6 Ways to Win an Athletic Scholarship

Last Updated Jun 11, 2010 12:52 AM EDT

What's the best way to win an athletic scholarship?Lockers in locker room
Only 2% or so of high school student athletes win a Division I or II sports scholarships, but there are ways to increase your odds. Here are six tips to help you boost your chances of winning a sports scholarship.

1. Don't wait to be discovered. Unless you're a superstar, you will have to contact college coaches since they probably won't know you exist. As a practical matter, the NCAA prohibits college coaches from contacting a high school student before September 1 of his or her junior year.

2. Send a coach an email. If you're interested in Division I, better send that initial email no later than your sophomore year in high school. In the email include this basic bio information:
  • Name
  • Primary sport's position
  • Sports awards/highlights
  • Any sports statistics
  • Year of high school graduation
  • Name of high school
3. Provide contact information for your coaches. A high school or club coach can act as an intermediary for college coaches before they can legally approach a student athlete. A softball coach, for instance, might ask a club coach to let a promising pitcher know that he'd like to talk to her. The coach just can't call her directly. Sounds silly, but those are the rules.

4. Post a video on YouTube. There's no need to hire someone to produce a professional video of you competing. You can even use a Flip video camcorder for the recording. According to Riki-Ann Serrins, a former women's soccer coach at Georgetown and Tulane, coaches only need to see seven to eight minutes of action. Send coaches an email with the YouTube link. Coaches prefer YouTube videos to DVD's.

5. Update coaches. You'll want to update coaches occasionally with your progress as an athlete. Invite them to see you play and give dates of tournaments or showcases that you might be participating in.

6. Don't waste your money on a professional athletic recruiting service. Serrins, who is the founder of Future College Athlete, which provides college tours for athletes, says spending thousands of dollars on these services in hopes of getting an athletic scholarship is a complete waste of time. "A lot of coaches think they (recruiting firms) are pests," Serrins says.

Lynn O'Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution, an Amazon bestseller, and she also writes for TheCollegeSolutionBlog. Follow her on Twitter.
Athletic scholarship image by katerha. CC 2.0.

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