Are you looking for a prep school or college with a reputation not only as a good educational institution but also as a top-notch sports school? If so, it’s important to find a school that strikes balance between providing a robust educational foundation and an equally as strong athletic base.
Knowing a school’s reputation for the type of education it provides is easy enough—there’s plenty of literature and information available to make a sound decision. But what about when it comes to truly understanding the school’s sports program and whether it’s a right fit? The following are five things to look for in a sports school in order to ensure you are making the best decision possible.
1. Quality Coaching
Coaching plays a large role in the reason an institution earns a reputation as a sports school. The key is to make sure that the coaching is quality and appropriate for you.
When meeting with coaches and athletic directors, make it very clear what you are looking to get out of your experience and then make sure the coach’s goals for you are the same. You are going to spend nearly every day working with and communicating with your coaches.
Great things can happen when everyone is on the same page and working hard to establish a mutually beneficial relationship. If you can sit down with the head coach (and some of his assistants) and have an honest conversation about your goals that is a great start. The best coaches are the ones that know how to put their players in the best position to succeed. Make sure you choose a school with a coaching staff that you believe is going to have your back 100% of the time.
2. Academic Resources & Career Services
Not everyone can play professional sport and therefore must rely on their education to start a career. Those who do end up playing professionally also must rely on their educations, especially after their careers are over. Make sure you find a school that has the support services to help you achieve your career goals, whatever they may be. Ask if they can help critique your resume, contact potential employers, find internships, and ultimately land a job that combines your skills and passions. In order to become attractive to employers it is important to perform well in the classroom. A lot of schools will have academic support services specifically for athletes. Find out how they can help you manage academics along with practices, workouts, travel, and games.
A lot of schools have focused on revamping their athletic facilities in recent years and they use these upgrades to help recruit. While it might sometimes feel like a flashy way to get your attention, cream of the crop facilities are an important part of athlete training and performance. You want to go somewhere that has the resources that allow you to push yourself as hard as you want to take your game to the next level. Find out about a program’s training staff and facilities and make sure they can enhance the type of training you need.
4. Financial Aid
Prep schools and colleges can be awfully expensive, but sports might be your ticket to a more affordable education! However, scholarship offers don’t only tell you how much money you can save on your education. They can also give you a decent idea of how badly a team wants you to play for them. Perhaps a school that offers you a full scholarship believes you will be an integral part of their success, while a half scholarship indicates that they would love to have you, but don’t necessarily need you. Any scholarship is a great benefit, but it doesn’t hurt to read between the lines a little bit as well.
5. The Right Fit For YOU
Every school is different and every player is different. The search for the right school should be about what is best for the athlete as an individual. With any sport it is important to give an in-depth look at how the individual player fits into the coach’s system. A good coach will be able to explain to the player how they will fit into the system and be put in the best possible position to succeed in the field of play.
It is also important to attend a school where you will have a healthy social life. Some athletes prefer a small-school setting, while others enjoy the excitement of a large campus with thousands of students. The best way to know where you fit in is to go out and visit the campus, whether it is for a few hours or an extended stay. Talking to students and even fellow athletes can be a good indication of the school’s culture and social setting. Remember, sports will take up a lot of your time at school, but there is equally as much downtime in the offseason. You want to make sure you are going somewhere that you could see yourself being happy, even if you were not playing a sport.
LEGACY Global Sports has helped numerous young athletes take their games to the next level by finding the right sports school for their individual needs. Our staff is skilled in providing athlete management services designed to have a true impact on an athlete’s career. Our world-class services include strategic planning, contract negotiation, athlete conditioning, PR management, athlete marketing and financial services. Contact us today to start talking about your future in sports.