Last Thursday night, I had the opportunity to meet with the Fairfield Prep Fathers’ Club and participate on a panel discussion entitled “Transitioning to College Athletics.” The panel primarily focused on the recruiting process across Divisions I, II and III. It was a productive discussion, and there were three interesting points that are worth sharing:
- For a Division I scholarship athlete, his or her sport is essentially a full-time job. Student-athletes need to seriously consider whether they want to devote so much time and effort to sports, or whether they’d prefer to compete at a lower level with a lesser time commitment.
- After I discussed some questions that parents and student-athletes should ask during the recruiting process, a parent suggested another excellent question – ask about the academic support offered by the schools.
- There is a major difference between the recruiting of track and field athletes and swimmers, and traditional team sport athletes who compete in football, basketball, baseball, hockey, lacrosse, etc. Track and field athletes compete on a level playing field – recruiters can objectively measure their results in times and distances, while for other athletes recruiters face a more complicated evaluation including the level of competition, the talent surrounding the recruit, etc. This distinction may seem obvious, but it an important factor for recruits to consider, especially when trying to sell themselves to schools and evaluating what schools may be a good fit.
Thanks to Joe Rog, Matt Terry and Steve Donahue for including me on the panel.