Are you a high school football player who wants to play in college? Do you think that you have the necessary athletic skills to play at the next level? Would you like to have the opportunity to continue playing a sport that you love?
College football coaches are definitely looking for players who have the right “skill sets” to complement and strengthen their teams. Also, they need their players to meet certain academic standards to get into college and can maintain good grades while attending college. And, just as important, they want players who have the right attitude, necessary character and mental toughness to be successful and excel in sports and their studies.
If you have the desire and determination to get your “hands dirty” and put in some hard work, there are a number of things that you can do to put yourself into a position to PLAY UP and become a college football player. Here are several things that I want you to do….
1. Create a Compelling Story – Sit down and write a story about your life as a football player. Begin at the age when you first went out for the sport and why you wanted to play. Include any experiences where you had a difficult challenge or obstacle in a practice or game, and you were able to rise above it. Talk about your personal strengths as a person and athlete. Share any special moments with teammates or coaches and discuss what they mean to you. Identify what the game has given you and what you think that you have given back. List the various highlights of your football career – on and off the field. Explore what you believe makes you a unique football player and what you can do to serve and support a college football team.
2. Become An Inside-Out Player – Learn how to become more internally directed and driven. Take the initiative to become more proactive and work every day on your goals. Don’t wait or expect others to push or pull you to be successful. Make sure that everything you do will put you closer to your ultimate goal of becoming a college football player. Become more inquisitive (ask questions), more intentional (set and reach your own goals), more insightful (know that there is always something new to learn), more inspirational (read books, watch movies, or anything else that will motivate and inspire you), and more influential (how to mentor and support others).
3. Map It Out – Every day that you practice, incorporate some mental skills training or mental conditioning into the practice. Know the purpose of the practice. Know the purpose of each exercise, drill and scrimmage in that practice. Know how the practice can make you a better football player. Ask yourself three questions. Why am I here? What do I bring? Where can I go? Also, include five statements or affirmations in each practice. “I am (identify your personal strengths)”, “I want (state your long term and daily goals)”, “I see (visualize how you want to perform and compete)”, “I bring (think about past highlights and empowering experiences)”, and “I control (state all the things that you have direct control over)”.
4. Do The Research – Begin researching various college football programs on the internet by checking out their websites. Read about the coaching staff, along with their bios and coaching philosophies. See where they recruit players from and what kind of players that they may need in the next few years. Explore how your personal and athletic strengths may complement a specific college football program. Along with the football program, see if that college has the academic majors that you may be interested in studying in college. For example, if you are interested in sports management or coaching, see if they offer any internships or can help you with career placement opportunities.
Besides these recommendations, you want to put in the necessary time to study and get your grades up. Here is a great article regarding elgibility standards for student-athletes. Also, think about additional training or coaching that could help you develop and build your athletic skills. And, you must be careful with Facebook and other social media outlets. There have been a number of high school football players who have lost scholarships because of what the college coaches found on their Facebook pages.
If you would like to know more about “Playing Up” and getting a chance to play football in college, drop me an email at
Here are some additional articles on the college recruiting process: Learn More