College Decision Is Too Important to Be Handled without Extensive Research

Article excerpt

Byline: Don Rowley

Let's say you are a high school athlete and you are considering continuing to play your sport at the college level.

There are many issues to consider before you make your decision, and in order to make the best decision, you should consider them all.

Your choice of playing or not playing and your choice of school are decisions that could affect the rest of your life.

First of all, familiarize yourself with the different levels of competition.

Depending on the sport and the school, the levels are Division I, Division IA, Division II, Division III, NAIA, Junior College Division I, and Junior College Division II.

Within each division there can be a wide disparity in the level of play. You should also go the NCAA Web site and familiarize yourself with the latest rules and regulations you must meet to be eligible for college athletics.

At what level do you want to play or think that you can play? How can you find out?

Your high school coach is the best resource. He or she probably has had other players recruited and should know about their experiences. Maybe there are older college athletes from your school that you can contact for advice. You may have had AAU or club experience in your sport and those coaches can help you find your level as well.

You should also go out and attend college competitions in various levels of your sport and judge for yourself.

Do you want to go to the highest level possible, even if it might mean you would play less? How important is playing time? What does the school's coaching staff say about your potential playing time? How much trust can you put in what they say?

Another consideration is the location of the school.

How far away do you want to go? Is it important that you can come home easily? Is it important that your family can easily come to see you play?

When making this decision, you should consider not only where the school is located, but also where their opponents are located since at least half of their competitions will be away.

How important is the choice of school to you versus the athletic program? …