VYPE Houston Region
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Malatesta's 2-Cents: Keeping the Dream Alive
September 12, 2012By Matt Malatesta of VYPE MAGAZINE - North Houston
Keeping the Dream Alive
Everyone has dreams of playing college sports. That's probably 50-percent of the reason why all of you high school athletes have endured the blood, sweat and tears the past decade, right?
Everyone wants the opportunity to play under the bright lights, whether it be football, volleyball, baseball, softball, hoops or track. It is the goal written on refrigerators, notebooks, walls, journals or shoes across the city of Houston. It's the carrot at the end of two-a-days, a five-set match or early-morning workouts when no one is watching. It's the stuff on Powerade and Nike commercials.
While the end result can be a dream, getting there can be a nightmare. It can wreck your self-esteem, distract you from your game and frustrate you enough to give up the sport all together. Don't let it.
For a small few, the recruiting process goes smoothly as some athletes receive early offers and commit early. But that is the minority. The others are left to grind it out their senior seasons and dangle until their respective National Signing Days. But that is the game.
I'm asked all the time by parents and athletes, what can I do to get recruited? Great question. Put on your sales cap, network, be realistic, research, promote and repeat. High school coaches are loaded with responsibility that you can't imagine, so if your kid has a fire that burns bright to play college sports, you have to take charge. Research depth charts, get on team websites and contact the assistants directly. Send highlight links (thanks to Hudl). Take unofficial trips during the summer or school year. Start low and go high. Start at FCS or Division III schools and work your way up.
But most of all, make sure your athlete has the same passion that you as a parent or guardian have. College sports is a business, it's hard work and is NOT glamorous. An athlete's fire can burn out quickly if he or she is playing before smaller crowds and worse facilities that they were used to in high school. It can literally vaporize.
Make sure their fire is white-hot as they enter the recruiting process, not just yours.
See You at the Games,
Matt Malatesta, VYPE Co-Publisher