Archive for the ‘Influence of Athletics’ Category

Why Lower Divisions Levels Are a Good Fit

Fact: less than 1% of high school athletes move on to play at the Division I level in college.

So, what does that mean for you? It means, keep your options open! Don’t count out the lower level programs because those are where your best chances are to be recruited. Especially if you’re looking for scholarship money, you need to be realistic and reach out to programs that are good athletic fits for you. Just think, the more programs you reach out to, the more offers you’ll receive and the more scholarship money could be offered to you.

 

Fact: 450 colleges and universities compete at the DIII level, making it the largest of the three NCAA Division levels. (DI 350 and DII 290)

 

Fact: Some high level DIII schools are more competitive than lower level DI programs.

Now, this is only true for baseball and the smaller sports such as swimming. These athletes especially should not be limiting their options to only DI because there are a limited number of college programs in the U.S. who offer their sport. DII, DIII and NAIA schools are great options for finding an athletic and academic fit, as well as receiving offers and scholarship money to play at the collegiate level.

For example, in swimming, top DIII schools often have better and faster swimming programs than some DI and DII college swim teams. DIII can also give out substantial academic scholarships, so don’t count anyone out of the race just yet!

In sports like ice hockey, many opportunities for college athletics are at the club level. Club hockey is also a good alternative for players who are looking for that perfect academic and athletic fit.

 

Fact: Many NAIA programs are highly competitive with NCAA teams and are academically excellent. They can be less-restrictive and generally less expensive than NCAA colleges as well.

 

Fact: Most student-athletes go “Pro” in something other than athletics.

Smaller colleges and universities often prove to be right fit for athletes academically and athletically. Remember, most athletes will “go pro” in something other than athletics, so getting a good education will set you up for the next forty years of your life. Smaller schools often demand a higher level of academic excellence from their athletes and provide more educational assistance and emphasis in order to ensure the future success of their athletes.

If academics are holding you back from pursuing your dreams of playing college athletics, remember that you still have some options. Try attending a Junior College or a Prep school in order to improve your academic standings. These colleges also provide an opportunity to improve your athletic skills as well, so use this opportunity to focus hard and get better athletically and academically before transferring to a NCAA or NAIA school.

 

Do you need more help in the recruiting process?

Call 866-577-6272 or get started at http://bit.ly/GetRecruitedNow

Learn more at http://www.ncsasports.org/

 

Negative Impressions Could Cost Your Recruitment

By: Natalie Pedersen

Student-athletes don’t realize that athletic ability alone is not enough to get recruited, and this applies to ALL colleges. Yes, athletic ability is important, as well as strong academic scores, but there is one more key element that is important and should not be overlooked: making a good impression on a coach. Not just a good first impression, but a lasting impression that continues each time you not only talk to a coach, but anytime a coach hears or sees your name. What do I mean by that? Read on, my friends.

First, let’s start with the less obvious ways to make a good impression on a coach, or rather, how to avoid portraying a negative image to a coach. All of your social media pages are public and can be viewed by coaches at any time. This means you should not have any pictures or posts portraying yourself in a negative manner. “Sure, they understand that you are just a teenager,” says one former Division I Recruiting Assistant. “But, anything vastly inappropriate can greatly diminish the chances of a certain coach recruiting you.”

Another former Division I coach says “everything an athlete does is under a microscope,” meaning you never know where or how a coach will evaluate your character and determine if you are a fit for their team. “No one wants a bad apple dragging others down with them.”

You can also make a good impression on a coach through your letters and emails. Show the college coach that you are smart and a good student by having good grammar and writing skills. Remember, you are not sending a text to your best friend, so use complete sentences and pretend you are writing a thesis paper for your favorite teacher that accounts for 100% of your grade.

Next, take a minute to think about any phone conversations that you’ve had with college coaches. Did you present yourself in a professional manner? If you haven’t talked to any coaches on the phone yet, then think about how you can make a good impression every time you do. First, be prepared when you call coaches by knowing what questions you’re going to ask. Don’t call from a cell phone unless you know you’re going to have a good reception, and make sure there isn’t any background noise that could interfere with your conversation. You don’t have many opportunities to talk to coaches, so take advantage when you get them!

You should also be prepared to receive calls from coaches. Make sure you know the NCAA rules about making and receiving calls and know when the date comes that college coaches can start calling you! Have a list of questions you want to ask near the phone at all times. If for some reason you can’t talk at the time the coach calls, schedule a specific time that you can call the coach back. And, if you miss a phone call from a coach, make sure you have a professional and appropriate voice mail message. This is a key element that many student-athletes miss and one that could hurt your image if your voice mail is inappropriate in any way.

Now, what about talking to coaches in person? Whether you meet a coach at a camp, on an unofficial or official visit, or in your own home, you should always look presentable and act respectful. Shake the coach’s hand, use “Sir” or “Ma’am” when addressing them, and don’t swear. If you’re attending a college camp, make sure you come prepared with your own equipment because this is something coaches will notice.

As one former DI college coach puts it, just being respectful is still not enough. “Those who ask the coach questions will make a more lasting impression. Keep in mind that coaches are having the same conversation over and over with hundreds of prospects, so a little back-and-forth [sport] talk with a student-athlete who looks you in the eye and knows what he’s talking about will truly help that coach remember who you are in the future.”
In one article from the South Bend Tribune, Head Football Coach Pat Fitzgerald from Northwestern University talked about the professionalism of his coaching staff which can also be applied to recruits.

He said “At one of our first staff meetings, [Athletic Director Jim Phillips] said, ‘The “N” never comes off. That’s the guiding principle. In other words, NU coaches represent the school seven days a week, 365 days a year. If you don’t operate that way, you’re making a huge mistake.”
So, think about how you can impress coaches and put your best foot forward at all times. Prove to each college coach that you will be a good representation of their college and will wear their colors with pride.

My Athletes Wanted Story

Unlike most employees at NCSA, I never played a sport in college. Despite not playing collegiately, athletics have played an enormous role in my life and helped me play a role in many other lives. Athletics helped me forge many dear friendships, learn how to interact with others and continues to shape my life on a daily basis. However, the single greatest gift athletics gave me was the will power and determination to participate in a charity bicycle event traveling across the United States to benefit people with disabilities.

Biking over 3,900 miles from San Francisco to the Capital steps in Washington D.C. would not have been possible without the lessons I learned earlier in life through sport. The willpower to climb mountains and endure hours on the bike were actually developed playing sports years earlier.

Most importantly the trip allowed me to help hundreds of people with disabilities all summer long. Working daily to help others allowed me the chance to really understand who I was as a person. I will be eternally grateful for the lessons I learned that summer and none of them would have been possible without sport.