What Every Student-Athlete Should Know After Receiving an Offer
Most soccer players dream of the day when a college coach presents them with a scholarship offer. They take official and unofficial visits, meet with potential teammates, attend tournaments, camps, and showcases and meet with college coaches with one goal in mind – an offer. When the excitement wears down, they are often faced with a serious question – what happens now? Athletes now have to prepare for what to do when their dreams become a reality. Receiving an offer from a college coach is the first hurdle, but recruited student-athletes must understand how to respond once an offer is extended.
It can be very tough to make a final decision, especially when you are considering more than one college or university. If you are a senior, college coaches are beginning to wrap up their recruiting classes and when offers are extended, they will be accompanied by deadlines. If you are not ready to commit on the spot, inquiring about your coach’s deadline is the first step. You need to know what kind of time you have to make a decision.
Next, make sure you understand the financial details and implications. If the coach offered you a scholarship, be sure you and your family are comfortable with the amount. If not, communicate your concerns to the coach. If no money was discussed, you can consider yourself a “recruited walk on” and it is critical to ask if you will definitely have a roster spot.
Your campus visit should be one of the keys in your decision making process. Now is a perfect time to review all aspects of your visit. Your future teammates will be your friends and family for the next four to five years, if not the rest of your life. Think about your experience and ask yourself if you felt truly comfortable with them and the coaches, if they were friendly and if you liked the coaches’ approach to the sport. Most importantly, think about where and how you will fit on the team.
After all this homework and reflection, if you feel comfortable that this institution is your top choice, then you should seriously consider committing. However, if you are unsure, know your timeline and visit as many colleges/universities as you can. Talk with as many different coaches as possible (always telling them you have an offer) during that time period as well.
Although this can be a long and timely process, you should feel excited about narrowing down your college search and being so close to wrapping things up. It is important for every student-athlete to take the time to consider all aspects before making a final decision. Your experiences as a collegiate athlete and being part of a team will have a great impact throughout college and even after your days on the field.