You’re not just joining a team, you’re joining a College

28/10/20205 minute read
You’re not just joining a team, you’re joining a College

Do you want to get recruited as a student athlete at a US college? Find out why you should look beyond just the sports programs at a particular university in making your decision, and instead towards the education and wider community.

So you’ve decided you want to get recruited to play college-sport in the US? It’s time to get started researching all of those athletic programs to find the right team for you. You’re probably thinking, what level can I compete at with my skills and experience? D1, D2, or D3 or even the NAIA? What conference is the strongest? How about the facilities and the coaching staff?

How far down the list do you go before you start asking yourself, what about the school?

Most students aiming to get recruited or secure a sports scholarship limit their search and candidacy-building to the athletic side of the experience. After all, surely it’s all about competing right? But, what makes playing sport at a US university unique is that the athletic experience is closely intertwined with the educational experience. While certainly playing sport will be the focal point of your time at a university in the US, there is still a whole lot of your time spent as a member of a much wider community.

A repeated refrain of regret around playing sport in the US often centre around this larger school experience:

  • A track athlete chooses the school with the most successful athletics program they are being recruited to attend only to find that the major they want to study isn’t even offered.
  • A talented soccer player has to knock off half the schools they are capable of playing at because their academic scores are nowhere near what is expected of students at these schools.
  • The baseball player who finds out that the majority of their team (and the wider school community) commute to school from home leaving them with very few teammates (and students) to interact with outside of training and games - making the campus a ghost town on weekends.

If you want to increase your chances of being recruited and ensure that your experience is the best it can be, you need to look beyond just the sports team and to the wider community. You’re not just joining a team. You’re joining the school too!

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From the coach’s perspective: They aren’t looking at your sporting talent alone. Behind every coach is an admissions officer who doesn’t really care about your ability in sport but, rather, if you’ll make a great addition to their school. Athletes are unique in that they are much more on show than all the other students both on campus and off. You serve as an ambassador for the school when you travel for games, interact with the local community, and play in televised games all while wearing your school's colours and name. As a result, if you want to boost your chances of being recruited by a coach, it is important that you don’t simply present yourself as ideal in talent and character for just the team but, also, for the university as well.

From your perspective: you need to think about this school as a place where you will live for four years. Consider choosing a school from this perspective. Do you want to live in an area where you love your immediate neighbors but wouldn’t ever want to venture out into the wider community? This is what it is like choosing where you want to go. You may end up on a great team but you may also have a very insular experience where you never get a full cultural and educational experience because you only interact with your team alone. Read more about how you can find life balance as a student athlete at a US college here.

How does Crimson help with understanding the school?

Most importantly, our team is full of people who have been where you want to go. They understand what it means to join a school’s culture. This is why we aim to personalise your recruiting experience from the onset. We want to know you. So much so that you start with us by taking a personality test! None of our athletes will have alike experiences with our team because we want your recruiting experience and, ultimately, the school you choose to be one that is authentic and true to your needs and wants in this transformational experience.

Crimson Education is the world’s leading university admissions support company. We assist student athletes academically and athletically throughout the recruitment process with the implementation and oversight of a personalised admissions program, ensuring that every Crimson athlete is a well-rounded candidate, to maximise scholarship offers and coach interest. Check out our College Sports Recruitment page to find more information and case studies about our successful Crimson students and their parents.

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