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Athletic Requirements

Athletic requirements for college athletes vary depending on the college, the sport, and the governing body of college sports, such as the NCAA or NAIA. However, here are some common requirements that most college athletes must meet.

Athletic Requirements

Key Takeaways

    • Student-Athletes have to follow both academic as well as athletic requirements
    • It is important to understand your own skill-level to apply to the right program
    • College sports is very different from high-school, be sure you know what to expect

Requirements for Student-Athletes

The athletic requirements for college athletes vary depending on the college, the sport, and the governing body of college sports, such as the NCAA or NAIA. However, here are some common requirements that most college athletes must meet:

1.Physical fitness: College athletes must be in good physical condition and be able to meet the demands of their sport, including passing a physical examination and passing various strength and agility tests.

2. Skill level: College athletes must demonstrate the necessary skills to compete at the collegiate level, including passing tryouts or evaluations.

3. Academic eligibility: Most colleges and the NCAA have specific academic requirements that college athletes must meet, such as minimum GPA standards, passing a certain number of courses, and meeting certain test score requirements to get NCAA eligibility.

3. Age requirements: Some sports and governing bodies have age requirements for college athletes, such as being at least a certain age to compete in college sports.

5. Drug testing: Some colleges and governing bodies may require college athletes to undergo drug testing to ensure they are not using performance-enhancing drugs or other banned substances.

These are just some of the common athletic requirements that college athletes may need to meet. It’s important to check with the specific college, sport, and governing body to determine the exact requirements for each individual athlete.

1) What’s your Skill Level?

Whats your skill level

See which Division is right for you: There are many factors that coaches look at in their recruits. It varies sport to sport, but there are a few ways you can go about figuring out if you are good enough to compete at the next level.

1.1) Talk with current coaches to be evaluated

Knowing if you’re good enough can’t come just from yourself, it’s important to seek outside evaluation from people who have been in the sports world for some time and have seen different players make it to the collegiate level. Your current coaches who have seen you play can offer you some good advice, and potentially offer you some connections to other coaches they know, or athletes they have coached that have continued on to have a successful career.

1.2) Attend recruiting camps

Recruiting camps don’t apply to all sports, but they can be a good way to gain exposure. They will be especially beneficial if you already generate some college coach contacts, so that they can keep their eye out for you during the camp.

1.3) Get in contact with college coaches

One of the best ways to see if you are good enough is to directly email coaches. After you have discovered schools you may be interested in, emailing the coach and expressing your interest will help guide what schools would have interest in recruiting you or not. Some coaches may not reply or some may say you aren’t quite at the level they are looking for, which is okay, you can then use that feedback to look at other schools where your athletic abilities may be a better fit.

1.4) Talk to current collegiate athletes

Talking to current collegiate athletes can be helpful in many ways. You can start by reaching out to people you know or played with who have made it to the collegiate level. They can be a great resource to tell you about their recruiting process, and can be helpful for tips on how they’ve been successful in their sport to make it to the next level. You can also reach out to athletes on teams you are interested in- it isn’t a guarantee athletes will always reply, but it is a place to start to hear about current athletes’ experiences and their recruiting process.

1.5) Research rosters

If you do your research, you should be able to figure out if your athletic abilities are good enough for certain programs. This is easier in some sports than others, for example- track and field athletes can look up the personal bests of everyone on a college’s current roster, and check their high school personal bests to see how they compare, simple as that. Other sports may not be as straightforward, but if you research enough you should be able to find current collegiate athletes that you have competed against and evaluate how you compare.

2) Are you ready for the commitment?

Difference between high school and college sports: There are several key differences between high school and college sports:

1. Level of Competition: College sports are generally more competitive than high school sports. Athletes at the college level are often more skilled and experienced, and the level of play is generally more intense.

The biggest shock to collegiate freshmen is the increase in training level. Leaving high school, athletes go from being one of the best players on the team competing with younger players, to suddenly being at the bottom of the totem pole. Now the players are much older, stronger, and more experienced. On top of that, coaches now expect a much higher level of effort, focus, and are less tolerate to mistakes or lack of concentration. Additionally, practice times are longer, and there are often multiple practices in a day.

2. Time Commitment: College athletes typically have a much higher time commitment than high school athletes. They may spend several hours each day practicing, studying, or traveling for competitions.

Athletics – Your day-to-day life as a collegiate athlete will be much more busy than it was in high school, and will require you to adopt good time management skills. You will be spending much more time dedicated to your sport (especially in Division I). This means more time spent practicing, more time in the weight room, more team meetings, time watching film, and a lot more time getting treatment and using recovery tools to stay healthy while training at such a high level.

Academics – Aside from athletics, your academic schedule will also be more time-consuming. You may feel like you spend less time in class than you did in high school, but that is because college courses require you to do a lot of the work outside of class. Generally for every hour spent in class you can expect another 1-2 hours spent doing the assigned readings and homework.

In addition, in college you are now living on your own which means you have to make time to cook for yourself (or go to the dining halls) to make sure you are properly nourishing your body to keep up with your training.

3. Coaching: College sports typically have more experienced and specialized coaching staff. College coaches often have years of experience and may be experts in specific areas of the game, whereas high school coaches may have less experience and a broader range of responsibilities.

4. Facilities: College sports programs typically have better facilities than high school sports programs. This includes better equipment, training facilities, and playing fields.

5. Scholarships: College athletes may be eligible for scholarships to help cover the cost of tuition, room, and board. High school athletes typically do not have access to this type of financial support.

6. Fan Support: College sports typically have larger and more passionate fan bases than high school sports. This can create a more intense and exciting atmosphere for players and spectators alike.

Overall, college sports offer a more competitive and immersive experience for athletes, with higher expectations and more rigorous training, while high school sports tend to be more casual and focused on fostering teamwork and sportsmanship.

Redshirts & Eligibility
Redshirts & Eligibility

Redshirts in college sports allow student-athletes to participate in practice and training with a college team, but without competing in official games or contests during a given season. This allows them to improve without loosing a year of eligibility.

NCAA Eligibility
NCAA Eligibility

College-bound student-athletes preparing to enrol in a DI or DII school need to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center to ensure they meet amateurism standards and are academically prepared for college.

Requirements for Internationals
Requirements for Internationals

There are additional requirements for international students, such as language proficiency tests, if you are from a non-english speaking country and more.