Participating in college athletics can be a valuable and rewarding experience. A high performing student athlete may have opportunities to compete at the next level depending upon his academic and athletic achievements at MBA. Finding the best fit for college and your athletic talents can be a challenge, but there are many great schools and teams that are looking for the MBA student athlete. That being said, do not assume that coaches find recruits. Also do not assume that by sending letters of interest that you are being pushy. In short, become the recruiter! If participating in collegiate athletics is critical in your decision process, it is important to communicate that with your college counselor, and coach. Be proactive and be receptive!
Timetable by grade level:
9th – 10th grade:
Students who have achieved a high level of success on the athletic field may begin receiving letters from coaches in the 9th and 10th grade. Students should respond to these letters in order to stay on the mailing lists if they have any desire to compete in collegiate athletics. Students and parents should understand that thousands of these initial letters are sent to student athletes. Receiving a form letter from a coach is not “being recruited." You can differentiate yourself by responding and showing genuine interest in the specific college.
The athletic recruiting process generally (depending upon sport) will begin in earnest during the second semester of your junior year. At this point, students should think of themselves in one of two groups: students who are pursuing coaches and students who are being pursued by coaches. Invitations to showcases and camps are generally not measures of being pursued. (The best measure of your standing is whether a coach has called you or not.) Those being pursued by college coaches may be asked to provide an athletic resume and/or transcripts (sent at the students request by the college counseling office). Those pursuing college coaches should create an athletic resume and interest letter to initiate contact with coaches at the college of their interest.
As you visit colleges throughout your junior year, be sure to visit the coaches in your sport of interest to initiate discussions about being a part of their programs.
At the start of July prior to the senior year, coaches in Division I are permitted to contact students once a week. An important point to understand is that an unlimited number of contacts can be made if initiated by the student athlete. Division I and I –AA must adhere to these rules. Division III coaches have no such restrictions and recruiting can become complicated. Decisions on both the coaches' part and the student athlete's part are in constant flux. Coaches should not pressure or bait a student athlete to apply early to gain an edge in admission, but the reality is that other student athletes may and will apply early.
Divisions I, II, II
MBA students generally find academic matches at Division I and III schools more often than at Division II schools. Division I and II coaches have athletic scholarships to offer, Division III coaches do not. BUT Division III coaches will have admission slots for athletes and need based financial aid for those who qualify.
Division I athletics is a lifestyle choice. The demands of a student athlete are rigorous. Practices and games dominate much of a student's time in college.
Division III athletics can be just as competitive as Division I athletics. In general, student athletes at Division III schools can have a more balanced college experience.