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Becoming a Collegiate Athlete
Transcript of Becoming a Collegiate Athlete
Social, Emotional & Physical
Creating the college list
NCAA Eligibility Center
Marketing and communication
What to do at each grade level
Official and unofficial visits
Finances and scholarships
National Letter of Intent
After you commit
NCAA and NAIA resources
Third party organizations
Websites and links
Becoming a Collegiate Athlete
National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division 1
National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division 2
National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division 3
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA)
National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA)
Talk with your parents about your goals! You will need a strong support system to perform at this level.
Inform your counselor of your desire to play in college and begin scheduling appropriate classes.
Review the NCAA Guide for the College Bound Student Athlete.
Familiarize yourself with the recruiting rules.
Ask your current coaches for an honest assessment of your abilities and where he/she projects you as a college athlete.
Research the athletic and academic benchmarks necessary to participate at the collegiate level and set goals accordingly.
Begin building an athletic resume and start accumulating a portfolio of highlights, awards, test scores, activities, honors, etc.)
Evaluate your social media presence and ensure everything posted is reflective of your high character, work-ethic, and passion for the sport.
Look for extracurricular activities that blend with your academic and athletic schedules.
Work hard on the field and in the classroom. After all, we are talking about going to college!
Take the PSAT to see where you stand academically.
Attend collegiate competitions at various levels so you can compare skill levels.
Begin college research on possible institutions you would like to attend. Take unofficial visits and meet with college representatives that visit campus.
Return questionnaires if schools contact you. Complete on-line questionnaires of schools in which you are interested in.
Create a list of 20-30 colleges at levels you realistically qualify for.
Research how coaches in your sport evaluate athletes and construct a plan with your current coaches to enhance your strengths and address your weaknesses.
Sign up for a few camps and/or showcase events that will be attended by schools you are interested in.
Check the entrance requirement at the colleges on your list of favorites.
Even if they offer you an athletic scholarship, you still have to get into the school!
Correspondence begins per NCAA bylaws.
Prepare yourself for the SAT or ACT. Plan to take both multiple times.
Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center.
Create a highlight video and upload it to YouTube. Include a link in any correspondence you have with college coaches.
Provide your current coach with an athletic resume and have him/her reach out to your 5 to 7 favorite options.
Prepare a list of question to ask college coaches and be prepared for what they might ask.
Attend camps and combines.
Send follow-up emails to the colleges you have not heard back from.
Don't stop pursuing colleges just because a few have expressed interest. Keep your options open until you sign a National Letter of Intent.
Keep a spreadsheet log of your communication with each school.
Discuss your financial situation with your family.
Ensure the College Counseling Department sends your transcripts to the NCAA Eligibility Center immediately following each semester
Phone calls, Official Visits, and Home Visits begin
Complete and mail applications (including housing) before deadlines
Submit FAFSA (financial aid) paperwork in January
Consider re-taking the SAT and/or ACT and send updated scores to the NCAA Eligibility Center
Continue unofficial and select your five official visits
Consider signing early if your sport has a November signing date
Sign National Letter of Intent if offered
Send final transcript to NCAA Eligibility Center
Attend orientation programs as soon as they are offered
Continue dialog with coaching staff until you arrive for practice or class
NCAA Division I
Highest level of collegiate athletics
Most recognized and competitive level
Athletic scholarships available
Year round time commitment
Recruiting is constant and coaches will recruit players every year at your position!
