Approximately 2,000 colleges award athletic scholarships each year. Here's what you can do to get one of them.
Step 1: Improve your grades Improve your grades as much as possible. You can’t play for a college if you can’t meet its academic requirements.
Step 2: Create a resume Include your junior varsity and varsity experience, extracurricular activities, your grades, the major you plan to choose in college, and any awards you’ve received.
Step 3: List your dream schools Make a list of your dream schools and note the appropriate coach and his or her contact information.
Step 4: Compose a letter Compose a master letter stating your interest in playing college athletics. Include your high school coach’s contact information.
Step 5: Make a video If you don’t have one already, record and edit together a video showing you in action. Make copies to send out, and post it on a free video-sharing site to make sure it’s widely available.
TIP: If you have any press clippings about your athletic achievements, be sure to include copies of them with your letters.
Step 6: Personalize each letter Personalize each letter with a line or two about what you admire about that particular university and/or their athletic program. Send each coach on your list a package containing the letter, video, resume, and any press clippings via registered mail.
TIP: If money is no object, you can find companies online that will circulate your athletic resume for you and create a professional-quality video of your skills. Such services usually cost $1,000 and up.
Step 7: "Showcase" your talent Attend as many 'showcase tournaments' as you can—that is, special events where college coaches and scouts get to see prospective scholarship students play.
TIP: Gifted athletes who are able should consider transferring to a school that is known for its team, even if it means a long commute or a family move. Recruiters are more likely to attend games featuring a 'star' team.
Step 8: Be persistent Be persistent. If you don’t hear back from any of the coaches, send them a follow-up. In the meantime, decide on a second tier of schools you’re willing to consider and start the process again.
FACT: Approximately one billion dollars in athletic scholarships is awarded each year to more than 126,000 students.