What Is It like To Be A College Athlete?

Posted on November 05 2019

For many students, it’s an enriching and fun experience participating in college athletics. As a matter of fact, every year, 400,000 college athletes do just that. Some are impressive enough that they have received scholarships with which to attend college. But as exciting as it can be, college athletes need to face up to some pretty harsh truths.

It's not all fun and games, being good at sports. Let's take a look at a few things you may or may not realize about college athletes.

What Is It like To Be A College Athlete?


You may have heard one type of scholarship referred to in the past as a Full Ride Athletic Scholarship. Here's the thing about that – it's not actually a thing because scholarships can only be given out one year at a time! For a maximum of five years, and at a coach’s discretion, they can be renewed annually, however. Depending on your sport, between $8000 and $11,000 is the average athletic scholarship. That doesn't cover full tuition in many colleges these days.

Additionally, the chances of getting a scholarship are actually pretty slim. As an example, only about 12,000 seniors every year out of the 250,000 that play will actually receive a scholarship to play collegiate basketball. It's not impossible, but it's tough out there.

So You're Going to Hit the Big Leagues!

Naturally, practically every person who plays college sports has dreams of one day making it big. But when it comes to going pro, not many will succeed. As an example, 400,000 students participated in athletics in 2008. But the number of students that went on to professionally compete was only one out of every 25 students. Our best advice – plan for a career outside of sports by taking care of academics. Just in case.

Interesting statistic:

  • Which sport has the biggest college to pro rate?


Just How Long Have You Been a Great Athlete?

This may come as a surprise to many but as early as seventh grade, college coaches are already starting to build a file on particular players. Certainly, by the end of ninth grade, stellar players will have a place in the filing cabinet of many collegiate coaches. By their junior year, students should be taking control of their athletic career.

Academic Requirements

Some sports, such as the NCAA, have specific requirements in the academic field. Graduating from high school, in some cases, isn't enough. It's important for students wanting a collegiate athletic opportunity, and a professional career after that, to keep up their grades, concentrate on academics, and be constantly aware of the requirements of their sport.

A Limit on Practice?

Yes, technically there is a limit to how much practice an athlete can be subjected to. Unfortunately, coaches sometimes do not stick to those limits. NCAA law dictates that only 20 hours per week can be spent practicing. But the coach may not agree. Unfortunately, you'll have less time to study if you spend more time at practice. If you're struggling with your schoolwork, this simply will not do.

This could be one of the reasons why athletic students are frequently stressed out. With physical pressure, academics, and scheduling all in the mix, more often than not, there is a high level of stress in the life of a college athlete.

What's more, there is no agent to fight for you. The only person you have to protect your interests is you. On the other hand, if your parents want to get involved, that is still allowed.

Of course, any good college athlete, whenever possible, will don his team’s cap. At Hat Heaven, we have an impressive selection of hats representing various teams and sports. Check today to see if your team is represented.


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