You are one of the best players on your team, you’ve won a few tournaments, and are highly motivated. So, you should be able to get a sports scholarship – right? The truth is that most athletes have an inflated opinion of how good they are. Their parents tend to have an even more inflated opinion!
This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Winning at a local or county level is nowhere near the collegiate level in the United States. You need to check your ego at the door and find out how good you really area before you start seeking athletic scholarships. That is where an athletic assessment comes in.
What is an Athletic Assessment?
During an athletic assessment, an expert in your sport will watch you play and maybe also watch you perform certain drills. You may also have your CV, stats, and academics reviewed. Based on this information, the assessor will tell you whether you are a good enough for a sports scholarship.
We can’t emphasize enough how important athletic assessments. In fact, it is one of the most important steps in getting a sports scholarship and should be done before you even look into schools.
Why is the athletic assessment so important? Because it tells you what level to be aiming for.
Bear in mind that 84% of sports scholarships in the USA are outside of the NCAA D1. If you aren’t the greatest player and only contact D1 coaches, you might not hear back from any of them. However, if you were to contact NAIA D2 coaches, you could find yourself with a very generous scholarship offer.
There are over 2,000 schools in the United States which give out sports scholarships, so you really don’t have time to contact every single coach! The athletic assessment will help you narrow it down so you can choose the schools where you’ve got the best chances of getting a scholarship.
Advice: Get an Athletic Assessment Early On
Getting an assessment is something you definitely want to do before starting the scholarship recruiting process, but ideally it is something that you get done early and often. The reason is because a good assessment will let you know what your strengths and weaknesses are.
For example, let’s say that you are a freshman in high school. After the assessment, you are told that you have a good distance control but poor force control. Once you have this information, you can start working on your weak areas so you are a stronger overall player by the time you start looking for scholarships. You don’t need to have an assessment done very often, but having a yearly assessment is good practice. Some student athletes like getting assessed at the start and end of the season so they can get feedback on how they progressed.
Can’t My Coach Give Me an Assessment?
Your coach cares about you, knows how talented you are, and wants the best opportunities for you. We don’t doubt this. But having your coach do your assessment is a TERRIBLE idea. Most coaches are biased in how they see you, especially since they are comparing you to their other players and not comparing you to collegiate athletes. They will also have a bias based on their coaching. All coaches have weaknesses in how they train you and their practices. If your coach is weak in one area, he or she won’t notice these weaknesses in you.
Many coaches also don’t know the details of the US collegiate sports recruiting process – like what grades you should have or which classes you need to take to be eligible. This is why it is so important to have an athletic assessment from an expert in your sport and in the American college sports system. You won’t just learn about your athletic strengths/weaknesses, but your shots of getting a sports scholarship at each level.