With school starting, it’s essential to start the year off right. Athletic talent can certainly open doors for academic opportunities, but being a “student” is a critical part of being a “student athlete”. There are more than 460,000 NCAA student athletes – fewer than 2% will go pro in their sport. The overwhelming majority of scholarships offered to student athletes are mixed packages with athletic AND academic money covering the cost of tuition.

Things to keep in mind that are absolute must do tasks to have the opportunity to play at the college level:

  • Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center (formerly called the “Clearinghouse”).
  • Take the SAT/ACT, even as early as freshman year, so coaches can see if you academically qualify.
  • Ensure you are taking the core courses: 4 each of English, math, science, and social science (1 each year).
  • Figure out your club/school team schedule so it is realistic. Seriously consider picking up a secondary sport to promote cross-training – even at the recreation level.
  • Get and keep accumulating playing video and your stats.

Always remember, unless you are personally talking directly with college coaches, you are not being recruited. You need to be proactive at all points throughout your recruiting process.

Study hard, work hard, and ask for help when you need it. Now go knock out the 2015-16 school year!