There is always such a buzz for high school seniors as they start another year and their last year of high school. Many of the students will continue their education, so it will leave them with a decision to make.
Where will they pursue their studies after high school? If they are athletes, which school will they attend to further their playing careers? It is a big decision to make, probably the biggest decision they will have made up until this point in their life.
Many things weigh on their minds while making this decision, and rightfully so, it is a huge decision. For example, some questions they might be pondering could be what they might want to study in college, how far away or how close they want to be from home, the school's colors might matter to them, do they want a school that has a football program, will they have many friends attending the school, and so many other things.
Every athlete's dream is to play at the NCAA Division 1 level, but unfortunately not every athlete can do that. Luckily there are plenty of other options out there for athletes from Junior/Community Colleges to a lower Division in NCAA and a couple levels at the NAIA level to name a few.
AAU coaches push for the Division 1 schools to recruit their kids because it is good publicity and advertisement for their programs. They are able to tell families that they can help their athlete receive a scholarship because they have already helped others do that in the past making their program more appealing.
Parents invest so much money and time to these AAU programs that they almost assume their child is going to receive a scholarship just because they have already put so much into the child and program.
They have made the payments to the program, drove their child or children to the practices/games and have even bought the apparel and equipment needed for the sport.
Parents do all of this for their child, expecting their child is going to get a scholarship instead of looking realistically at the situation, and knowing that really only a handful or less of the players on the team will get a Division I offer.
Parents just assume their child is ready and able to play at the highest level. I have heard on the recruiting trail that some athletes are willing or want to take their first Division I offer they receive. That baffles my mind because what if that offer is hundreds or thousands of miles away from your family or is in a location they hate?
However, they are going to take it because it is the first or only offer they might receive at that level instead of going to a smaller school at a lower division that they like better.
Athletes today are more about the notoriety of the school, conference or level instead of going somewhere they know they will play and be successful. How many times do you hear about someone going to a school but you never hear about them actually playing?
Alternatively, how many times do you hear of a player transferring to a smaller school than the one they are at? They would not have to sit out a year or move if they would have just chosen that school in the first place.
Athletes need to pick a school where they know they can make an impact and play instead of just sitting the bench their first year or redshirting, so they get a year to develop. It might not be at the Division 1 level but at least you are getting to play and some experience their freshman year.