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what is the best way to be able to play sports in college


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Irene’s Answer

Hi Tony!

If you are aiming to play sports very seriously in college or even play professionally, I agree that it is best to begin early. Alexis gives great recommendations of things you can do on your own to develop your skills. If you have the means and would prefer a more structured approach, you can join your middle or high school's sports team, or you could join a club/team outside of school. There are many benefits to joining a team: you have a coach to train you, consistent teammates to play with and grow together, and opportunities to play in games/tournaments against other teams. This will also likely emulate the environment you would get in college/professionally. Finally, coaches may have more resources and connections to guide you on your goal to play in college compared to doing it alone.
If you play well in high school, colleges may recruit you to their school on a sports scholarship, in which the college helps offset some costs of college if you agree to play on the school team. If you don't attend college on a sports scholarship, having years of practice and experience under your belt will greatly help when you try out for the school team.

Alternatively, if you are just looking to play sports as a hobby in college, many schools have clubs and recreational sports teams. They are often referred to as intramural sports. Participating in intramural sports is a great way to get involved in a sport you like regardless if you have prior experience and with less emphasis on competition.

Hope this helps!
Irene

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Andrew’s Answer

The best way to play sports in college is on a scholarship. To get one of these, you'll likely need to start practicing early, as others have advised, join a team with a coach or practice individually with a coach, and develop your skills over time so that you can compete at a high level during high school. Most sports that offer scholarships have recruiters who scour the playing field at the high school level to identify prospects who they think would be able to add value to their university's athletics program. Recruiters also regularly attend camps where top athletes are invited to play against each other during the off-season to further develop their talent against the best competition, which may exceed that which is available in the local area. Based on your question, I don't know what stage in the process you are in, but you should communicate your ambition to play college sports to a coach who can further advise you on the best path forward, help you develop your abilities so that you can succeed at the next level, and hopefully get you invited to the right camps so that you can showcase your skills for recruiters. If you are at a small high school, then you may have to contact college athletic departments yourself to express interest in their program and see whether there are any opportunities to "walk-on" via open try-outs once you get to campus. Walk-ons don't have scholarships, but they still get to be a part of the team and some walk-ons earn a scholarship later on by proving their abilities and dedication to the team over time through hard work.

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Alexis K.’s Answer

The best way to play sports in college or by the time you reach college is to play while you are in elementary school and high school. First, decide on the sport that is provided or offered at your school or in your community that really gives you joy and that you really understand. For example, if it is baseball decide if you would like to pitch, if so practice how to throw curve balls and fast balls striking out your friends. Then if you want to be in the outfield catching the baseball, see how far you can catch the baseball when it is thrown. Another example is basketball, football, tennis, golf, volleyball or soccer; practice your chosen sport that you truly like, then study others who play the game you like. Third, talk to coaches at your school or in your community to help you as well to give you constructive criticism by telling you your strengths and weaknesses and help you with getting on a team. Ask questions and get recommendations. It is also good to learn now to condition and train your body through eating healthier (vegetables and fruits) hydrate with water not a lot of sugary drinks, exercise, rest, and prayer to God. Because having spiritual growth is also important in learning physical growth with playing sports. The psychology of sports is that it also gives you confidence, and you are able to build camraderie with your peers by learning to work on a team. Playing sports in college teaches responsibility because there is a policy at most colleges have that as an athlete you have to have a 3.0 to play. So it is also about a work-life balance by learning early how to keep your grades up and do what you love which is playing sports.

Alexis K. recommends the following next steps:

Learn history of chosen game or sport
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Watch film or highlights of favorite athlete of that sport on YouTube
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Keep grades up and behavior positive
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Train hard, but have fun!
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