If the ultimate payoff for a young, talented, and dedicated athlete is to someday play at the collegiate level, you would think that parents would be better informed. The sad reality is that too many moms and dads sit up and fully expect scholarship offers to roll in during their kid’s senior year.
Or that the parents just assume their kid’s travel team coach or HS coach will let colleges know about their son’s or daughter’s abilities. Or that mailing out a DVD to college coaches is the key. Or that a showcase is the easy answer. Even worse, some parents just assume that a young athlete can simply walk-on and try out once they are on campus as a freshman.
This is precisely why I have Wayne Mazzoni (check out WayneMazzoni.com) come on the show every year. As a current college baseball coach and expert on the recruiting process, Wayne makes it clear that this process is full of detours, disappointments, and dead ends, and that it’s up to the parents to help do their homework before the kid applies to school.
First and foremost, the youngster needs to have solid grades and SAT and ACT scores. Don’t assume that athletic ability is all that matters. Secondly, understand that very, very few kids are good enough to play at any level of college ball – and especially at the Div I level. HS athletes need to understand that it’s always a lot more fun to play in the games than to merely practice all week and never get in. That’s why playing at the D-III or D-II level should be a real consideration.
Think D-III is beneath you? I strongly urge you to go and watch some D-III games and practices, and then see just how “easy” the competition is.
The bottom line is that thousands of talented HS athletes are misled each year when they enroll in college, fully expecting to play. Then, once disappointed, they become disgruntled and want to transfer. Sure, you can always do that. But why go through all of that hassle? Do your homework BEFORE you go to college, and make sure you have found the college program for you.