Over its years, San Marin has sent many students onto both higher education and higher-level athletics. These student-athletes have gone through the high school recruitment process and have gained much more athletic and academic experience due to it.
Through doing sports in college, students gain access to people who are equally interested in their sport. College athletes advise getting along with each other and having supportive camaraderie in a team setting, especially in athletics.
“Make sure you really enjoy both the sport and the team culture because it is a way bigger time commitment [than high school sports] and if you don’t mesh with the team culture or really don’t love the sport you’ll be miserable,” Harvey Mudd College sophomore and swimmer Nathan Luis said.
Most college athletes agree that the friendships they have formed through their sports with diverse groups of people have added to the experience.
“In high school, especially at San Marin, all your teammates are from Novato, so you have similar backgrounds,” University of California, Berkeley graduate student and football player Colin Moore said.
As college teammates tend to come from different backgrounds and locations, these friendships can lead to growth.
“Just finding out just little differences about where you grew up, you’re able to learn a lot from the guys around you,” Moore said.
Bonds between teammates can improve the team dynamic, as well as the individual players. According to Luis, the mindset of college athletes is different from high school athletes because of how much more committed everyone is to improving themselves and the team.
“One of the biggest changes for me was the mindset of the team,” Luis said. “Everyone wanted to be at practice and to be the best they could be, but they also supported everyone else and wanted them to be the best they could be as well.”
While it may be a larger commitment, alumni still recommend trying high-level sports if students are passionate about the sport.
“If you are interested in doing it at all just go for it even if it might seem scary at first,” Chapman University freshman and softball player Summer Lake said. “There will still be time for school and socializing along with sports, you just have to manage your time properly.”
As the recruitment process can be long and challenging, UC Davis sophomore and equestrian Kendal Scheiner advises those interested to start early. With sports being altered this school year, Scheinder underclassmen who are looking to participate in college-level sports should plan ahead.
“Start early on building a solid sports resume, keeping track of all of your achievements, accomplishments, and awards as you go will aid you in being organized and prepared for the time in which you start meeting with coaches that are interested in you as a future athlete to add to their program,” Scheiner said. “I would also suggest looking at every school that has your sport and keep an open mind as to which one you would like to attend.”
A significant part of being a college athlete is balancing academics and athletics, keeping up with one’s academics during high school will also prove beneficial during the recruiting process. According to Scheiner, college coaches looked at transcripts and academic achievements when considering recruitment. Additionally, for those looking to participate in competitive sports, such as football, it may be difficult to find a team while still in high school. Getting recruited directly from high school is not the only way for an athlete to find a team. In some cases, such as Moore’s, the student will get into the school for their academics and join the team later.
“Because I had good grades, I was able to essentially walk onto Cal and eventually earn a scholarship,” Moore said. “I think the better grades you have in high school, the more schools you will be able to talk to.”
Moore suggests that those whose goal is to play college sports to set up little achievable goals that build up to playing in college.
“Don’t get discouraged,” Moore said. “It’s really tough…but if you work hard and have good grades, you can really go anywhere.”