No two athletes are the same!

There’re athletes that are similar, but no two athletes are identical. There are way too many variables that comes into play.

With Academics, it is the same Every student is going to be different, then you have their athletic ability that will tie into it too! Eligibility is different and then finally…… the finances are also going to be different as well.

Financial capability plays a big part, if not the biggest part, for sure… And what an athlete can qualify for academically is going to be different from athlete to athlete.

Typically, what you hear from American coaches based in Australia, or coaches who have gone through the American system is……

“Oh, well I played in division one.”, or, “I played in division two.”, or, “I played in the NAIA.”, or “junior college that’s where you want to go”. “I played in division one, so if you don’t go to division one, don’t even bother, it’s not worth your time”


“Look, I don’t think you’re ready for division one yet. Maybe take a year off and work on your game and then go over the year later if you’re ready. Take a year off, get ready for division one and then go”

I’m sorry…….. but this is Absolutely Terrible advice!

These comments might not come from an American coach, it may come from any coach. It’s just one of those things where a coach’s opinion is often misconstrued with the right advice. What about this one…… “Oh, you know what, I’ve coached a lot of kids, you’re a division two level athlete.”, or, “You’re a division one level athlete. That’s where you should set your sights.”

Okay, well that could be true!

We have heard these comments from coaches before, then that athlete comes to us and says, “I want go to division two, because my coach said that I’m a good division two athlete.”

Well……. even though I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with that, are you going to start out in a division two program? And is a division two program going to provide you with a scholarship that is affordable? Does your coach know if you are eligible for that division based on your academic coming out of high school?

Is it going to be a place where you can participate, have a game time and enjoy your experience

College sport is not like sport here in Australia where you can say, “okay, I’m good enough for this particular club at this particular level, I’m going to play there in that division”. You just pay my registration fees, you try out, make the team, and you are playing!”

In the States you may be good enough for a particular division or school, but are you academically eligible? And can you afford it at the end of the day? With your characteristics…..Does that coach feel that you’re a division two athlete? And not just any division two athlete? but are you an athlete that’s going to fit their program? Are they recruiting an athlete in your position in your entry year?

Team sports are obviously very subjective. A coach here may think you’re a division two athlete or an unbelievable athlete in general. Coaches in the US may have a completely different opinion of you! And attitude has a huge impact.

“Taking opinions or taking information with an open mind”

They’re using their own eyes, they’re making their own decisions and may come back to you with, “Well, no, sorry, but I don’t feel that you’re a good fit here.”, or they may say, “Yeah, I think you’d be a great fit here.”

It’s about just taking opinions or taking information with an open mind and not taking it as gospel. Go out and do additional research and figure out the best option for you.

Is it something that’s going to happen straight away? Or is that where I could end up? Or what can I do to work my way into an opportunity like that (Division 1 or 2 program)?

We regularly hear from athletes that their coach knows an athlete or has a family friend’s son or daughter that went over to the US. Basically……they know an athlete that’s gone over. The information that they give you is not even related to their own experience, it’s based on someone else’s experience.

Sharing information with you about somebody else’s experience!

So, the chances are, that the information is distorted and incorrect, remember we said every student athlete is different… so you need to be very wary of information that’s passed on from coaches that know of an athlete that went over.

“Little Johnny, you know, he went over, and he did this, and you know, you’re better than him. You know, so look, you could probably do better and go to a higher division”

That’s one we hear constantly, we hear that in the office all the time, so … again, there’s no single solution for every student athlete. Everyone is different!

The main point that we’re trying to get across is – don’t take everything that a coach tells you and believe it as truth! It may be incorrect, and you need to always get a second opinion.

You don’t have to be necessarily skeptical of all the information that you’re given, but again, it’s important to take any information with a grain of salt and understand not to take it as gospel.

“mentally prepare for the challenges in moving away from home”

Understand that that coach’s experience, or his experience with other athletes that he’s coached that have done things, understand where that message is derived from, where the root of that information is coming from and then further explore the topic that’s being discussed in more detail that’s specific to you.

