Didn't Receive An Offer? You Can Still Attend Your Dream School...Walk-On
Even though you may not have received any athletic scholarship right out of high school, you can still play sports in college...even at your dream school.
Many players ask us if its possible for them to play their sport of choice in college without a scholarship. The short answer is YES YOU CAN. Most college teams allow athletes to "walk-on" to their teams. Walking-on means you are a non-scholarship player who wants to try out for the team.🚶
Most NCAA II & III, NAIA colleges and junior colleges accept walk-ons to their teams. Many NCAA Division I schools allow walk-ons, but they tend to require invites or tryouts to make the team. Fortunately for you, some of the world's best college athletes have been walk-ons. Former Chicago Bears Linebacker & Future Hall of Fame Football Player, Brian Urlacher was a walk-on player at the University of New Mexico.
Junior colleges tend to be great landing pads for former high school athletes looking to walk-on a team to play at the college level. Athletes that perform well at their junior colleges often transfer into 4-year colleges to continue athletics in their collegiate careers. Most coaches will notice talent because they want to win, and they will give you an opportunity if you display your benefit to the team.
In order to walk-on, you need to first find the coach and talk to him. Coaches are aware that walk-ons have a lot of ambition and drive so they will be willing to give you a shot. If you are good, during your first year you will likely spend most of your time on scout team in practices, giving the 1st and 2nd string players solid competition in practice.
It is often times on the scout team where walk-ons make a name for themselves, giving them a chance to move onto the depth chart. Once you make the team, it's up to you to make it onto the field on game day.
When walking-on, do not be discouraged by the favoritism displayed to the scholarship players - The school has an investment in them and the coach has his reputation to think of. Some coaches see the purpose of the walk-on as only being there to push players in practice.
College coaches know that there are talented athletes attending their schools who did not play their respective sport in high school, or played for a school that did not receive much publicity. If you are good, you will get your shot to get onto the field. At the end of the day, the coach will most likely put the best player onto the field on game day - scholarship or not. So keep working hard!
Don’t be one of those athletes who misses out their dream of playing a college sport, simply because your did not receive an athletic scholarship. Try out for the team, you have nothing to lose - don't let the scholarship dictate your ability or desire to pursue your dream. Walk out there and show the coach what you can do.