A cautionary tale about dreams of athletic scholarships

d5dacb7b-d774-43b6-b8c8-1da8091c8fceThis is a cautionary tale, retold only so that you do not make the same mistake.

“We are counting on a college athletic scholarship.” said Todd. His daughter, Lori, was a star softball player in Stonington. [As with all case studies, the names, town, and key details have been changed. But, the story itself is accurate.] Lori – and her family – spent nearly every weekend in the spring and summer travelling with her premiere softball team.

Through middle school, Lori had good grades and a good group of friends in Stonington. During high school, Lori’s grades started to slip. Studying on the road is not easy and multiple weekday practices in New Haven often interfered with important study days. Her friendships with her Stonington friends had become strained. Travelling so many weekends took her out of the social loop.

Unlike a lot of athletes with delusions of grandeur, Lori was really good. Definitely the best player on her high school team, Lori made all state as a sophomore. Her parents thought college scholarships were a sure thing.

Junior year came around, Lori’s grades continued to be mediocre and she started complaining that she had no good friends in school. Her main friends were from softball outside of school. But now many of these teammates had either quit or switched teams. In addition, Lori couldn’t find the time to put in effort for SAT prep because she was so busy. Her test scores were lower than she expected.

Lori attended camps designed for athletic recruitment. Division I teams, however, did not come calling.   Lori was a great player. But she was relatively small. Moreover, her dominance of softball in Southeastern, CT did not impress DI scouts who scour California, Florida, and other large state, warm weather locales for the best softball talent.

With no scholarships coming, subpar grades and test scores, Lori and her parents were highly disappointed in her college choices. She’s now at a college notorious for partying, not academics. She’s not playing softball.