According to my records, over the past 3 years we have worked with 86 athletes who have achieved their goal of playing sports at the next level. A few of them were college athletes looking to get to the professional level but most of them were high school athletes who wanted to continue playing in college. For them, 4 years of high school was just not enough!
Now, I am not a coach who will ever take credit for the goals achieved by our athletes so please do not hear me saying that. That is not my style! All we simply do is develope a plan for an athlete and it is up to their genetics and hard work to get there! All I want to do is reflect on the many kids that have come through Athlete’s Arena who simply wanted to achieve a goal.
I have always said Division 1 athletes are born and it is our job to make sure they get their safely. Almost all of the D-1 recruits that have come to us where born with that type of talent. I have had many parents and friend comment on how well we must have trained them for them to get recruited by major schools but that is not always the case! Many of the major recruits were identified (with a few exceptions) before they trained with us and they wanted our help to keep them healthy and safe with so much on the line. So much on the line? YEP! Look at how much college costs! We had one parent whose daughter got a full-ride to Vanderbilt University let me that college would have cost them $250,000 if it were not for the talents her daughter had.
I am proud of all those kids, getting a scholarship to a major university is a great accomplishment but I am most proud of the kids who got scholarships or continued their career at a smaller school like a Division 1-AA (or the FCS in football) or Division II school. These are the kids that had to work hard to maximize their potential. These are the kids that had to go out and market themselves to schools, send out their own highlight tapes, make their own phone calls to coaches and travel to camps and combines across the southeast to show that can play and perform with any other player in the country.
I am also very proud of the kids that train to achieve their own separate goals of just making the JV team, or wanted to be a starter or specially those who are trying to return from an injury. I can assure you I have had kids train with us who are coming back from an injury and are FIGHTERS!! These kids never quit and all they want is a plan and someone to believe that they can come back and perform at their previous level! These are the kids that call you when they first get hurt and are in tears because they fear their career has ended! These kids, the injured ones, are the very special ones to me. To see them come back and play after all the hard work is very satisfying to me personally and professionally!
Thanks to all those who have made that last three years so satisfying (yes…even you Ed!). We at Athlete’s Arena look forward to continuing our support of athletes and active populations not just in Columbia but all of South Carolina!