Examples: USC, UCLA, Stanford, Michigan, Naval Academy
Higher graduation rates
Supportive coaching and university staff
School specific accommodations
NCAA Division II
Smaller schools with competitive athletics
Can be a transitional division for some schools
More local and regional options
Time commitment is usually year round
Examples: UC San Diego, Cal Poly Pomona, Chico State, Azuza Pacific, Cal Baptist
NCAA Division III
Largest number of colleges and universities in the NCAA
High academic expectations
No athletic scholarships
Time commitment can vary, but most emphasize the season of sport
Ability to play in more than one sport
Some schools maintain affiliation in more than one sport
Examples: Claremont McKenna, Pomona, Whitman, Hope, Williams
A smaller association of about 300 colleges and universities
Athletic scholarships available depending on the sport and institution
Time commitment and off-season training varies greatly
Can also be a transitional level for some schools
Examples: Eastern Oregon, Westmont, Vanguard, Menlo College, Soka, Grace College, Biola
Social, Emotional & Physical Benefits
Easier transition to living away from home and increased academic loads
Instant peer group
Connections with adults that have a vested interest in your success
The continued development of a healthy lifestyle
Fast and accessible medical care
27 years as a collegiate coach
Over 1,000 wins
5 College World Series appearances
3 CIF Championship Finals
Inducted into 5 different Hall of Fame organizations
Former Athletic Director
Played volleyball for Pepperdine in his freshman season before transferring to Cal Baptist as a sophomore
Transferred to Santa Ana College after switching from volleyball to football
Awarded a scholarship to play football at the University of Tennessee
Southeastern Conference (SEC) Honor Roll (2013, 2014)
Academic Honor Roll for all five seasons in college
Four-year varsity starter and two-time captain in basketball who will go down as one of the top players in program history at Grove City College
Two-time All-Presidents Athletic Conference honoree who ranks fourth in program history with 1,383 career points.
Led team in scoring and minutes played (2013-2015), rebounding and assists (2013 & 2014)
Grove City Academic Dean’s List, 2015
Two-time captain, Academy League MVP and 1st Team All-CIF in his senior season at St. Margaret’s. Also played four years of varsity tennis at St. Margaret’s
Four-year letter winner and senior captain in soccer at Claremont McKenna College
First Team NSCAA Far West Region (2009)
First Team Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC 2009)
In 2008, led team to the NCAA Round of 16 becoming the first Claremont McKenna College team to advance that far in NCAA playoffs
A two-time captain, Academy League MVP and 1st Team All-CIF, led the Tartans to their first CIF-SS Championship in 2006
Sought after employment profile
Network of the top 2%
Vertical expansion of network
Alumni association contacts and opportunities
Internships and graduate school
Two sport letter winner in lacrosse and field hockey at Princeton University
IWLCA/US Lacrosse All-America first team (2008-09)
Ivy League Co-Player of the Year (2009)
Aimee Willard Award for top collegiate player at US Lacrosse Women's National Tournament (2008)
Ivy League Rookie of the Year (2006)
Two-time All-Ivy League field hockey player at Princeton
Session #1 Homework
Meet with the College Counseling Department.
Talk with your coach about your goals and get an honest assessment of current abilities.
See a game at each competitive level.
Read the recruiting questionnaires from a few schools you are interested in.
Session #2 will be held in January. Please check SMES.org for details.
An NLI is a binding agreement between a college and a student-athlete. The student-athlete agrees to attend the school for one year and the school agrees to provide financial aid for one year.
Signing an NLI ends the recruiting process since other colleges are prohibited from contacting a student-athlete who has already signed an NLI.
If a student-athlete signs an NLI with one school, but opts to attend a different school, he or she will lose one full year of eligibility.
The NLI is a contract between a prospective student-athlete and a school, not an agreement between an athlete and a coach. If the coach that recruited you leaves, you are still obligated to that school.
Signing an NLI does not guarantee admission. Each school has its own admission requirements and if the prospective student-athlete is not admitted, the NLI is not in effect.
NCAA Sport Listing - http://web1.ncaa.org/onlineDir/exec2/sponsorship
Guide for the College Bound Athlete - http://www.ncaapublications.com/productdownloads/CBSA16.pdf
NCAA Eligibility Center - https://web3.ncaa.org/ECWR2/NCAA_EMS/NCAA.jsp
National Letter of Intent - http://www.nationalletter.org/frequentlyAskedQuestions/signingTheNli.html
Presentation available at SMES.org
National Letter of Intent (NLI)
Confusing but Common Terms
Red shirt athlete
- Simply means an athlete has not used one of their four years of college eligibility.
Gray shirt athlete
- Designates a high school athlete that is delaying their initial enrollment in college.
