With more than 77’000 competing in the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics), over 60’000 in the NJCAA (National Junior College Athletics Association), and around 500’000 competing in the NCAA (National College Athletics Association), well over half a million students choose to go into college sports in the United States alone. Making up around 17% of college students, student-athletes, and college sports are more popular than ever, and it isn’t hard to see why!
Explore some of the benefits that participating in college sports may bring.
Student-Athletes have access to State-of-the-Art facilities and equipment, a high level of coaching, and one-on-one training both on the field and in the weight room. Some of the facilities you will have at your disposal are practice gyms, courts, fields, pools, weight rooms, various rehab facilities, and knowledgeable staff to go with them. Only going pro will grant you access to better training than at the collegiate level.
Most college games are broadcasted live, some even nationally or worldwide, allowing you to be seen by many professional coaches. While many universities have their own local broadcast channel, some sports, such as football and basketball, are also broadcast on national media like ESPN, ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, Fox, and more. This exposure will open doors both into professional sports and professional work-life.
Building and maintaining relationships is an extremely important skill college athletes learn. The relationships you build with your teammates, coaches, administrative staff, and professors will be for a lifetime. They will be the people you invite to your wedding, reference on your resume, and help you get job opportunities.
As a college athlete, you learn leadership, confidence, discipline, effective time management, and teamwork, which prepare you for the working world. These are the skills companies look for when hiring, giving you an edge over your competition.
Leadership is forged within teams. Especially the Captains of college sports teams become tried and tested leaders. A college captain is a liaison between coaches and players. They must work harder than everybody else; they learn to confront their teammates, on and off of the field, and all that in an intense, emotional environment.
Confidence building is a huge aspect of college sports; you are essentially performing on a stage. Getting yourself out there, working hard, the discipline of showing up every day, and seeing yourself improve over the years all feed into your confidence. College sports provide you the platform to build the confidence you will take into your post-college life to help you feel ready for life’s experiences. When you are confident, you are more likely to move forward with people and opportunities — not back away from them. And if things don’t work out at first, confidence helps you try again. Additionally, employers will be more interested in you, as they can benefit from confident employees because they are positive contributors, productive, good motivators, and make great role models.
Structure and discipline in college sports forge habits that are not quickly forgotten. You may survive, but you cannot thrive in both the classroom and on the field unless you develop a disciplined lifestyle. In addition, these lessons make the transition after college to a career and a family much easier.
With all that student-athletes have to juggle in their day — practice, weight room, rehab, classes, labs, homework, and social life — being a student-athlete is very well compared to a full-time job. Therefore, the only way for student-athletes to succeed is to be highly organized and effective in their time management.
Employers seek out candidates with strong teamwork skills for many reasons — they demonstrate leadership, collaboration, and good communication.
College sports are team-oriented, which is why employers look positively at applicants who have played collegiately. Potential employers know you have been in an intense environment for four years and have had to work as a member of a team.
Last but not least, playing sports benefits your body and mind – it strengthens your bones, lowers cholesterol, and decreases your risk of stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Check out this TED Ed video for more benefits!
If you want to study in the USA and take benefit of everything that college sports have to offer, then feel free to contact us