How to Choose the Right School for You
-Be Open Minded: There are a lot of great schools out there. You want to make sure you are giving schools a chance that might not necessarily be your dream school. It is important to visit and get a feel for a program before counting it out. If you can’t visit, talk to the coaching staff and other athletes to try and get a better understanding of what being a student-athlete in their program is like before you decide that school is not right for you.
-Team Culture: Talk to current athletes to see what the team culture is like. Culture varies from team to team. Find a team culture that best suits you and your goals both in your sport and in your everyday life. Think about what kind of dynamic would be best for you.
-Weather/Location: Consider location when choosing a school. Do you want to be close to home so your family can easily come to games or meets? Do you want to get away from your hometown for a completely new experience? Do you care about what conference you compete in? Weather can also influence training patterns, especially in outdoor sports. Will that matter to you?
-Facilities: Most Division 1 teams have outstanding facilities. Think about what kind of additional help is important to you. Some schools provide access to tutors which can help if you struggle in school. Other schools provide varying amounts of food through snacks and meals. Some teams fly on charter planes. Does your team share a weight room? Does your team have an easily accessible locker room? Does your team have to share a facility? Some schools have older, more historic facilities and others have brand new modern facilities. Where do you feel most at home?
-Coaching Staff: This is arguably the most important thing to consider as a prospective collegiate athlete. Your coaches will be a huge determining factor in how your collegiate career plays out. They will determine the technique you will utilize, how practices will go and most importantly, if you will have an opportunity to compete. Ask coaches what their coaching style is and talk to current athletes to get their honest opinions on the coaching staff. This is an extremely important facet to consider.
-Life after Sports: Sports have to end for everyone at some point in time. For some it is during college, for others it will be after they graduate and some are lucky enough to go professional in their sport, but even for them, it will end at some point. Think about how your education will set you up for your future. Does the school have the degree you are interested in? How are the professional career opportunities? How involved is the alumni network?
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.”