Track and Field – Choosing a College

So it is nearing the end of you senior year of high school and you are trying to decide where you want to go to college. This can be a very tough decision, and when you start to include athletics into the equation it gets even tougher.  Here are some things that you should consider when making your decision.

When narrowing your list of potential schools your should first look at academics.  At which schools can you receive the best education.  Only a very small percentage of athletes will be able to have a professional career in their chosen sport so when we decide on our college we must make it based on academics. 

Once you have the colleges narrowed down based on academics then you can start to look at many other variables.  Here are just a few and I have not listed them in any particular order of importance.

Location-  Where do you want to go to school.  If you live in the North and you dislike cold weather then you may want to look into schools in the South.  Maybe you would like to stay close to home so you then need to look at local schools.

Coach-  Your coaches will play a huge role in determining how well you enjoy your time in college.  Most collegiate student-athletes see their coach more than they see their parents so it is very important to select the correct coach.  You should talk with different coaches to see which ones you believe you could have a good relationship with.  If you end up at a school with a coach that you can not stand to be around then you will either be miserable for four years or you will decide to give up the sport you love so much in order to be a normal student and to stay away from the coach.

Teammates-  Before you make your final decision you should make a visit to the school and try to attend a practice or two.  This will allow you to not only see how the coach runs practice, but it will also let you see what kind of work ethic and personality your potential future teammates have.  If you enjoy the company of these potential teammates then you should keep that school on your list of choices.

Facilities-  When visiting a school you should take a look at all work out facilities that you will have access to.  Do the facilities meet your needs and requirements.  If they are lacking in something then are their plans in the future to either fix, build, or replace potential facilities.  Depending on the sport you play these facalities can be more complex than others.  For example, a runner does not need very elaborate facilities.  As long as they have a track, a few weights, and a training room then you should be fine.  Other sports require much more equipment and facilities so you should ask about the facilities available to you if you attend.

Scholarship-  Many people can not afford to attend college without some type of scholarship, grants, or student loan.  When you are determining you school choice then you should keep in mind the dollar amount that some of your potential schools have offered.

The list above if just a small number of examples of things you should consider when searching for a college. Before you rush any decision about your college please decide if the school meets enough of your requirements.  If the school does not then you should discard it as a possibility and you should move on to your next school.