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What happens for college when sports comes off the table

one1ofeachone1ofeach 760 replies17 threads Member
I’ve mentioned in passing I have a junior daughter. She has also always played sports in school plus two club sports. Or I should say my son followed her out onto the field and the court so he’s the “also.”

For various reasons she is realizing that schools she wants to go to might not be athletic matches for her. The problem is she has devoted her life to these sports so other ec’s are almost non existent. Will she be screwed in college admissions? I’m not sure what advice to give her. She has good grades from a top prep and good scores but her ec’s which have taken all her time are no longer relevant.
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Replies to: What happens for college when sports comes off the table

  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 1810 replies13 threads Senior Member
    Nothing bad at all. Once kids decide they don’t want to play in college or there isn’t a fit, they might not want to continue in high school.
    Ec’s are what you do to fill your time with stuff you love. If later you do something else, that’s fine. They are not going to say hey that kid did nothing.
    When kids fill out ecs for college it goes into a grid and school can see what was done each year. If you have a kid who reached a high level in anything then switched or stopped that is totally fine. Just make sure she does something else to fill in her time.
    Injuries are also common so many top athletes also stop for career ending injuries.
    Plus reaching a high level in sports says a lot about teamwork, balancing time etc. it’s not the EV’s, it is the intangibles they are looking at.
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  • one1ofeachone1ofeach 760 replies17 threads Member
    Ok. Thank you! I will talk to her about what she might want to instead next year for spring season. If she quits club she will likely continue to play for school - she will play two varsity sports and be captain for each (I know for one and I suspect for the other).

    Then spring she will have the season off. And will do something else. Maybe this spring as well actually.

    She has also been working at the same soup kitchen since 8th grade so she has over 300 hours of community service with the same organization and will have over 400 next year (actual documented volunteer hours).
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  • vegas1vegas1 602 replies2 threads Member
    @oneofeach I think once the realization is made, it’s time to get busy with the next chapter. Is there a way she can continue her love of the sport by coaching/ mentoring young athletes, managing a team or working as a referee? If not, I think it is vital to figure out how she will translate her work ethic, discipline and teamwork she has used in her sport into a new EC that better fits her long term goals.
    Her next chapter might serve as a great college app essay once she comes out the other side of this. Good luck!
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  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 1810 replies13 threads Senior Member

    That’s a lot your kid has going on. And the soup kitchen is great. So much better than starting something junior year.
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  • one1ofeachone1ofeach 760 replies17 threads Member
    That’s a lot your kid has going on. And the soup kitchen is great. So much better than starting something junior year.

    It’s our mother daughter activity 😊
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  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 1810 replies13 threads Senior Member
    @one1ofeach I love that. Nothing better than leading by example!!! Just awesome.
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  • GoatMamaGoatMama 1323 replies12 threads Senior Member
    Being a team captain is a leadership position, so she'll have that too. In the Common App, for each activity she will have to list how many years she has done it and how many hours per week. With her sport commitments and volunteering, it's clear that she has been very busy outside of school. Whether she keeps playing in college or not is a moot point. BTW, there are only 10 lines for activities, with only 150 characters for each activity description. She will be fine!
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 6274 replies10 threads Senior Member
    My kid was in a similar position. He had to decide between playing his main sport in college at schools he liked but were not his top choices or pursuing schools he liked much better but where he would not be a recruit. This meant he would forgo the recruitment hook at the first group of schools. He did not, however, stop playing for any team because that's what he preferred to do with his time. Part was sport, part was friends.

    Your D is still going to be playing at school. Whether she plays club or not at this point should not be about whether she wants to play in college (realizing she would have to play club to be recruited) but if she is happy with how she is using her time. If there is something else she would rather do - something she would like to try, something that hasn't gotten enough of her time -- she has her decision.

    Colleges are looking for engagement outside the classroom. She has plenty of that. Don't sweat it.

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  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 1810 replies13 threads Senior Member
    My kid dropped club once they decided college play wasn't going to be part of the plan. Club took too much time away from other activities.
    And having a Captain spot is great.
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  • 417WHB417WHB 193 replies4 threads Junior Member
    This was my daughter, she realized sophomore year that she was not good enough to play at the schools she wanted to attend but also she did not love the sport enough to spend the time you have to in order to play D1 college level. She dropped the club at that point, still did a couple camps for her favorite sport just to get good for her senior season (she was a captain also) and stuck with the second sport even though there was some discussion of dropping. It is not an issue for colleges at all, 95% of HS athletes do not continue their sport in college so they are used to it. It is still an extracurricular which shows drive, stickiness and also leadership if you make it to captain etc. It is not a hook like it would be if you were to play in college, but still a favorable thing to have on your resume. Between that and the volunteer work, your daughter is in great shape.
    Once she dropped club, my daughter did put more time into music and was part of the school musical which she really enjoyed. But otherwise it was nice to ditch the driving for club and have more time to deal with junior grind, particularly on weekends. She got into top college just on her grades and ECs, no hook left btw. It will work out, your daughter sounds awesome and the absence of recruiting actually gives her a lot more choices for college. For mine it was a blessing, and she is involved in a ton of stuff at college, including things related to her sports, and she would never be able to do that if she was on the team.
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 5833 replies86 threads Senior Member
    Many people play sports because they are fun. The spirit. You make friends that last a lifetime. And it keeps you fit.

    College admissions and strategy was lowest on the list of reasons for my particular child. Although the attributes of the prior list also make good contributors to a campus and that comes out in the application.

