- Jordana Klein
IMG Academy Breaks Down How to Find a Perfect Fit for the Next Level
Narrowing down your college list can be an extensive task, but how do you even start creating a list to begin with? Close to home, across the country, in the mountains, or on the oceanside – with so many options, not to mention finding the right athletic fit – where do you start? IMG Academy helps hundreds of student-athletes find their next home and decide which university best aligns with each individual’s athletic skills, academic interests, and various other desires.
From the immense experience our coaches have competing and coaching at the collegiate level to our College Planning and Placement department, IMG Academy’s methodology to pinpointing that perfect school sends each graduating class to schools of both high athletic and academic calibers. So, where to begin?
To start, coaches should have the best insight on which schools should be achievable or whether certain schools should remain in the “reach” category. College Advisors can also narrow down a list depending on acceptance rates and admissions processes, financial aid or scholarships, when applicable, and other key factors. Upon gathering a list of schools, each student-athlete should have in mind whether they would enjoy certain settings and offerings as opposed to others. Here are some key determining factors to discovering that natural fit:
- Location / Distance to Home
- Student size
- Admission / Acceptance requirements
- Athletic facilities
- Athletic Conference
- Athletics offerings (whether certain sports are available)
- Athletic level – determines playing time and roster vs. red shirt
- Distance to other schools in the area
- Special Programs (ROTC, Student Clubs, etc.)
- Class sizes
- Big or small city
- Proximity to airports if out of state
- School type (public or private)
For most, finding a balance between athletics and academics proves key. With too rigorous of a class schedule, focus during game time could possibly fall behind. But, a grinding practice schedule may not align with one’s aspirations to seek out that Ph.D. It’s all a balance, and the preference is yours.
An important element of the process should be placed within one’s family and relatives. This process won’t take a day, a week, or even a month. Determining preferences and then enduring the recruitment process can be lengthy, but it’s also incredibly rewarding and fulfilling once complete. Having a National Letter of Intent (NLI) in hand and signing that dotted line holds a meaning absolutely indescribable, and entering campus for move-in and orientation is a feeling unlike any other. Being a part of a collegiate athletics program only lasts for four years, so the importance of finalizing a list of schools should not be taken lightly. Fortunately, with the right tools and support in place, student athletes can attain their aspirations and look back on a process so fulfilling and gratifying in the end.
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