Athletic scholarships are extremely difficult to come by. You have to compete against students from across the nation. Some scholarships, such as baseball and golf scholarships, will only cover a certain amount of your tuition fees. However, this does not mean you cannot be one of the lucky ones who happen to claim a full scholarship. The problem is you have to start by assessing whether you are good enough.
We are going to look at athletic scholarships and how you should go about determining if you are good enough.
Let’s say someone wants to look into golf scholarships in America. They have won a few tournaments and they have reasonably good scores. They automatically think they are capable of earning one of the lucrative American golf scholarships on offer.
This is the biggest mistake you can make. Everyone has an inflated opinion of how good they are. Winning at a local or a county level is nowhere near the collegiate level. You need to check your ego at the door and compare yourself to the best before deciding if you have a good enough chance of winning a scholarship.
Look at the players at the collegiate level. Go to a game and observe them. Are you capable of playing at that level? If not, an athletic scholarship is not for you.
The Future Not the Present
Applicants focus on what they are doing in the present day. Coaches, on the other hand, focus on what a student could be in the future. Nobody cares how good you are as a fresh-faced 17-year-old. What they care about is how good you are going to be as a hulking 21-year-old. This is why coaches like to see evidence of progress, rather than just flash in the pan statistics.
You need to get yourself into the mind-set of progression. It will help you tailor your application accordingly.
The difference between a high school athlete and a college athlete is huge. Someone in high school can get away with being good simply because they are physically superior or they’re athletically gifted. They do not really have to worry about nutrition or being a leader. They can get by simply by fitting in with the average. Switch over to college and this is not going to work because everyone is like this.
Coaches look for how a student is going to cope under the intense pressure of playing at the collegiate level. They want to know that the student has the mental strength to push on through adversity. These are some of the best coaches in the world and they can make up for any physical or programming deficiencies. What they cannot do is make someone mentally strong.
Arguably, this is the most important part of the application. You need to figure out a way of showing that you are prepared. In other words, you need to dedicate your life to the sport. You have to think about nutrition, performance, and the little things that make up your sport.
Ultimately, that is the only way you are going to stand out from your peers.