For counselors working with athletes

When a student would tell me that they were interested in playing a sport in college, I’d always ask the same question.

“On a scale of 1-10, how important is it that you play sports in college? 1 is you don’t want to play, 10 is that you would not attend any college where you could not play your chosen sport.”

Whatever the answer was, I’d always reply, “Interesting. Tell me more about that.”

Whatever the answer was, it always led to a revealing conversation about just how much weight the opportunity to play a sport should play in their college search.

Some students had been waiting for the opportunity to leave their sport behind. Others saw athletics as one of the most important reasons to choose any college. And still others were willing to use athletics if it gave them an admissions advantage, but would happily attend a college they liked even with no chance of making the team.

The 1-10 question was rarely the end of the discussion. But it never failed to make a great start.