What parent (or child) doesn’t dream of that photograph on “Signing Day” when that big athletic scholarship for their child is real? After all those practices and games in the freezing cold and the blaring heat, after all that carpooling, snack assignments and the cheering, as well as the consolation; you’re sure your kid deserves a scholarship, right? Well we can all dream, but reality tells us a different story.
According to http://www.ncaa.org, there are a few million high school athletes, more than 460,000 NCAA studentathletes, and fewer than two percent of them will go pro in their sports. The probability of competing beyond high school is daunting. A chart on the site demonstrates just how challenging it is for high school athletes to become members of the NCAA and shows the percentage who then move on to professional sports. We’ll take a more in-depth look at these statistics later in this article.
Here’s what you need to know if you are interested in playing a sport in college. Your first order of business is to spend some time doing your homework on the following websites:
www.ncaa.org – The official web site of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Read the NCAA guide for prospective collegiate athletes.
www.naia.org – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, another governing body of college sports.
www.ncaaeligibilitycenter.org – the place where student athletes need to go to register and begin the recruitment process. The site helps students and families determine academic eligibility and amateur athlete eligibility status. Prospective student-athletes must register with the “Eligibility Center” to be considered for scholarships and financial aid.
- Think about the concept of “fit” – make sure the school is a solid academic fit for you as well as a sports/social fit. You want to make sure you will be able to graduate in four years with a solid major and a strong transcript.
- Talk with your coach to help determine at what level you may be able to play (DI,DII,DIII).
- Be responsible for the process and don’t forget to return questionnaires, send film if requested, take standardized tests, send transcripts when asked.
- Visit as many colleges as possible (unofficial). Spend some serious quality time with the coaches and other players and ask how they are treated, how well they’re doing in classes and what their life at college is like.
- Be honest throughout the process and follow the rules diligently. Be straight with the coaches recruiting you and expect coaches to be honest with you.
Here is the back-up research on the percentage of high school players who continue in their sport in college and beyond.
Football • About 6.5 percent, or approximately one in 16, of all high school senior boys playing interscholastic football will go on to play football at a NCAA member institution. • Less than two in 100, or 1.6 percent, of NCAA senior football players will get drafted by a National Football League (NFL) team. • Eight in 10,000, or approximately 0.08 percent of high school senior boys playing interscholastic football will eventually be drafted by an NFL team.
Men’s Basketball • Approximately one in 30, or approximately 3.3 percent, of high school senior boys playing interscholastic basketball will go on to play men’s basketball at a NCAA member institution. • About one in 75, or approximately 1.2 percent, of NCAA male senior basketball players will get drafted by a National Basketball Association (NBA) team. • Three in 10,000, or approximately 0.03 percent of high school senior boys playing interscholastic basketball will eventually be drafted by an NBA team.
Women’s Basketball • More than three in 100, or 3.7 percent, of high school senior girls interscholastic basketball players will go on to play women’s basketball at a NCAA member institution. • Less than one in 100, or approximately 0.9 percent, of NCAA female senior basketball players will get drafted by a Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) team. • One in 4,000, or approximately 0.03 percent of high school senior girls playing interscholastic basketball will eventually be drafted by a WNBA team.
Men’s Soccer • Less than three in 50, or about 5.7 percent, of high school senior boys interscholastic soccer players will go on to play men’s soccer at a NCAA member institution. • Approximately 20 in 1,000, or about 1.9 percent, of NCAA senior male soccer players will be drafted by a Major League Soccer (MLS) team. • More than two in 2,000 or approximately 0.09 percent of high school senior boys playing interscholastic soccer will eventually be drafted by an MLS team.
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