Student Athletes- Varsity v Club...Public v Private

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Discus: Parents Forum: 2004 Archive - Part 2: Student Athletes- Varsity v Club...Public v Private
By Somemom (Somemom) on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 03:59 am: Edit

Do any parents of student athletes have any wisdom to share about their DK selection of varsity sports v club sports. My DK has a likely option of a private school that seems to be a very good choice (top 100, not top 25) for many personal best-fit reasons, but the sport DK does best would only be club. A public school in IL is likey offering a division I scholarship, but we do not know the details yet, only have coaches emails and calls.

Does any one know much about public universities in Illinois?

What about the stress level of division I sports vs club sports.

DK is highly ranked & 4.0 UW GPA, moderate 1300+ SAT.

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 04:08 am: Edit

Could you give more details? What sport does DK play? What private university that only offers that sport at the club level is considering her? What state univerity in Illinois? etc... I cannot give you accurate feedback without more information.

By Patient (Patient) on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 11:15 am: Edit

Alexandre's questions are good ones to fill in the picture. I am only passing along hearsay when I say that I have heard that D1 sports are all-consuming. This is good if the student absolutely adores the sport and would abandon virtually everything else except studying to play it, and not good if the student likes the sport but wants to have a more well-rounded college experience and/or wants to select a very challenging major.

I don't know much about club sports and sometimes it does depend on the sport--I think that some club sports are pretty casual and others are high-caliber, just not funded by the school at the varsity level, so you would have to do some research on the particular club sport to see how it is at that school. I know that one parent called the club sport's student manager directly, via information on the website, to ask about practice schedules, competitiveness, etc.

But to make a rather vast generalization, club sports are going to be much less demanding of a student's time than D1 varsity.

By Backhandgrip (Backhandgrip) on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 11:30 am: Edit

Divison 1 is really difficult. The training is intense.Sometimes kids have to take planes to go to matches and miss classes. I would look at the teams played and where they are, also major competitions at the end of the season. Also ask can a currant player call you and ask about the training, how many classes has he/she missed and do they provide a tutor.And ask has anyone gotten injured during training. I know some Div. 1 players who have quite the sport because too many classes in their major were being missed (these were big top 10 schools where taking a plane to a match was commonplace.)The good side of Div. 1 is it carries some prestige and these kids are usually top athletes anyway and up to the challange.They form tight alliances with their teammates. Also, how much your child likes his/her college coach is very important.I have known kids who were superior at their sport but transferred colleges because of their coach relationship. If you have been offered a Div. 1 scholarship you are really quite fortunate.

By Alwaysamom (Alwaysamom) on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 11:36 am: Edit

I can't provide firsthand knowledge here but one of my daughters' best friend was heavily recruited for tennis and ended up choosing Princeton. It was a wonderful four years for her and she loved it there. Certainly, it was a lot of hard work and dedication which was required but I think that most kids at that level are already used to that. She got a great education as well as had the opportunity to travel widely and compete against excellent athletes.

By Aparent4 (Aparent4) on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 11:37 am: Edit

Problem with a D1 scholarship is that if you decide you don't want to be on the team you lose the money. My s plays a serious club sport, competing against varsity teams at other schools. If he has a paper, a big exam, a big IM game, or whatever, he can miss practice. He is involved in other extracurriculars. This has worked well for him. Still, I think it's an individual decision. If your d's sport is club at that private school, take a serious look at it; it may offer a way to be involved that is both dedicated and balanced.

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