Question: If you are a coach with equally talented prospects who play the same position, with only one scholarship who gets it? the one with 3.5 GPA or the one with a 3.0 GPA
In college recruiting, it is clear the light shines brightest on the word, “ATHLETE”; it’s what is touted, embraced, and even revered in many places, by many people. Heck, check out social media and see how much traction the word “Student” garners. Not even close. Oh, please, don’t misunderstand, after 25 years helping families across the country, we do get it: ALL Athletes are Students in high school and in college, but obviously, not all Students are Athletes. Just look at ESPN, ESPNU (add your favorite suffix after the “N”) and any other countless cable, streaming and podcast deliveries that support this. (Be careful, those athletes are the upper 1% in the country!) But many student-athletes and parents, sadly, ignore or don’t seem to have correct information on the importance of being a good, or better, student and the enormous impact it CAN HAVE ON YOUR BECOMING A COLLEGE STUDENT-ATHLETE AT ALL!
Our book, Play ON!, was written with years of valuable national experience WITH the input of many college coaches, and believe me, academics IS important to them!
KEY ACADEMIC POINTS TO REMEMBER
(From pages 21 and 22 in Play ON! The Insiders’ Step-by-Step Guide . . .)
· Good grades in high school are the best predictor of getting good grades in college, and college coaches want to avoid recruiting athletes who end up being ineligible to play because of poor grades!
· Good grades in high school are a good indicator that a student-athlete has developed the time management skills that will be essential in college, where both the academic and athletic workloads are more challenging than in high school.
· Good grades in high school indicate to the college coach that the student-athlete works hard and applies him or herself. Do not underestimate this factor: the perception of a student-athlete being “lazy” or “not engaged’ will kill your college opportunities with many, if not most college coaches!
· College coaches want their recruits to succeed in high school and college and graduate, which is extremely high on their must-have ratings list! Excellent grades and SAT/ACT scores will likely qualify the prospect for academic monies, which frees up athletic funds for other recruited student-athletes who may not enjoy as much success academically. By the way, college coaches LOVE this scenario! Good grades are an indicator of having smarts, and coaches want smart players in their programs!
· The importance of getting good grades starts early in high school. Too many talented high school athletes neglect their grades during their freshman and sophomore years and attempt to catch up in their junior and senior years. Unfortunately, it’s often too much ground lost early to make up. Most college coaches are confident they can develop a talented high school athlete into a good college player, but they are keenly aware they have little control off the field and cannot force an athlete to hit the books and study. The high school athlete who is self-motivated will move up the recruiting ladder.
· Recruiting is a very intensive process and coaches have a limited amount of time and resources. The bottom line: coaches will only recruit student-athletes they feel confident will be able to make a successful academic transition from high school to college.
Enhance your recruiting resume . . . GET THE GRADES!
There will be some exceptions, depending on admission standards of each college, NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA levels, and what your educational endeavors entail. Suffice it to say, follow the playbook, and work as hard at your grades as we know you do in your sport!