the Road to Athletic Scholarships:
We, as parents, if not by definition then certainly by default, are the personification of strength and security for our children. Our children depend on us to provide for their daily needs, to celebrate their successes, to mourn their defeats, to solve the problems that are too difficult for them to handle. And we do it. Caring for our children is our second nature, and no matter how difficult the struggle, we do it without question. It is as natural as breathing. This reality made me uniquely unprepared for the detours, potholes, and roadblocks that awaited me on the journey to my daughter’s athletic scholarships.
few basic truths include:
best athlete does not always get the scholarship.
student’s athletic record does not speak for itself.
graduating high school does not guarantee that a student can
attend any four-year college that expresses an interest in him/her.
effort to find the “right” scholarship and situation
for your child needs to begin early in the junior year of high
preparation to be a college athlete begins no later than the first day of high school.
are certain things that can be done each year to help ensure
that the process will end successfully.
out if the high school your child is to attend has a golf team;
if not, considering petitioning the Board of Education to have
one started. If this isn’t financially feasible for the
school district, perhaps a “club” team for several
neighboring high schools is feasible.
that all students by law have a right to equal access to the
curriculum of the school.
sure that your child is in a college preparatory or accelerated
academic program. Have your child join the team.
your child to create a schedule that leaves adequate time for
both study and golf.
your child to develop a strong work ethic.
a scrapbook for all newspaper clippings and highlights in your
child’s golf career.
your child go to summer school to retake any class in which
he/she earned less than a “C”.
your student involved in a junior golf program to compete in
the tournaments, which develops a competitive spirit and toughness.
all of the above items.
the SAT for practice.
to request college catalogues for the purpose of comparison.
Help your child to determine the type of campus that will be
best for him/her.
out which tournaments college coaches tend to attend, and help
your child to get into these. (For west coast girls, some important
ones include CIF finals, Silver Bells, and the California Junior
Girl’s State Championship.)
all of the above.
your child sign up with the NCAA Clearinghouse.
your child take the PSAT. Several opportunities for recognition
and scholarships are available as a result of this test score.
on line, and go to the counseling office at your child’s
school. The counseling offices in most high school have publications
that list special interest scholarships and many are listed
on the internet. Have your child apply to any for which he meets
your child send a letter of introduction along with a copy of
his/her most recent and most notable athletic successes, a video
of his/her swing, and dates and locations of upcoming tournaments
to the coaches of the colleges he/she is most interested in.
This should be updated and resent every 6 months. Coaches get
thousands of letters; help your child to stand out from the
will call, and they will ask to speak to your child, not to
you. Practice various questions and responses with your child
so that he/she will sound polished and mature.
to visit the colleges your child is most interested in.
the SAT or ACT in May. (Statistically, minority students tend
to score higher on the ACT.)
admission applications from the colleges that your child is
interested in attending. Be sure to complete and mail these
by the deadlines, and send everything by certified mail.
organized! Keep separate files for the materials received from
each coach interested in your child.
your child compete and be seen. College coaches look not only
at the final score, but also at your child’s, technique,
demeanor, and interaction with the other players.
all of the above as appropriate.
on the original score, consider having your child retake the
SAT or ACT.
your child complete a “brag sheet” that includes
community service, academic achievement, athletic achievement,
and any other extra-curricular activities. This will help teachers
and counselors write better letters of recommendation. Be sure
that your child allows at least 2 weeks for these to be completed.
Have your child write thank you notes to anyone who completes
a letter of recommendation.
familiar with NCAA rules regarding the maximum number of official
college visits that are allowed, and what the length of these
have limited resources, and are often hesitant to make firm
offers too early. An offer constitutes a commitment of those
funds to that student; coaches, therefore cannot offer the same
scholarship to several athletes. Thus, they fear offering a
scholarship too early in the process. They really try to “feel
out” the intentions of the student. When they are sure
that they want the student, and fairly sure that the student
wants to go to their school, then a firm offer comes. Be patient!
It is like a delicately choreographed dance.
your child not to accept the first offer that comes unless it
is to his/her first choice school. Just as coaches fear committing
too early, so should you.
are scholarships and schools for every child. Don’t become
“locked” into one possibility only. Be prepared
to explore every avenue of financial assistance and post-secondary
"The journey is long, arduous, and frustrating; but there is success at the end of the road."
WERE NEVER SPOKEN!
you for attending Teens on the Green Los Angeles Tournament. Teens
on the Green and Young Golfers of America Association sincerely
hope that you had a wonderful experience and were able to collect
a wealth of information to assist you and your child for the future.
For information regarding YGAA's Junior Golf Program call 323-292-7030 or contact the editor at marilyn@ygaa,org