Questions to Ask Before Playing College Sports

Are you thinking about playing sports in college? Many young athletes are not sure they are college material. Why not you? If you want to play college sports, there is a place for you, but it is not as easy as it sounds. Before you decide whether to play or not, here are some questions to think about and some tips to take into consideration.

Many student athletes wait for others to say, "Yes, you should," or, "No, you shouldn't," play college sports. Instead of waiting for confirmation from the outside, how about taking a look at your own abilities and trying to figure it out for yourself?

Questions You Should Ask Yourself

Do You Love Playing Your Sport?

If you could play and/or practice your sport every day, would you be the happiest person alive?

When the outcome is on the line, does that get you excited?

Do you love to compete and work as hard as you can, no matter if people are watching or not?

If you could play your sport in front of people, would that make you excited to compete?

If you could play your sport in the Olympics, would that give you goosebumps?

Pillared entrance of university building with trees and grass in front

Have You Ever Visited a College and Watched Your Sport Live?

If you get excited about watching college games in person, that may be a sign that you really want to play in college. If you have not tried this yet, now is a good time. Have fun with it.

Have You Ever Asked College Athletes What It’s Like to Play in College?

Maybe you have some friends or family members playing in college. You could ask them what their days and nights look like. What is it like to play college sports? It would be good to ask student athletes from all different levels of colleges. Does anyone’s story really sound good to you? Does it make you want to work as hard as you can to get there?

Do You Follow Social Media Posts From Your Favorite Sport or Athlete?

Most organizations now can be found on social media. Both teams and athletes from college and pro teams are on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok and/or Facebook. It is easy to follow what you are passionate about.

Have You Talked to Your Parents About Playing in College?

It is a good idea to let your parents know early on that you have a desire to play college sports. They should learn as much as they can about college sports and the recruiting process. The earlier they are able to begin, the better equipped they will be to help you.

Have You Ever Talked to a College Coach Before?  

This may sound scary at first, but remember that college coaches are just people with coaching jobs. They don’t bite and should not deter you from approaching them, either in person or on the phone. You are trying to decipher if you want to play in college. Finding out who your coach will be is going to be a critical part. You may as well practice communicating with coaches as much as possible.

Coaches all over the country welcome young people into their practices. I am sure you could ask a local college coach if you could visit and watch a practice. This is a good way to start getting a feel for what it is like to play in college.

Have You Ever Thought About Attending a College Camp?

This is a great way to compete against others on a college campus. How does it feel? You could also ask a local college if the players ever scrimmage on their own. You could ask to join them.

Bottom Line: There Is a Place for You

If you want to play college sports, there is a place for you. In order to make this a reality, though, you should try to begin as soon as you can. The more time you give yourself, the better decisions you will make about your recruiting journey. You just have to do the research and find one that fits what you are looking for.

Two cautions:

People Assume You Want to Go Big

If you are really good, people may assume you want to go to a big university. They may even try to persuade you on where to go. They may want to take over your recruiting process. Be cautious of allowing your process to become someone else’s. Usually, those choices do not work out for the student athlete. If you do the work, chances are, the outcome will be more in line with what you want.

People Assume You Are Not Good Enough to Play

If you are not being heavily recruited, people may say you are not good enough to play. They may say you are too small, too big, too fat, too skinny, too slow, too fast, not good enough or that you will never find enough money to help fund your college choice. Try not to listen to nay-sayers. Normally, those comments drag others down, and many student athletes do not play as a result, even though they could have found an opportunity. Take caution in allowing others to derail your process. You can do it if you want to do it.

When all is said and done, if you want to play, you should play. Research shows that playing sports has huge benefits, including building confidence and leadership skills. If others can do it, so can you.

Your biggest challenge, should you decide to play college sports, is finding the absolute best situation for you.

Do the research and find the place that lines up with your dreams and desires. Make it yours!

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