COLLEGE ATHLETICS – LACK OF AWARENESS AMONG YOUNG ATHLETES IN EUROPE
Recruiting is one of the biggest factors when building and maintaining a successful College team. In the so called non-revenue sports it becomes increasingly more popular to recruit overseas. Especially in the sport of tennis, adding international talent is very popular. So you would think that a lot of young talented athletes in Europe are aware of this opportunity to earn a scholarship and play College sports, right?
The fact is, only a small percentage of young athletes in Europe even know about it. In the efforts to recruit for my company, I am in contact with prospective scholarship athletes from Europe every day and shocked that so few are aware of this opportunity. This unawareness is unfortunate and destroys thousands of young European athletes’ dreams.
Being an 18-year old High School graduate with not the best grades, I was not able to enroll into the study programs I wanted to and was faced with an awkward situation by asking myself: What’s next? It was only for a happy accident that I happened to hear about the in Europe unfamiliar opportunity of playing College sports. The idea immediately caught my undivided attention and it soon felt like destiny. To this day, committing to this journey was the best decision of my life and marked an irreplaceable educational experience.
There are thousands of kids in similar situations out there who are unaware of this kind of opportunity. Talented European athletes, who want to continue their athletic career after High School, are partly forced into “athletic retirement” when starting university, because the university system and time commitment make it very hard to logistically pursue both careers. Raised in Germany, I know all too many talents who had to cut their athletic career short at cost of their studies, only wishing they had known about such an opportunity.
Putting aside the discussion of which education system is the better one, the US College system offers great possibilities to continue one’s athletic career while pursuing a university degree. And the great thing is, the universities have scholarships that partially or completely pay for most of the student’s expenses during his/her College career including tuition, accommodation and board.
The bottom line is that kids who are fortunate enough to get contacted by a College recruiting agency are being offered a chance, but what about all those kids who are good enough to land a scholarship, but are NOT being contacted? Due to the educational system in Europe I was restricted in choosing my future path, but through my athletic talent and knowing about this opportunity, I was able to pursue the path that I wanted and study in the field I was destined to work in. Being a student-athlete gave me the experience that defines my life and everyone should have that opportunity!