If you are a high school athlete who plans to play conference or league sports in college, you have probably already been recruited by schools or looked at schools where you might play. College NCAA sports guidelines and sports leagues are competitive and it is a challenge to get attention and get on a team if you are not already on the college’s radar as a possible recruit.
When you visit a school for your tour, set up a meeting with the coach from the college and bring a video tape of your workout or game footage. Bring a resume or a bio that includes your accomplishments in the sport of your choice and a copy of your application to the college so the coach will have everything they need to review your files. Don’t just send or give the coach a tape. You have to follow-up because coaches get hundreds of tapes every year. If you did not participate in a show case or other event where the coach may have seen your work, you can invite them to a varsity game but in most cases coaches are not using school visits to make decisions any more. They often use show cases to see a lot of students at once. Although entering a show case can be costly and may require you to travel to another state, it might pay off by getting you on the team you want, so don’t write off the possibility.
If you make the team you want, be prepared to sit on the bench. Most competitive college teams have more players than they need and freshman often sit on the bench. In fact, you may not play until your senior year, and you may not play at all. Choosing a school for their league or conference team requires balance. You have to look at the campus, the curriculum and the team and decide if the environment is for you.
For a less competitive and challenging field of play, most schools offer intramural sports. These teams are not formed using NCAA rules or guidelines and you do not play for the official college team. Instead you play in an intramural league. This may be just fine if you like your sport but have no desire to compete at the NCAA level. You will get exercise, have fun, meet people and play the game you love. To find out about the intramural sports program at your school of choice, contact the Athletic Department or look in the school brochures and catalog.