By Joey Bottini ’19
With the continuous rise of club sports, high school athletes with dreams of playing at the college level weigh their chances of being recruited by considering where college coaches are finding their players.
“Colleges will look at you in comparison with everybody else and they are going to have their own different ways of seeing you,”said Athletic Director Bill Woods.
Club sports seasons are often playing opposite of the high school and college seasons, which allows time for the college coaches to go see players play when they are not needed to coach their own teams.
Major sports like basketball, baseball, hockey, lacrosse, swimming and soccer are often playing competitively at the club level year-round.
Not only does the conditioning allow the athletes to hone their skill year-round, but it also gives them more chances for exposure to the college coaches.
In an article from The USA Today, the writer reported that the NCAA recently surveyed 21,233 current college athletes on playing club sports in their high school careers.
The highest statistics from the report showed soccer at 95 percent of women and 93 percent of men playing high school club soccer. Basketball had the second highest at 92 percent of women and 89 percent of men participating in club basketball.
Along with the large number of athletes playing club sports, the amount of athletes playing for their high schools has continued to rise over the past two decades. According to U.S. News and World Report in 2011, high school sports participation has increased by roughly 100,000 students per year since 1989.
Jaxson Baker ’18, who recently committed to play basketball at University of Central Arkansas, joined club basketball as a junior in high school.
“Club basketball exposed me to the coaches I needed to meet in order to play in college,” Baker said. “However, both club basketball and high school basketball had different settings. If you find your way to play well in both settings, coaches like to see that.”