If you’re a high school athlete looking at applying for college, you’re probably hoping to get some sort of sports scholarship to help with the costs. You’re probably also aware that these are very competitive, so may well be looking for ways to boost your chances of being offered one. Whilst a lot of it rests on natural talent and some even on luck, there are certain steps you can take to improve the likelihood that you’ll receive an award. Read on to find out more and get started.
Check the eligibility criteria carefully and make sure you fit them
This might sound obvious, but you would be surprised how many people don’t take this step. It’s not enough to rely on what your friend has told you, or even your coach—ultimately the responsibility lands with you. Eligibility criteria are frequently updated, whether you’re looking at tennis scholarships or football, so it’s important to check websites regularly for any changes. Once you’re confident that you know exactly what’s expected of you, you can make sure that you are fulfilling everything you need to. It’s not just in terms of your sport, either. There will be academic criteria you need to meet too, so don’t forget to factor that in.
Be personal and professional when contacting coaches
There are lots of factors to keep in mind when contacting coaches—including what the rules are for when and how you can do so—but two of the most important are to be personal and to be professional. Don’t just send the exact same message to lots of different coaches, as they are likely to spot this and dismiss you as a result. Tailor every email you send to the individual coach and program. Similarly, an unprofessional message is going to give people a negative impression of you, so always be polite and mature.
Make an attention-grabbing sports highlight video
These days a sports highlight video is the most effective way to get the attention of a coach and show off exactly what you can do. Along with your cover letter and athletic resumé, it demonstrates your ability and potential. It’s your way to persuade coaches that you would be a valuable asset to their team. Making them can be a little tricky if you don’t have video editing experience, so you can always hire a professional company to put one together for you if necessary.
Put your heart and soul into your training and your studies
None of the above matters if you’re not 100% dedicated to your training. At the end of the day, it’s your skills at your chosen sport that will land you the scholarship—as well as the reference from your current coach—so you should be working hard to become the best athlete you can possibly be. Just remember not to neglect your academic studies. Many of the best scholarships require you to meet certain academic standards, so if you let those slip then all of your hard work will be for nothing. Good luck!