    YMMV.
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  • one1ofeachone1ofeach 760 replies17 threads Member
    @privatebanker
    I think you’ve misunderstood. My daughter has been planning to play sports in college her whole life because she LOVES playing. She is an athlete in every sense of the word, competitive, team oriented, loves a challenge, resilient...

    What she has realized, quite sadly, is that she is not good enough (have you seen Arkansas women’s bb? Holy smoke!) to play at the colleges she likely wants to go to. She doesn’t want a small LAC. She isn’t enamored of the ivies. She is thinking she wants larger universities and she’s not going to make the UConn teams.

    So my question was more about how colleges will view her very sport heavy resume, enumerable hours spent on the pitch and the court, at the expense of other ec’s like debate, mun, robotics club, whatever. She’s never had time for those things because she literally leaves varsity soccer practice to go to aau practice doing homework in the car at a hard core bs.

    Playing sports was never done with the goal of getting into college or building a resume. It was done because my daughter likes to play.
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 5833 replies86 threads Senior Member
    Got it. Excellent post. Thank you
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 23821 replies17 threads Senior Member
    The admissions office will view her sports as ECs, and her commitment to them as a positive. The AO is not recruiting so won't penalize her for being 5'9" rather than 6'2". The AO won't care if her ECs are all basketball and not debate because they also aren't recruiting for the debate team.

    Your daughter might spend more time looking at the club and intramural situation at schools she's interested in because I don't think she'll want to go cold turkey in giving up her sports. She'll want to work out, have fun, play a little. My niece could have played D1 in her sport but didn't want to pick a school based on that, so she played on the club team at her school for 3 years (I think she got 1 credit for it each year).
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  • rickle1rickle1 2252 replies18 threads Senior Member
    I think it's great she realizes she wants her future to be focused on her school vs. playing at the college level, meaning not attending a school she loves in order to continue playing. I know many who have gone the other route and ultimately transfered out, quit, moved back home, etc because the school was never a great fit.

    Her HS athletic focus should not harm her admissions chances at all. As you mentioned, HS sports promote resiliency, teamwork, goal setting, competition, sportmanship, etc. Add a captain or two and she will have lots of leadership experience. Don't know what her interests are, but the professional world loves all those attributes.

    Many schools have pretty well developed club sports teams. The larger schools have multiple teams in certain sports as there's a ton of talent. S was similar to your D in that he was a good baseball player (played all the time), captain for two yrs, made varsity as a freshmen, etc but wasn't good enough to play at a major program or any of the schools he was interested in academically. He knew he wasn't going to play in college but there was no way he would have stopped in HS because of the friendships, the competition, the way it made him feel. You know what I mean. He loved putting that jersey on. He stopped summer ball after graduation.

    Fast forward and he's a college junior getting ready for his third club spring season. He loves it. Very competitive, good level of ball (like everyone who made the team was a good HS player, some of them really good), not too much time commitment (two practices per week and double headers on the weekends). Club sports are for real in college. There's a national association with leagues, divisions, playoffs, etc. He attends Wake Forest. They play Duke, NC State, App State, HighPoint, some schools in VA and SC.

    She might like something like that.
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  • one1ofeachone1ofeach 760 replies17 threads Member
    Thank you so much to everyone who has helped allay my fears and made suggestions to look into club sports. I went to a smaller school and the club teams were things like frisbee. I had no idea how competitive club teams got in college. She will definitely look into it. I think we will do a ton of research over March break and hopefully figure out a good list. At least without recruiting summers will be open again. We spent the last two summers going to camps for two different sports. Ugh. I love sports but I think the rat race of recruiting is a lot if you aren’t the kid who’s got offers pouring in freshman year.
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  • doschicosdoschicos 22729 replies238 threads Senior Member
    Speaking of frisbee, it is quite competitive these days yet a really fun environment at the same time. And former soccer players often do quite well at it given their speed and coordination.

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  • 417WHB417WHB 193 replies4 threads Junior Member
    @one1ofeach She sounds a lot like my daughter, who also felt SLACs were too small and wanted both strong academics and big tune sports and applied to a mix of state flagships (OOS) and bigger private universities with D1 sports. It worked out great, DM me if you want to chat more. Also, soccer and basketball are easiest sports to play, even my DD who has not played soccer since middle school has been roped into intramural soccer. They just played last night and she called how fun and exhausting it was etc. and there are hoops near most dorms and they play pick up games as well as tournaments between floors, majors etc. So even if she does not want to jump into club right away (which has a lot of travel in D1 schools) there are lots of options to play. And some kids are very good and fiercely competitive, or so my daughter reports.
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  • sevmomsevmom 8527 replies58 threads Senior Member
    Club sports can be very competitive in college depending on the sport. And getting on the team to begin with will depend on the sport.
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  • rickle1rickle1 2252 replies18 threads Senior Member
    ^ Yes with a developed program, their will be tryouts and cuts for many teams which keeps the talent level high. Less developed programs may be more for those just looking to have fun. At S' school, the club teams are competitive. (I think 40 kids tried out for baseball and they took 20). Plenty of intramural (same sex or coed) sports for those who seek more recreational activities (they can get pretty competitve too).

    We didn't have a vibrandt club sports platform back int he 80s. Back then, a club team was essentially the school team in a non-sacntioned sport (rugby as an example). Now it's a real thing designed for the competitve athlete who wasn't recruited or didn't want to make that their college focus (at many schools). Great outlet to keep those juices flowing.
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