1. What is the role of the "Sport Us College" agency?
Our role in this process is to be a quality information center to help the coaches to determine the quality of individual candidates, because many times the candidates can not objectively evaluate themselves and present themselves poorly omitting many important details.
In addition to sports profiles that we create for you and the video of your game, the coaches can also rely on our assessment of the quality of candidates. We are also the missing link for talented athletes who wish to continue their education in the United States, but do not have enough information about this complicated process.
Our mission is to introduce the American system of education that differs significantly from all the European ones to our athletes, inform and guide them through the entire process. What we do is not rocket science, but what they could for themselves if you had the knowledge, experience and time.
2. What is an athletic scholarship?
Studying in the U.S. is quite expensive and the price of one academic year may range from several thousand to fifty thousand dollars. Athletic scholarships are scholarships that are awarded to talented athletes studying at a particular university and represent it in competitions.
3. Why are athletic scholarships awarded?
Sports teams and individuals in the university compete to promote the university and results from the competition are practically part of the institution's marketing activities to attract other potential students. This is why athletic scholarships can be viewed virtually as a financial investment. Coaches are the ones who decide how to deploy scholarship amount they have available for the academic year.
4. Which sports are athletic scholarships awarded for?
In total, at American universities, there are 29 sports for which it is possible to get a scholarship. This list changes slightly over the years, but generally these are the following sports: soccer (european football), basketball, volleyball, water polo, track and field, tennis, skiing, ice hockey, field hockey, swimming, diving, synchronized swimming, rowing, baseball , fencing, football, golf, gymnastics, rifle, wrestling, bow and arrow, bowling, equestrian.
5. How long does the competitive season last?
Championships in various sports are held in different semesters, and sports are divided according to the seasons in which the competition takes place.
In the fall season - Cross country (W & M), Hockey (W), American Football (M) Soccer (W and M), Volleyball (W) Water polo (M);
In the winter season - Basketball (W and M), Bowling (W), Fencing (W & M), Gymnastics (W & M) Ice Hockey (W & M), Rifle (W & M), skiing (W and M), Swimming and Diving (W & M), Indoor Track and Field (W & M), Wrestling (M);
In the spring season -Baseball (M), Softball (W) Golf (W & M) Lacrosse (W & M), Rowing (M), Tennis (W & M), Track and field (W & M), Volleyball (M ) Water polo (M).
Regular season is followed by play-off competition at the regional and national championships.
During the championships, it is common to practice on a daily basis, at some levels of competition even two times a day, and play two league matches in the week. Every coach is making his own schedule of matches, and it is not uncommon to travel around the country in these periods.
6. How serious and professional is training at the university?
At American universities, as well as in professional areas, everything is measured by the result. The results, team standings and (or) the success of athletes in individual sports determine the treatment of sports within the athletic department, the marketing contribution to the university, and even financial compensation for coaches. Training, preparation and attitude toward the sport are therefore at the professional level. The training is very intense and every day takes about 2 hours under the supervision of coaches and assistant coaches. Athletes regularly go to the gym and jogging as an extra activity. Mostly the trainings are in the afternoon between 2 and 6 PM, but it is in the domain of each coach and the university.
Coaches will expext and demand 100% concentration on these tasks. Many students after four years of intensive sport at the university will continue their career as professional athletes.
7. Which leagues are played at the universities?
Unlike professional teams known to us at all levels of competition in the U.S., exclusively amateur sport is played at the university leagues. There are two organizations of university athletics, each of which is divided into several divisions with different regulations. These are:
- NCAA: National Collegiate Athletic Association (www.ncaa.org)
- NAIA: National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (www.naia.org)
Universities are divided into 5 divisions (3 NCAA, 2 NAIA) on various criteria, such as the size of the university, the number of sports offered and similar factors - and not, as is usual in European teams, quality teams. It happens that the best teams from NCAA Division II are significantly better than teams from NCAA Division I at the lower end of the standings table.
There is also an organization of junior colleges (2-year schools), where students compete and also give athletic scholarships. That is:
- NJCAA: National Junior College Athletic Association (www.njcaa.org).
Sometimes junior college can be an ideal choice for the beginning of the study in the United States, from which can be easily transferred to a four-year study.
NCAA comprises three divisions:
- NCAA Division I - is the largest and strongest division, in which the highest number of big universities compete. Eligible to participate are the athletes up to 26 years of age and it has the strictest regulations for determining eligibility.
- NCAA Division II - somewhat smaller universities take part in this competition level. Here there is no limit as far as athletes age, but there are restrictions on the number of semesters in which an athlete can compete for the University.
- NCAA Division III - is the quality of sports weakest division. NCAA Division III participants, do not awarded athletic scholarships, but often provide academic scholarships and financial aid that may be sufficient to cover the costs of study.
NCAA has its own agency, "the NCAA Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse," which is authorized for granting permission to compete. To participate in NCAA divisions an on-line registration is required and obtaining the license.
NAIA Division consists of mostly smaller universities with a smaller range of sports, and are often religious denominations. NAIA has only one league, except for competitions in basketball, where teams were deployed in 2 divisions. NAIA level is considered to be lower than the NCAA in many sports and can be compared with the NCAA Division II, but it can be misleading. Due to minor limitations in the number of foreigners and the lack of age limits, the quality of some sports may be even greater than in the NCAA Division I and II.
8. How good an athlete should be competing for the university and getting an athletic scholarship?
One cannot provide a simple answer when asked what it means to be good athletes for competing in the student leagues of American universities. One can only do so based on their own experience.
In many sports it is difficult to determine the performance level and this is the greatest difficulty American coaches have when recruiting athletes from other countries. It is understandable that the coach from any U.S. university might have difficulties to determine the quality of European soccer or water polo leagues.Thus, the importance of our program is higher, because it gives coaches the opportunity to compare candidates and obtain all necessary information on which to base its decision on awarding scholarships.
For all sports, the rule is that the difference between best and average teams or individuals is quite large. Top candidates will accordingly be directed to the strongest teams, while the average candidates should be strong enough to improve the quality of the average teams.
The challenge is to find an appropriate university for each candidate, as one needs to raise the quality upon their arrival, as only those individuals are awarded athletic scholarships . And this is our job.
It is important to note that the quality of academic programs at the university is not necessarily correlated with the quality of the athletic teams. Also, the quality of teams in different sports within a university can vary; for example, a basketball team may be on the level of competition for the national title, while the same university volleyball team may be the worst team in their league.
Although it might seem that the level of basketball games at American universities is incredibly high, we must note that this is the most popular sport and almost all universities have a basketball team.
This means that there is a large number of scholarships that are waiting for their owners. Indeed there are several top teams on which they once played today's NBA stars, but there are a lot of average teams in which our candidates can find their place and scholarship.
For some other sports story is completely the opposite - a small number of universities has, for example a water polo team, but the quality of games is considerably lower and the chances of our candidates are once again high.