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Breaking into College Sports

Are you thinking about playing for a sports team in college? Whether you want to play for a competitive team or have some fun in an intramural sport, getting involved in college athletics is a great way to stay fit, meet people and learn the many great lessons sports can teach you.

Division I and II Athletics

If you’re talented, motivated—and lucky enough to be one of the 400,000-plus student-athletes chosen annually by the NCAA from 15 million college students—you already know that playing Division I and II sports takes commitment, perseverance and hard work.

You also know that intercollegiate athletics aren’t just about winning games and cheering crowds. They’re also about leadership on the field and off—and that means leading by example academically, socially, ethically and competitively.

Although many schools actively recruit student-athletes while they are still in high school, all schools also hold tryouts, and some sports have more open spots than others.

Think you’ve got the right stuff to try out for intercollegiate athletics? You’ll have a better chance of making the team if you:

Intramural Athletics

You don’t have to be a star athlete to play sports in college. Whether you’re looking for recreation or played competitively before, intramural athletics offer something for everyone—basketball, flag football, kickball, dodgeball, soccer, tennis, volleyball and more.

Intramurals are a great way to unwind after class, meet new people and stay in shape. But intramurals are more than just fun and games—intramural athletes often take their sport seriously, and the competition can be pretty intense, especially when it’s for a regional or national championship title.

Are You Ready to Play?

Joining an intramural team is fairly easy. Just stop by the student center and find out which department is in charge of intramural sports, or check the sports section of the college website for more information about the intramural program.

First decide which sport you want to play and whether you want to join an existing team or start your own. Joining an existing team is easy, but if you know a lot of people you’d like to play with, starting a team might be the way to go. From there, you’ll want to:

It’s All in the Game

No matter your sport, whether you play in an NCAA division or an intramural league, remember that good athletes always give it their best, honor the rules and their teammates and conduct themselves with sportsmanship. Sure, you want to win, but being part of any sports team is also about dedication, enthusiasm, teamwork and heart. Good athletes also combine winning on the field with good academics, which is practice for winning at life!

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