access the NCAA’s Database of Teams to find out which colleges and universities offer competition in your sport. You may search by geographic sport or sport and level of play or region of the country.
Once you’ve found out what schools sponsor your sport in a part of the country or at a level you believe might be right for you (list them in your organizer) it’s time to discover if you and that school are a good fit.
You should have already listed your current GPA and best PSAT or SAT score in your organizer. Now it’s time to find out how that matches up versus the schools that your interested in and their average incoming freshman. Be sure to meet with your OHS Guidance Counselor in order to review, revise and refine your list of schools. Finding good matches for you is a complicated task which includes more than just GPA’s and SAT’s.
There are a number of resources available for your research:
The Guidance Department offers Guidance Direct to 11th and 12th grade students which offers the ability to search 3700+ colleges and universities for information on admissions and finance.
The Princeton Review’s website includes a search tool allows you enter the school name and research school information including average incoming SAT and GPA.
Or, use the internet to access each school’s homepage. The admission department is a good first place to seek this information. If the admissions department doesn’t list the information in an easy to find place try:
calling if they have a 800 number or
e-mailing an admissions officer
When you find it list it in your organizer in the appropriate place.
Finally, don’t hesitate to use your OHS Guidance Department to double or cross check your research and information for accuracy.
Now that you have found schools that are good academic match for you (be sure some have an average incoming freshman profile that is better than your current scores and GPA) your next step is some research on the roster of the sport you are interested in. Go the school’s athletic website (usually prominently linked in to school’s homepage). Not only is it standard for each team to have it’s own site within the Athletic Department’s, many also give detailed roster information or team media guides including player biographies. Many player biographies include their high school accomplishments and this information can be helpful in determining if you are the type of athlete this program typically recruits or attracts. Based on that information use the organizer to check off: possible match, possible mismatch, or inconclusive.
Fifth: Start Making Contact
By this point you should have identified schools that are interesting to you and (according to your research) may be interested in you. You should start to establish contact with the head coaches at these schools using the documents and contact information provided for your use.
A couple of helpful hints:
Try to personalize the letter of introduction as much as possible. Refer to events in their program; a recent big win, other team members from this area, etc.
Don’t be afraid to e-mail your letter of introduction. People feel more compelled to respond to e-mails.
Be prepared to be frustrated. Don’t pin too much hope on any one program and be prepared to have to make repeated attempts. If you really want it, this shouldn’t bother you.
What benefits can participation in interscholastic athletics bring you? Read the NFHS advocacy paper on the positive short and long-term effects of athletic participation in high school
Where can I find information that will help me become a better athlete: Sports Coach: a great encyclopedic website on almost any issue related to performance improvement training. Lots of training programs, calculators, etc.
ACSM Fit Society® Page newsletter is a quarterly electronic newsletter written for the general public on a variety of popular health and fitness topics. Expert commentary and features on exercise, nutrition, sports, and health offer tips and techniques for maintaining a physically fit lifestyle.
Oceanside High School Guidance Dept. Homepage contains myriad informational resources.
Suggestions/Comments? E-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org