Should I Play Collegiate Athletics?


I’m not sure where this topic would fit, but I think this’ll work. Here’s my story:
I’ve been playing tennis for 7 years, I’ve been the best player at my local high school for 5 years, and have been the best player on teams that qualified for nationals twice. I used to be a lot more intensely focused on tennis, and it was everything I did. I’ve since balanced myself as a person, and an athlete, tennis is no longer everything to me. Here’s where my predicament begins…
I visited my dream college (D2) recently, and met with the tennis coach. He watched me play while I was there, and has since offered me a $3,000 scholarship to play on the team next year. I would also automatically be accepted to the college, and can sign with the team in mid-November. The only reason I mention the acceptance bit, is that my ACT is slightly below the average score for the college, I would receive NO academic scholarship $, and may even have difficulty being accepted!
I’m super torn about my decision. I know this is where I’m being called to go to college, so that’s not a choice I have to ponder. There are other things I want to do in college as well, such as being involved with the strong Catholic group, getting good grades, and overall having the college experience. I’m worried that being involved on the team will cost me some of these opportunities. One of my main concerns is $$, I don’t want to graduate with a jillion dollars of debt. So tennis helps slightly with that. There are however, other options like working/volunteering for a scholarship, tennis might cost me those chances.
Another thing about tennis is that I’ll never have the opportunity to play a college sport again, and it’s always sorta been a dream/goal of mine.
So basically my questions are these:
1: For anyone graduated, would you go back and play a sport with my opportunity? While sacrificing some of the experiences you had in college? Would it be worth it?
2: For any former/current college athletes, how much stuff do you/did you miss out on? Is it worth it?
3: Please include me in your prayers, I have no idea what to do. I need as much prayer and advice that can be offered!
Thank you, and God Bless!


Looking at it simply from the money angle, I’d go for it. Unless your parents are so wealthy cost isn’t a consideration. And then, since you think you’d have trouble getting into the college based on grades, you should consider going to the community college for 2 years. That’s what my son did. He never would have gotten into a 4-year college without those 2 years at the CC.


I’m more of an “intramural level” sports guy than a “semi-pro” sports guy. So I cannot really advise on that level. :stuck_out_tongue:

I did know some athletes in college, though, and their sport – while definitely a time commitment – did not seem to prevent them from doing other things as well. You mention working/volunteering for a scholarship. That seems not much different to me than playing tennis for a scholarship. Either way, you are spending time doing something to defray the cost of college. So taking advantage of the opportunity in front of you seems like something well worth considering.

You mention that your ACT score is low, which might make it more difficult to get accepted to this school you clearly want to go to. If the tennis scholarship gets you in the door automatically, it seems to me worth doing even if it ends up only being for your freshman year. After all, once you are in, you will be in. So even if you opt not to pursue tennis in subsequent years, you will still be a student at the college. Just take it year by year.

Those are my thoughts anyway. Pray about it. Talk to people you trust about it. It’s an exciting time. :thumbsup:


Absolutely, go for it.

I was certainly not good enough for college sports, but I would have given almost anything to be, when I saw the athletes being recruited and offered scholarships.

And it’s good “resume stuff,” too; something employers like to see.


$3,000 is a very small drop in the bucket; although not untypical in a minor sport (not the sport being less worthy, but it doesn’t bring the big money into the university/college and, therefore, the scholarships are small). Given the time commitment involved in ANY collegiate sport, pulling away from other activities and studies, I would encourage a son or daughter to pass on this offer unless there is just no other choice but to accept. Flip side would be, take it for a year to get in, work yourself harder than ever in your life to keep the grades up; and don’t play after your freshman year.


For some reason, I glossed over that detail. I was just assuming that a “sports scholarship” meant “full ride.” Yeah, $3K is generally a drop in the bucket with regards to college costs. You’d have to do the math on the time commitment vs. the money. It’s possible you could earn more through a part-time job.

But then, if playing college-level tennis is a dream of yours, working hard with just a little benefit might still be well worth pursuing. If it were me, I think I would regret not trying it out for at least a year. Then you can reevaluate whether or not it is working for you.


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