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College: Never to Young to Ask Questions and Research

 

 

Whether you realize it or not, no matter how old you are, college is just around the corner.  As we reach mid-summer it’s always a smart idea to ask yourselves, “Am I preparing myself for the college experience that’s best for me?"

One thing many athletes do is dream about going to a school that they grew up loving. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but you have to ask the question over and over again, “Is this the place for me to be the most successful both academically and athletically?”  The college experience goes extremely quickly. You want to prepare yourself as best as possible so that you can enjoy it!

What can you do to make your academic and athletic experience at college that much better?

Ask yourself these questions?

1.Will this college be a good fit for me academically?  CanI keep up with the workload and commit myself to baseball?  (Remember, baseball players travel a lot during the season.  In the spring much of your work is done on the road)

2.Is this school located in a part of the country that I am comfortable in?  If as a parent you want to be able to attend games, will you be able to get there?  If as a student-athlete you want family support, will they be able to make the trip?

3.If I fall behind on my work, does the school have support systems in place so that I won’t have to give up playing baseball?

4.Financially, is this college or university going to be able to compensate me with academic or athletic scholarships so I am not overwhelmed by loans when I graduate with my bachelor’s degree? *

When you look at college baseball teams and try and decide where you believe you would have the most success, make sure you look at who plays your position.  Who is already at the school and how do you and him compare on paper?  We all know what really matters is on the field, but baseball isn’t black and white, where one person is faster than the other like in track or swimming.  It’s subjective and that leaves room for opinions.  You don’t want to put yourself in a position where your dream is to get an education and play baseball at a top notch baseball college and you end up NOT playing. When you look at the roster as a senior in high school and you see they have a junior and two freshman playing your position, you have to ask yourself,  “How good are these players? If I even get a chance to try out or make the team, am I going to have to wait until my senior year to POSSIBLY start?  Are you willing to wait three years? One of the things that I try and discourage players from doing is putting themselves in a position where they may be good enough to be on the team, but they may not be good enough to play on a regular basis. Like I said, the college experience is short.  Finding where you fit in is the most important part of this entire process. 

I’d just like to quickly explain the differences between Division I, II and III Schools.  According to the NCAA Eligibility Center,

Division I schools must:

*offer at least seven sports for both men and women or six for men and eight for women

*offer two team sports for each gender

*have both male and female teams or participants for each sport’s playing season

*offer a certain number of financial aid “awards” to student-athletes, without going over maximum amount allowed.

*meet attendance requirements for football and baseball

 

Division II schools must:

*offer at least five sports for men and five for women, or four for men and six for women

*offer two team sports for each gender

*have both male and female teams or participants for each sport’s playing season

*have at least the minimum number of contestants and participants for each sport

 

Division III schools must:

*offer at least five sports for men and five for women

*offer two team sports for each gender

*have both male and female teams of participants for each sport’s playing season

*have student-athletes who DO NOT get SPORTS- related financial aid

The reason I wanted to give you this information is not because I don’t think people do the research, but because some people get caught up with having to play only Division I sports.  Please, look at the links below which gives you each and every school that offers baseball at each of the three divisions. This isn’t even including junior colleges. There are so many opportunities out there for athletes.  Do the research now, so you end up getting the most of your college experience.

 

Division I Baseball Schools

http://web1.ncaa.org/onlineDir/exec/sponsorship?sortOrder=0&division=1&sport=MBA

Division II Baseball Schools

http://web1.ncaa.org/onlineDir/exec/sponsorship?sortOrder=0&division=2&sport=MBA

Division III Baseball Schools

http://web1.ncaa.org/onlineDir/exec/sponsorship?sortOrder=0&division=3&sport=MBA

Please feel free to email me for any questions you have regarding your college future.

Shaun





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