Getting a scholarship is one of the most life changing things that can happen to an athlete… so how do you make that happen? As someone who has been through the process and seen other people go through it countless times, here are some things that help the most when trying to get a scholarship:
1. Play Well
This one is obvious which is why I started with it. In order for you to get even a look, the
first thing you need to do is show that you can compete at the next level. Whether that means playing for a Division 1, 2, 3 or NAIA school.
The biggest reason I put this in the list was to say that this is only the first step. While this is the most obvious way to get a scholarship, for most, it’s only one part of a larger process.
2. Get Good Grades
Once a college scout sees you perform well, the first thing he will ask your coach is, “What do his grades look like?” Meaning, what is his GPA?
How high the GPA requirement is depends on the school. It can be as low as 2.8 or as high as a 3.5 (don’t try to push it, you want as many options as you can have, a 3.3 is probably a safe bet anywhere you want to go). Be safe and just do the absolute best you can in school.
When I was a sophomore in high school, I went on an unofficial visit to UC Riverside. I was walked around all the facilities just to be brought into the head coaches office to be told that my grades were too low. I was sitting at a 2.7 at the time. That was a huge wake up call for me and the very next semester got a 3.5.
If you have a bad GPA now, it’s not too late. Bringing it up and keeping it up will show scouts that you are committing yourself to school, no matter how late you are doing it. You can prove to them that you are capable. They are human and will see your effort.
3. Show Your Maturity
Like I talked about in an earlier post about what college recruiters are looking for, they’re recruiting a person, not just a player. A huge part of a great college team is a great team culture. If somehow the coach finds out you love to drink and party, or slightly less bad – love to sit on the couch and do nothing, they won’t want you as bad.
There are thousands of kids just as good as you who want it just a little more. Give yourself a leg up on your competition by showing your maturity and desire to do well.
The coach is also considering putting HIS name behind YOURS. When you get a scholarship, the coach is telling the world that he believes in you. The coach has a reputation to keep and he will be a lot less willing to put his name behind someone who loves to get in trouble, or someone who doesn’t really care about doing well.
On the field, show everyone how bad you want it.
4. Play as Often as You Can
Get on one or more travel teams and play, play, play. I know there is a lot of controversy about playing too much ball, but the more you play the more eyes you’ll get. If you’re a pitcher, make sure you take care of yourself every single day especially before and after pitching.
Playing is the only way to be seen. Fortunately, if you don’t want to play every weekend, you can go to big tournaments where scouts tend to gather. Perfect Game tournaments come to mind the most. I know that the most heavily scouted tournaments tend to be in Arizona and Florida at the minor league facilities.
Yes, that means you might have to make the drive or flight. These tournaments can really run up your bill, but if you perform, the scholarship will pay for all of your expenses in the long haul.
5. Market Yourself
When I was in high school I hated kids that always talked about how hard they worked. Especially the kids who always said they worked hard but clearly didn’t.
If you can work hard when nobody is watching you will become a much better athlete. Nobody’s watching most of the time. But when you’re trying to get scouted, you need to recognize when people are watching and work even harder.
I don’t care what anybody else says when they notice it. When people are watching, you need to step your game way up. That being said, the way to become great is by working as hard as you can 24/7.
Someone with a great work ethic has the best potential. If you play with or against someone who is better than you but you clearly have the better work ethic, coaches might see more potential in you than him.
Hopefully this helps you, if you have any more questions for me, leave a question in the comments and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.
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