TrackI had a great conversation one night with a man who has dedicated his life to helping student-athletes land at the right school… with the right scholarship.  We agreed on a number of points:

1.  Unless you’re a Blue Chip athlete, you will likely not be “found” by college coaches.  You need to take your scholarship efforts into your own hands as a family and get out there to be seen by college coaches.  Not only that, but you must do the right things.  A shotgun approach to this will not work.  You’ll be disappointed.  You need to have a game plan, just like you do when you’re competing as an athlete.

2.  The student-athlete must put effort into the process.  Yes, parents play a key role, but the athlete has to carry his or her load.  College coaches want to talk to the athlete, not the parents.  The coach wants to hear the athlete’s passion, dreams and desires.  The coach wants to know that the athlete really wants to compete at that institution.

3.  Most high school athletes are not D-1 caliber, and many of the best opportunities are at the D-2 and D-3 levels.  While D-3 schools cannot offer athletic scholarships, they do offer aid and can fully fund your education.  D-3 schools are some of the best academic institutions in America.  Do not overlook the opportunity to compete at that level.

4.  Don’t let someone else run your scholarship campaign.  Sure, you can get help to make the right decisions and receive guidance.  But, ultimately, this is your responsibility.  When you turn it all over to a consultant or service, you’re losing the connection with coaches.  You’re not owning the relationships, and that’s important.  Coaches don’t want to waste their time with student-athletes who are not really interested in their program.

It was affirming to hear that we agreed on these main points.  He has been in athletics as a player, Dad, coach and someone who works full time helping families.  He is in the middle of athletic scholarships and recruiting.

So let me give you one big piece of advice:  Own your recruiting and scholarship campaign.  Develop a plan and pursue it.  And get help along the way.

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