3 Things Athletes Who Want to Play at the Collegiate Level Need to Know
CCA's Head Football Coach shares key characteristics athletes of any sport need to position themselves to play in college.
The standards of competition represented at “collegiate level” are broad. From the pinnacle (the University of Alabama’s Football program for example) to lesser teams in Division 3, there exists a great distance. Defining what it takes to play at the collegiate level would include very different gifting in terms of size and athleticism. Still, college athletic programs look for some characteristics across the board.
CCA works to develop humble, teachable, excellent athletes with a strong work ethic.
Here are three things we share with our athletes to prepare them to participate in athletic programs in college:
Character is just as important as skill. Programs can’t afford to have players poorly represent their college or university. More and more, scouts factor character and personality traits into their search. Requisite characteristics which transcend level include self-discipline, commitment, selflessness, the ability to delay gratification and accountability.
Athletic programs are in search of low-maintenance players. Coaches need no-maintenance or low-maintenance athletes capable of handling their own business where class attendance/performance are concerned. Any baggage which potentially distracts from the goal of winning games is taxing on coaches’ time and focus. In figuring out where and in whom to invest their scholarship money, coaches want to minimize distractions. Social struggles, problematic parents, addictions (not just substances but behaviors, social media, video games, etc.) represent internal competition. External opposition is significant enough — coaches and scouts are not interested in adding to the load. High maintenance athletes are usually avoided in favor of those able to focus on training and competing.
Professional playing requires a high level of dedication. Becoming a master at a particular skill requires 10,000 hours — that translates into three hours per day, every day, for nine consecutive years…no days off. Even more important than the time you put in is the quality of practice. Precise practice that include pushing yourself to your limits and a consistent focus on improving your weaknesses is difficult, but pays off. If that excites you, get busy working.
Unfortunately, not all athletes will get offers to play in college, but don’t let that possibility diminish your love for your sport! You won’t know what you’re capable of unless you give your all. Focus on your skills, your attitude, and your education — God will reveal His best for you.
Kirk Hoza is CCA’s Head Football Coach and has spent the past 34 years coaching football at the high school Division 3, Division 2 and Division 1 levels. He has served as a football Recruiting Coordinator at the collegiate level and been employed by National Preps Recruiting. Kirk has an undergraduate degree in Education and a Master’s in Business Administration.