The main question that young women have for college athletes is,
“How did you get a full-ride scholarship?”
The easy answer is get good grades and work really hard. Unfortunately, that is a vague answer and it does not help young women prepare the way that is necessary to receive the great reward of a full-ride scholarship. A full-ride scholarship is a reward given to athletes that pays full tuition, room and board, textbooks, athletic gear and meals. As awesome as a full-ride scholarship sounds it is not easily earned. Here are some tips for how to receive one:
- Grades: Student-athlete NOT athlete-student! A school cannot play an athlete that has not done the proper work in the classroom due to NCAA rules. Many athletes do not make it into college because they do not have the acceptable GPA and SAT or ACT scores after high school. A coach will sometimes overlook an athlete with low grades because when season comes around they need eligible players. IF your grades are too low you CANNOT play.
- Goals: Short-term and long-term goals are important for success. Create SMART goals: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-bound. Write goals and put them where you can see them everyday because when you see them you will not forget the goal and you are more likely to work towards it if you see it often.
- Attitude: This is one of the first things a coach looks at when they are recruiting. A positive attitude keeps a coach interested long enough to continue to watch to see if you have talent. A positive attitude is high fiving teammates during a sub, grabbing the rolling ball for a referee, helping the opponent up, and receiving criticism well. If a coach sees negative attitude they tend to stay away from that athlete.
- Exposure: It is difficult to get noticed by a school without that school seeing you play. In today’s world there are many athletic teams out there but as a parent it is crucial that you find a team that plays in front of college coaches. You can be a good player but a coach must see you play for them to offer you a scholarship.
- Ability: At the end of the day this is the most important aspect for receiving a full-ride scholarship. You HAVE to be able to play! Practice is very important. Not just practice but perfect practice. To make yourself marketable to a school you MUST be great at something specific to your sport: soccer- defense, basketball- passing, volleyball- hitting, softball- pitching, etc. Be the best you can possibly be!
These tips have been used by many athletes that you see playing in college now and if you desire to play in college start now. It is never to late to improve if you set your goals and work hard everyday to obtain them. It is not easy but it is worth it.
“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.'”
– Muhammad Ali