Playing ball in college takes determination, hard work, good grades and lots of forms. Yes, lots of forms. There are forms to fill out to contact coaches, financial aid forms, application forms, scholarship forms, eligibility forms, forms to take tests, housing forms, and more. Some forms will be online, others will be on paper. Some forms are needed by your school and others are needed by national organizations like NCAA or NAIA. Some forms will be important now, some later. Given that there are so many forms to fill out to get into college, it shouldn’t surprise you that most people get confused. Confused is ok. Quitting is not.
Ball players don’t give up when it is tough to learn a new pitch or get more consistent at the plate. You don’t get sloppy when you’re working on your game. You keep going and give it your best. That attitude is just as important when you’re dealing with all those forms. If you don’t fill out the forms the right way, all your work on the field may not get you to the next level. Here are some tips and resources to make sure that you get past the confusion and back on track.
- Start early.
When you are in a hurry, you get stressed. It is more difficult to be careful and to make good decisions when you are stressed and you are more likely to make big mistakes. Sometimes forms have questions about things that your parents, your teachers, or your counselors know. They may not have the time to answer those questions if you don’t ask soon enough. Getting a jump start also gives you a cushion if you need to do things over. So get started early.
2. Get help.
If you feel confused or unsure, ask trusted adults in your life for help in filling out the forms. Parents, teachers, counselors, mentors, family members, and older successful players can be great resources because they know who you are and where you want to go. They won’t think you are dumb if you ask questions.
Sometimes the adults in your life seem too busy to help you. Even if they do have time to help, they might be confused too! There are lots of organizations that want to help students get to college. We’ve already mentioned many of them in our blogs or articles. There are resources specifically out there to help you with forms, especially financial aid forms. Check out the examples below to get the help you need.
- FAFSA Federal Student Aid Home Page
- Big Future – College Board General Help
- NCAA Eligibility Center – General Help
3. Make a plan that works best for you.
We have a lot of resources on this website to help you know what you need to do but there are plenty of other people and websites that can help you. For most ball players, the important steps are easy to understand.
- You need to work hard on and off the field to make sure you are a good prospect.
- You have to tell coaches about yourself (forms).
- You have to take all the tests your dream schools require – so you have to apply to take them (forms).
- You have to get money for school – so you have to apply for money (forms).
- You have to get into school – so you have to fill out applications and send your grades and test scores when they are available (yep, forms).
Use the resources that you found for tip #2 and put together a month-by-month plan to fill out the forms that makes sense for you, your schedule, your life, and the schools you have chosen.
4. Go back and recheck your work before you submit.
When you take a test and you have time, you check over your answers before you turn it in, right? You look for obvious mistakes. Do the same thing with all those forms! Make sure that nothing is blank, misspelled, or in the wrong place. If you can, ask a trusted adult to look the forms over too. This is your future. Don’t let confusion, rushing, or sloppiness stop you from being able to keep playing baseball.