An excellent starter article written by Bobbie Cesarek, Ed.D., President, National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches/Women As seen in the May/June issue of USA Gymnastics Magazine can be read here on USAG’s website. This article covers all areas of the process, important topics include
- Timeline for high school gymnastics pursuing a scholarship
- NCAA Eligibility requirements
- Register with the Eligibility Center
Important notes from the article are
- Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center (www.eligibilitycenter.org) as a junior and work with your high school guidance office to ensure your junior year, and then post graduation, transcripts are forwarded to the Center
- The elite and international gymnast is already known to college coaches; make sure they know you as well.Use technology to your advantage by putting all of your competitions and some of your practice sessions on YouTube and sending the link to those college coaches to whom you want to ‘introduce yourself’. When you e-mail a coach, be sure to include documentation of your past competitions and scores; provide him/her with your gymnastics ‘resume’.
- Please know that the strength of your high school academic credentials is just as important as your gymnastics resume, if not more so.
- While websites are a great way to become familiar with a university, you should never ever miss an opportunity to visit a college campus in person.
General information from NCAA
- NCAA Academics guide and introduction to the NCAA. Also includes excellent information about recruiting
- NCAA document discussing Time Line, Grades, Scholarships, Recruiting, dos and don’ts for fundraising
- List of US Colleges with gymnastic programs, simply select women’s gymnastics from the dropdown
- How to select a college
Track and Record your career
Starting at Level 9, keep detailed records of all your scores and individual titles. Track your honors and awards at the local, state, regional and national arenas. Know all of your C or higher level skills in your repertoire and be able to correctly spell them on college applications and questionnaires.
Know Recruiting Timeline/NCAA Rules for Recruiting
You become an official prospect for college recruiting in 9th grade.
In 9th and 10th grade train hard, earn solid grades in high school and achieve honors at the state, regional and national levels. Visit some schools or attend some of your favorite schools’ summer camps.
Your Junior year is possibly the most important year as most of the recruiting is based on your accomplishments leading up to and through this year. Schools are finally allowed to email and mail to you on a regular basis. While schools are restricted from contacting you by phone until July 1 after your Junior year, you are not restricted from contacting them. Get ready for in-club visits during the summer. Show the coaches your best qualities as a gymnast, a leader, a student and a person. Hopefully, you will be offered the maximum number of official visits and finally that coveted scholarship for fall signing.
Your Coach, and Other Coaches
Develop a respectful relationship with your coaches throughout the years. This includes obviously your home gym coach, but also includes coaches from state and regional camps you attended, the national coaching staff. What do you want them to be able to say about you to college coaches during the recruiting process? What must you do to earn their highest recommendation, and for them to remember you? Can you use them as references?
Be prepared to share your knowledge and experiences with Llama Team and what it has taught you about leadership, time management, scheduling, team work, goal management, conflict resolution.