Athletic Recruiting Reality Check

Do you know how many NCAA institutions offer athletic scholarships every year? The number is lower than you think.

As a former Division I athlete and a current high school coach, I'm always surprised by how easy high schoolers, or their families, think it is to become a college athlete.

I have news for you: just because you made your school's varsity basketball team doesn’t mean you can count on Coach K at Duke offering you a basketball scholarship. Did you know that roughly 2 percent of high school athletes earn an athletic scholarship at NCAA institutions each year? 2 percent. That’s only a large number in relationship to the type of milk you pour over your cereal.

The point of my rambling is not to destroy the hopes and dreams of high school athletes; it is simply to make you understand that the odds are not in your favor. Or ... are they?

Let’s break down what it means to have unrealistic expectations as a high school athlete. Unrealistic expectations would mean an athlete is pursuing the wrong schools, either from an academic standpoint or an athletic standpoint. The realistic, or predictable, outcome is that these schools will indeed reject the student-athlete. Don’t you think that has something to do with the 2 percent?

What if student-athletes in this country were pursuing schools that actually made sense for them, academically and athletically? What if every student-athlete knew of every potential school that fit his/her abilities? My guess is that the percentage of unrealistic expectations would go down along with the percentage of predictable rejections.

It’s time to approach the recruiting process with reason. Be realistic with who you are as a student-athlete and watch how much more enjoyable this process can really be. Don’t let Unfriendly University tell you no when Friendly University is waiting to say yes!

Realistic expectations should lead to unrealistic and unpredictable outcomes. Think about it.

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