Athletes must create options or they could miss an opportunity to play at the collegiate level
We all do it. Close our eyes and daydream, imagining the “what if?” scenario of our wildest dreams coming true. We envision our futures and what they would be like if all the stars aligned. Athletes especially are known to dream big. It’s their dreams that drive their motivation to succeed. In most cases, high school athletes share a common dream: to get offered an opportunity to play their sport at their dream school. For some athletes these dreams come true while only partially true, or not true at all, for others.
Earlier this week, San Francisco linebacker, Patrick Willis, talked to NBC Sports about his dream school, University of Tennessee. Willis and his dad spent countless hours making the long drive to go on unofficial visits. It was on their money and their time and even though Willis was future NFL material, he never saw an offer to his dream school. Luckily Willis had other schools and offers to fall back on.
Too many times we hear about great athletes who fall through the cracks because they put all their eggs in one basket. College coaches are looking at qualities that range from talent, to character, to academic responsibilities. The most talented athlete can easily be passed up by their dream school. Student-athletes who get caught up in only wanting to play at the Division l level will have a harder time making their dreams a reality. Less than 1 percent of student-athletes will go on to play at the collegiate level. There are more than 6,871,249 high school athletes and only 429 Division l scholarship opportunities. The math is simple.
Student-athletes must create options or they could miss an opportunity to play their sport at the collegiate level. It’s great to have a dream school and no athlete should give up on that dream. However, a smart student-athlete is talking to hundreds of colleges at every division level. It never hurts to have a backup plan and the more college coaches and schools an athlete connects with, the more opportunities for recruitment they’ll have.
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