College rosters are replete with walk-ons whom coaches invited to be part of the team, because such players are often needed to keep teams competitive. Many walk-ons just want to be part of the team, and some truly do make on-field contributions. However, for every walk-on success story, there are probably four or five that don’t have happy endings. So before taking this route, think hard about what you want out of your college athletics experience. Walking on is not easy, but if you’re honest with yourself about your expectations, you can truly enjoy your experience and help the team.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself before deciding to walk-on.
• Are you looking for playing time right away?
• Are you willing to work hard and prove your worth?
• What is more important to you: athletics or academics?
• Are you willing to start at the bottom?
• Can you financially afford the school without an athletic scholarship?
• Are you willing to try out for the team with no guarantee of making it?
• Can you accept possibly having to juggle a sport, schoolwork and maybe a job?
• Are you willing to put your time in on the practice and scout teams for the first few years?
• Can you handle less popularity than you attained in high school?
• Are you willing to play for a coach who didn’t believe in your ability enough to offer you a scholarship?
• Can you handle the possibility of never getting any playing time during your college career?