It’s that time of year where varsity football players are waiting for the phone to ring, waiting for a text message or email from a college football program. In some cases, any college program. These athletes are hoping to receive an offer to play football at the next level.
My advice? Don’t wait.
Let me explain by sharing a story.
A young man from Lago Vista high school played on the varsity football team 5 or 6 years ago. After the season was over he received no offers to play football in college. Did he give up on his dream? No. He did the following:
He emailed every Texas college football program that he could think of in order to stir interest in him. In order to make them aware of him.
Aggressive, Leadership, Self Belief.
He wanted to play football in college. He wasn’t just going to sit around and wait for someone to contact him. Those are the kinds of players that you want and the kinds of employees that you want to hire. Sure, they have to be able to play football at a higher than average level. Without ability, forget it. If you’re an awarded high school football player – 2nd team, 1st team, MVP, etc. and you have not received an offer or you’re not satisfied with the offer(s) that you’ve received then get going! This works best if it comes from you (the Senior high school football player). So what happened? Dylan Haines received a walk on offer to The University of Texas in Austin. He made the team and received a scholarship. He set some records as a defensive back. None of this would have happened if he had just sat and waited around. Nothing.
My wife was a great high school diver in Chicago. One of her records still stands at her high school. After high school, she walked on at Illinois State University. They paid for her books but she was responsible for all other costs. Her Dad was a pilot for Midway Airlines in Chicago. One day, he received an opportunity to relocate to Reno, Nevada and fly for Reno Air. Long story short, he took the job at Reno Air moved his family to Reno while their daughter, Kristin continued diving and her classes at Illinois State University. They missed their daughter, of course, so one day Kristin’s parents stopped off at the University Of Nevada which is a D1 college located in Reno. They went to the swimming and diving department and introduced themselves to the diving coach, Mike Anderson. They mentioned that they had recently moved to Reno and had a daughter diving at ISU. They asked the coach about the chances of the University of Nevada offering her an opportunity to dive. The coach said that, yes, they were looking for divers because they wanted to win the Big West conference and needed good divers to accomplish this. They were competing against Stanford, Cal Berkley, UNLV, USC, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, Hawaii, and others.
My wife’s parents told her about their conversation with the coach. With the help of a friend who worked at a video store, she made a highlight VHS tape and sent it to the coach along with a letter of introduction. Not 2-3 weeks later, she received a letter in the mail offering her a full scholarship to dive at the University of Nevada! She accepted the offer and moved to Reno. All of a sudden trips to meets were no longer on buses but on airplanes. Hotels, free meals and supplements. D1 athletes are treated very well. She received a 5th year, made team captain and broke some school records. None of this would have happened without being aggressive, getting out there and making things happen. Her parents took the time to go visit the coach at the University of Nevada and Kristin followed up quickly by having the tape made and mailing it. None of this is hard work. It takes time, sure, but look at the payoff! She majored in Finance and that degree was all but paid for by the University.
So Where Does This Leave YOU?
This is a busy time for my strength coaching. Veteran athletes coming back, new athletes coming in. I preach the above message to them repeatedly. I will help them as best I can but ultimately, it’s up to them to WANT it, to FOLLOW THROUGH and to believe enough in themselves to break through. Will everyone who tries receive the golden prize – that elusive D1 scholarship? No. But I’ve just given you two examples of how motivated, driven athletes believed enough in themselves and in their capabilities to score BIG. Whether you’re a diver, a football player, a baseball player, a volley ball player, male or female take the bull by the horns and make some phone calls, send some emails, make some appointments. Start the process sooner than later. Before it’s too late.
What will you do?