High school wrestlers dream of one day competing at the college level, but just like anything else it takes hard work and dedication to find a college to wrestle for. Wrestlers are among the hardest training athletes, so don’t let all that time spent sweating through grueling practices to make weight go to waste by not focusing on college recruiting.
Wrestlers who want to compete in college need to focus not only to their athletic training, but to their college recruiting as well. Coaches will not just find you, so if you are serious about the possibility of receiving a college wrestling scholarship then these three expert tips will help you get on the right track:
Tip #1: The Best Wrestling College isn’t Always “the Best Wrestling College”
Athletes are naturally attracted to schools whose name they recognize. We call this “window shopping.” Window shopping causes athletes to miss out on opportunities that are good for them because they choose to chase the opportunities that only look like good decisions from the outside looking in.
Instead, if you become a smart shopper instead of a window shopper you can really find the best wrestling college to continue your athletic and academic career. Researching colleges is the only way to know if you will potentially like a school. Yeah, there may be a university out there that you think you want to wrestle for, but do you really know enough about it other than its name? What is their coach like? What areas do they usually recruit from? Is their practice schedule too early in the morning or too late at night? What kind of academic support does the school offer for athletes? Do they have the major you want to study? These are just several of the questions you can only answer by doing the research. You can find out some information by visiting schools’ websites and calling them, but you will need to get in touch with college wrestling coaches to learn some of the other things.
Tip #2: Waiting for Something to Magically Happen Leads to Failure
You already know that coaches won’t just find you; armed with that knowledge, and the research you did on the best wrestling colleges for you, the next thing you need to do is figure out how to start exploring opportunities. Start contacting coaches at the schools you researched to introduce yourself and let those coaches know you are interested in their program. Our Guide to Communicating with College Coaches will help you learn how to talk to college coaches.
Building relationships with college coaches by communicating with them and reaching out to them to show your interest is the most important thing you can do if you truly want a college scholarship.
Tip #3: DI College Wrestling is Hard
There are less than 100 NCAA DI college wrestling programs, which makes the competition for scholarship and walk-on chances extremely difficult. Try looking outside the DI college wrestling level for more chances. DII colleges offer athletic scholarships and a high level of competition, just like DI schools. DIII schools don’t offer athletic scholarship, but there are other ways to get money for DIII schools, and the competition is still quite competitive.
Expand your search to find more opportunities! You may even be pleasantly surprised with the options you find at lower levels that you didn’t even know existed!