And like I said, just be sure that, you’re not just taking what you’re hearing and, “Yep, that’s what’s right for me and this is what we’re going to go for.”

Another concern that’s raised by parents and athletes and we hear it on a weekly basis, which is more of a statement really!!!

They will call up and say.

“I’m looking to defer my college entry date because I don’t think I’m ready athletically.”


“My coach has said I’m not ready to go over and compete at this particular level yet, so they want me to stay here and work with them until I’m good enough, maybe for an additional year or six months until I’m ready to go over.”

Now look, I think there is some value to that. If the student athlete themselves feel, they are not ready mentally or mentally prepared for the challenges in moving away from home and they’re not ready to go, then in that situation, I would say, okay. Take that 12 months, mature a bit, work with your coach and continue to develop.

“Wave the red flag”

Now if that’s you, the athlete that’s saying that, then of course you’re not ready! But if you are excited and pumped with going, have the right attitude and willing to put in the time and effort to experience such an opportunity and your coach tells you that you are not ready……RED FLAGS!!! There is no such thing as ‘not being ready to go to the US athletically’

I would put up the red flag 100%. Coaches have their own personal agenda in mind a lot of times and I have seen this most often with golf. Golf because it’s all about your handicap.

Coaches would say “If you’re sitting at about a six or a seven right now, you’re never going to get anything over in the States with that” “So take an addit

ional year, train with me full time throughout that year, let’s work on getting your handicap down so that then you can go to the States”

Wave that red flag!!!

Wave the red flag, because again, could it help? Well, certainly it could help. But think about what that coach has just told you. I want you to commit full time to me for another 12 months, train with me individually to be ready to then go to the States. Well, that’s not free!

That coach is sitting there saying, “Oh, private training for another 12 months.” like that’s a guaranteed income! And yes, could they help you? Certainly, but is it necessary? Absolutely not, because there is a level in the United States for literally any and every kind of athlete! If you’ve finished year 12, got a year 12 certificate or the equivalent of a year 12 certificate, and you want to go to the States, you need to get to the States as early as possible.

As early as possible, because … Let’s say that there’s all sorts of opportunities that can help you develop and then allow you to progress through the US system. So, if you’re a golfer for instance, and you’re playing off a seven handicap, No, you probably won’t get a division one offer straight away. But, does that mean you shouldn’t go at all or wait?

“progress through the US system”

Or do you go to a school that will support that handicap? And again, think about this for any sport. Go to a school that supports where you’re currently at on US soil where you’re able to compete, you’re able to get training sessions in before class and after class.

You’re also working on your academics throughout that time, you’re competing on US soil against good, challenging competition and then as you develop, there are always places that you can then transfer into … progress through the US system! Where you start, is not necessarily where you finish.

There’s absolutely nothing that your coach or that you could do here that is even similar or is on the same level as what you would be doing over in the States in any division at any school.

Even if you’re getting private coaching in that year off and you have decided to stay, there is not a chance that your coach is getting up every single morning running a session with you and then running another session with you in the afternoon every single day.

“It’s unlike anything that your coach can give you here”

Being in that institute type of environment where you’re living there, you eat, sleep, breathe, combining your training and your education, you’re working on both of them together! Another good example, like golf, I hear it with basketball all the time!

And look, there are opportunities to go straight into college for kids that are … You know, fit the levels there. But then there’s also pre-college opportunities called post graduate prep programs. So, they prepare kids for the college game. Take a year at a prep program and then step into college and do that on US soil.

Develop in the US where you can be seen, a system where they can train you and live the whole experience of training, education, how you compete. It’s unlike anything that your coach can give you here.

This is where you can be seen! By pursuing your goals in the US, coaches can physically see you and help you develop and progress through the US system. You’re doing it on US soil and it shows the commitment that you’ve made to be there and work hard through that system.

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