Green shirt athlete
- An athlete that graduates high school early to enroll for spring practices. Usually done for fall and winter sports.
Blue shirt athlete
- Athlete will enroll in the fall, but attend as a walk-on for the first semester. Usually done to free up scholarship money for the program or reduce "initial counter" numbers.
Creating the College List
Am I setting myself up for a successful future by going to this school?
Does this school offer the major I want to pursue?
Are the class sizes conducive to my learning style? Too big, too small?
Do I have have academic support available, should I need it?
Does this school have a quality career center to help me with job placement before and after I graduate?
What is the average graduation rate for my team?
Does this college have a good overall reputation in the job market?
Creating the College List
Do I genuinely want to play for this program?
Do I like the coach? Does his/her coaching style match my playing style?
When do I realistically have a chance to play or contribute to the team?
What is the makeup of the team? Good team chemistry?
What does the competition of the playing schedule look like?
How are athletes treated on campus by other students and professors?
Creating the College List
Would I pick this school if I wasn't an athlete?
How far away from home is this school?
Is the location of campus in an urban or rural environment?
Are there other things going on in the community than just campus life?
Is this a school with a quality tradition, both academically and athletically?
Are the other sports programs successful?
Marketing and Communication
Do not wait for coaches to come to you.
Use different communication methods strategically and in a sequence.
Prospective Student-Athlete Questionnaire
Make a spreadsheet and log each point of contact.
The Truth Behind Athletic Scholarships
Approximately 2% of high school athletes receive athletic scholarships.
Academic scholarships and NCAA financial aid programs can also contribute to the total received.
Athletes may receive multi-year scholarships, but you must be notified by July 1 in writing if an institution plans to reduce or not renew your aid.
Headcount sports - Football, basketball, women's tennis, women's gymnastics and women's volleyball.
Equivalency sports - Do not offer "full rides".
Know your cost of attendance (COA).
After you Commit
An NLI is void if you are denied admission or do not meet institutional or conference eligibility requirements. Maintain your strong academic standing until the very last day of school.
Send progress updates to your new coach and ask about a transitional training plan.
Connect to your new teammates, either in person or via social media.
Plan to arrive at your new school earlier than the general student population.
NCAA Eligibility Center
Official vs. Unofficial Visits
Maximum of five
Only after the first day of the prospect's senior year
Need verification of PSAT, SAT or ACT, plus a copy of their high school transcript and registration with the NCAA Eligibility Center.
48 hours max.
School can pay for lodging, meals and entertainment for athlete and parents.
Can take place at any time (except during dead period).
No documents required.
School cannot pay for any lodging, meals or entertainment.
Behind the Admission Office Door
Relationship between Office of Admission and Athletics Department
The handoff: a recruit becomes an applicant
Transcript screens: red, yellow, green
File review: how big is the tip?
The rank list matters........a lot!
Timing of decisions and notification
Responsibilities after receiving a decision
1. Complete 16 NCAA core courses:
• Four years of English;
• Three years of math (Algebra 1 or higher);
• Two years of natural/physical science
• Two years of social science;
• One additional year of English, math or natural/ physical science; and
• Four additional years of English, math, natural/ physical science, social science, foreign language, comparative religion or philosophy.
2. Complete 10 core courses, including seven in English,
math or natural/physical science, before the start of
your seventh semester. Once you begin your seventh
semester, you may not repeat or replace any of those 10
courses for GPA improvement.
3. Earn at least a 2.3 GPA in your core courses.
4. Earn an SAT combined score or ACT sum score that
matches your core-course GPA on the Division I sliding
scale for students enrolling on or after August 1, 2016.
Help organize the process
Keep the athlete focused and on track
Help develop a timeline
Help their athlete be realistic
Give input on financial issues
Proofread emails and correspondence
Be available to listen
Provide the athlete with a realistic evaluation of his or her abilities
Help develop a list of schools
Reach out to a select list of college coaches
Write a letter of recommendation
Always be the primary point of contact.
Accept feedback from those that are helping with the process.
Stay organized, ask for help and be proactive.
Diversify your options.