Athletes That Have Had Babies And Come Back To.Their Sport College Athletic Scholarships – The 5 Misconceptions

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College Athletic Scholarships – The 5 Misconceptions

Families seem to be in the middle of a perfect storm as they look to send their sons and daughters off to college. The stock market wiped out a lot of savings that people thought they had; college tuition has gone up; the economy has wiped out millions of jobs; house prices collapsed and destroyed capital; and more children than ever want higher education.

Perhaps the most promising circumstances for you are that your child plays sports – even quite well. Sounds like you, doesn’t it? Otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this. So help in the form of an athletic scholarship may be on the cards. You’ll have to navigate the recruiting process and make some tough judgments about contacting college coaches, bringing in college counselors, negotiating terms (if you’re lucky enough to make it that far), and everything else in a potentially complicated process. But for those who have the means and the needs, there is simply no other way.

And there’s no doubt that an athletic scholarship can help pay for that college education. It might not be a full ride – but most of us would welcome any input. The challenge for parents, especially those new to the college recruiting process, is navigating unfamiliar terrain in a race where the stakes couldn’t be higher. Hey, it’s just your child’s education!

Jennifer Noonan of College Sports Quest has counseled high school athletes in Southern California for about 10 years and has counseled over 500 families during that time. She warns not to leave everything to the student. It is too important for an athlete not to have the full support of his family.

And as Jennifer Noonan sees it, there are five common misconceptions when it comes to college recruiting and athletic scholarships.

Myth #1: If you’re good enough, coaches will always find out about you

And all good things come to those who wait. In a perfect world, that’s exactly what would happen. Alas, our world is less than perfect. And a college scholarship is too important to leave to chance. You have to be proactive. I

Myth #2: You have plenty of time

Not nearly as much as you think. About 25% of high school athletes are identified as college scholarship prospects as freshmen. Another 35% identified as sophomores. And another 45% identify when they are juniors. Not many identify as older. So you don’t have as much time as you think. According to Noonan and College Sports Quest [http://www.collegesportsquest.com]the time to start your own recruiting efforts – in most sports – is by September 1st of your junior year (or earlier).

Myth #3: Your coach has connections and will recruit you

A coach’s first job is to train you – so you can be recruited. They are also busy – many have teaching duties in addition to their sports duties. Not to mention families and personal lives and everything else. Of course, use the help you get from the coach, even ask for it and take advantage of all the connections they have. But don’t make this your only recruiting strategy.

Myth #4: College camps and exposure tournaments mean you’ll get noticed

By the time most college coaches arrive at tournaments, they have a very short list of prospects in mind. In a camp of 500 student-athletes, a college coach may only take a serious look at 2 or 3. The lesson is that you have to do the work to get on their radar screens before the tournament. And be realistic (but optimistic) about your abilities and the college tournaments you’re aiming for.

Myth #5: Grades don’t matter

Colleges and the NCAA have high school course requirements and minimum GPA/SAT/ACT standards that you will need to meet. But meeting the minimum standard of the NCAA and your college does not mean that you will be able to continue to meet the required levels of academics. And, all things being equal between you and the other prospect, higher ratings will count.

It always helps to visit colleges that interest you. Try to time your visit so you can see your sport being played. Avoid applying to colleges for athletic scholarships that you wouldn’t otherwise consider. In other words, whatever happens with the team – you still have your degree!

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