Athletic Scholarships For Female Athletes – How to Market Yourself to a College Coach
Female athletes, I would like to give you some tips on ways to increase your chances of being recruited and receiving an athletic scholarship to play at the college level. There are many American colleges and universities that offer athletic scholarships or financial assistance to gifted student-athletes. If you are serious about playing college sports, you have to take the necessary steps to increase your knowledge of the recruiting process and increase your exposure to college coaches. I have been through this process myself and was fortunate to be offered a full volleyball scholarship at a Division I level institution. I can tell you that I did not do everything right in the recruiting process and understand that there is not a perfect recruiting scenario, all athletes are recruited differently. However, your success depends on your actions and on a coaches recruiting preferences. Just do your best and make every effort possible to get exposure and you will be contacted by some colleges and universities.
Below are 9 steps you can take to help your chances of getting recruited:
1. Always work hard to improve your grades and test scores. You have to be academically eligible no matter how good of an athlete you are. Take college prep courses in high school if possible and keep your GPA high. A high score on the SAT or ACT is very attractive to a college coach. Most college coaches want good students first that can make the grade at their institution.
2. Sit down with your high school coach, counselor or club coach in your sophomore or junior year and get an honest evaluation of your potential to play in college. Do you have the skills, grades or athletic attributes to play NCAA Division I, II or III or at an NAIA institution. Division III schools are the only institutions that do not offer athletic scholarships. Sometimes this is hard to determine, but just be as realistic as possible about your potential and then market yourself to the appropriate school.
3. It is critical that you play your sport in the off-season. Try out for a junior Olympic (J.O.) team. Most coaches recruit out of the J.O. programs and many of these J.O. programs are taking a more active role in the recruiting process for their players. Attend college summer camps; here you will get in front of college coaches.
4. Create a quality video (DVD) of yourself to send to college coaches. Include footage of a game or competition. You may also want to include footage of a practice where you are going through drills that cover all the skills of your sport.
5. Create a resume with your coach or counselor to be included in your marketing materials that you send to a coach. Get detailed here; list all sports played, academic and athletic accomplishments, camps attended, conditioning and strength training history, community service, contact info. etc. You will want to send, fax or e-mail an introductory letter, resume and video (DVD) to the top 10 or 20 schools that are of interest to you and have your intended field of study.
6. Follow-up within a week with a phone call to all the coaches that have received your marketing materials. Have your coach or counselor also make calls to the coaches.
7. If you are uncomfortable with trying to produce a quality video of yourself, consider signing on with a recruiting service. These services can do it all for you and guide you through the whole recruiting and financial aid processes. Most will create a video and a detailed profile, send the profiles to college coaches and keep you listed in a database for college coaches to view. This is a great way to go if you have the financial means to afford the service.
8. Try to stay injury free by preparing properly for your sport. Get in great shape prior to your season or J.O. program, train smart and hard, eat right and get plenty of rest. Develop good workout and training habits in high school before you get to college. In high school you should be strength training year round to prepare yourself physically for the intense practices and games at the college level.
9. Visit the schools of great interest to you. Try to schedule some of these visits in your junior year of high school. Apply to the schools that are a good fit both academically, athletically and socially. Have your financial aid information readily available. Financial aid forms are required to receive any type of aid, even athletic scholarships.[adToAppearHere]
If you are looking for a recruiting service, I would like to recommend Sports Scholarship Pro. This company was started by a former Division I female volleyball player and now AVP tour pro. Sports Scholarship Pro will walk you through the entire recruiting process and give you all the information you need to successfully market yourself to college coaches. They are experts at helping you choose the college or university that best suits your needs and goals. Click on their icon from the home page of the Female Athletes First website. Good Luck.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Margaret Hofmann, MEd, the owner of Female Athletes First, is an ACE certified performance coach who specializes in designing and providing functional strength and conditioning programs for the female athlete. She has been mentoring and training female athletes for 25 years.[adToAppearHere]
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