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How Do I get an Athletic Scholarship?

Many college athletic recruiters will recommend individuals to receive an athletic scholarship.
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  • Written By: Amy Hunter
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 28 September 2014
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Being awarded an athletic scholarship may seem out of reach, but one in fifty students receives such an award. If you have athletic ability, good grades and determination, winning an athletic scholarship is very possible. Probably the biggest mistake students make when seeking an athletic scholarship is in being too passive.

Many students feel that if they are good enough to get a college scholarship, they will automatically be on the radar screen of college coaches everywhere. This just isn’t true. College coaches have many responsibilities, and while they have a great deal of help with recruiting, you can’t count on chance if you want a college scholarship.

Another reason not to wait and hope that college coaches notice you is that they are required to abide by certain rules. College coaches cannot begin recruiting until the end of your junior year. If you wait until then to see if coaches are interested, you will be behind the game. Once the summer between your junior and senior years arrives, everything moves quickly and competition is stiff. To make sure you are on the coach’s radar screen, attend camps hosted by the coaches you want to play for and send the athletic office a DVD of your performance along with your statistics.

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Before player’s high school junior year, college coaches can send a brief questionnaire to players they are interested in. During the year they are permitted to send a recruiting brochure. Active recruiting typically begins on 1 July of the summer between a player's junior and senior year.

The majority of athletic scholarships are handed out in the fall of the high school senior year, during a time known as the early signing period. When you consider this, the period of time to prove yourself to college coaches is only a few short months. To make the most of this time, it is important to have every aspect of your academic career under control.

Take the time to talk with your high school counselor when signing up for classes. Let them know your goals for winning an athletic scholarship. It is important to take classes that you do well in, but not at the expense of taking classes that will not prepare you for college.

While some high-profile high school players are able to win athletic scholarships with poor grades, and come to the school unable to compete, this is the exception rather than the rule. Coaches do not want to hand out scholarships to players who are not going to be academically eligible. You can make yourself more attractive to college coaches by having good grades every semester. They need to know that you can keep your grades up while attending practice and during the off season, when there is more temptation to slack off.

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