Plenty of student-athletes excel in more than one sport in high school. However, when it comes to college recruiting, most opt for their stronger sport and focus their efforts there. But there are many student-athletes who pursue more than one sport in college, too. And if you want to continue in more than one sport when you get to college, there are a few things you should know.
Know Your Strengths
If you play two different sports, but you’re getting more recruiting interest in one than the other, then obviously the stronger sport is where you should pay more attention. Focus your efforts on getting recruited and earning a scholarship in your stronger sport, but make sure coaches know of your desire to participate in another sport as well. Depending on the sports and the schools, your scholarship eligibility in one sport could make you a more valuable recruit to the other sport’s coach. If you truly want to pursue two sports in college, understand where you have a better chance for a scholarship first, then look for the schools and coaches who appreciate what you have to offer as a multi-sport athlete.
Know The Recruiting Calendars
If you’re being recruited for two different sports, and you want to pursue both in college, remember that the recruiting calendars may differ based on each sport. If you’re getting more recruiting interest in one sport than the other, that could simplify your recruiting decision. However, if you’re drawing coaches for both sports, things could get a bit more complicated. To minimize any potential complications, be upfront with every coach about your desire to pursue two sports.
Know The Sacrifices You’ll Have To Make
At the highest levels of Division I, the year-round demands of college athletics can feel like a full-time job with a full academic course load to manage as well. Playing a second sport potentially means you’d have the equivalent of two full-time jobs, not much rest time between the two, and a full course load. So, while you’ll have to balance two sports with academics, it’s likely you won’t have time for too many social activities, clubs, or anything else that’s not sports or school related. Before committing to play two sports in college, make sure you want to juggle the demands and that you’re OK with forgoing some elements of the typical college experience.
Know What You Want
As noted above, if you’re willing to go without some of the trappings of traditional college life to play two sports, then go for it. But if you want a more rounded college experience, then maybe consider schools in Division II, Division III, or the NAIA. Division II and the NAIA offer high-end, athletic competition and scholarship opportunities, but without the big business pressures prevalent in Division I, so you’d have more time for other things. Division III offers the best opportunities to be a multi-sport athlete and still enjoy other campus activities, but DIII schools don’t offer athletic scholarships. But, DIII schools do offer ample academic aid, so, if you want to be a multi-sport athlete at a DIII institution, make sure your grades stay up.
Know Your Recruiting Plan And Stick To It
Now that you know what you need to know to become a multi-sport athlete in college, don’t just assume everything will fall into place. Put a plan together to make your recruiting process successful and stick with it. A desire to play more than one sport in college means you need to put in double the effort and research to help in your recruiting. Know your stronger sport, know the recruiting calendars, know what your college life will be like, and, ultimately, know what you want out of both sports and the schools you’re interested in.
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