To answer your question, it is extremely competitive to be recruited by a college for a "full ride" scholarship. This means if you play for them, they will pay your tuition for an education. Your best resource for an athletic scholarship is your coach. Additionally, a college may recruit you for a particular sport, but may not pay for all of your tuition.
There are other ways of getting scholarships for sports. For example, our community in Missouri offers a $500 scholarship for athletes involved in three sports. My son received this scholarship and he didn't excel in all three sports, he just met the requirement of participating in all three. We didn't know this scholarship existed until his coach nominated him for it. So start communicating with your coach now about what you might qualify for.
Also, this isn't the only way to pay for college. In February of your senior year in high school, you and your parents will fill out a FAFSA, this is financial information to determine if you qualify for grants. Every student completes a FAFSA form unless they are prepared to write a check for the tuition. Grants are free money to go to college. Students can qualify for the whole tuition or maybe a part of it.
Don't give up on that athletic scholarship and fill out any other scholarships that you can. But remember there are other ways to pay for college!
Different schools recruit different levels of players, so it depends what kind of schools you want to attend. However, all coaches are looking for players who work hard, hustle, have a great attitude, and are unselfish. The best advice I can give you is to show those traits all the time and to get your name out there. Email coaches of schools you're interested in and explain your interest. Make them a DVD of some of your abilities - for example, if you're a forward in soccer, send them clips of you shooting in drills and in games. Try to attend any tournaments or clinics that you can where a coach you want to make contact with is likely to be. Be persistent and polite in your communication, and keep working hard to improve your game.
It takes a lot of work, commitment, dedication and drive to get a scholarship in sports. You have to stay focus both off and on the field/court/ice etc.. to make it to the next level. Not only do you have to play the sport well you must be able to balance school work, family and friends. You must do the work and have passion for what you believe in.
It is very competitive. However, I think it varies depending on "full" vs. "partial" scholarship and what division you want to play at collegiality.