Did you know that military veterans are still eligible to play college sports after they transition out of the military? The NCAA says that your eligibility to play is put on hold while you are serving your country, this means that when your service is over you can still play all 4 years at college. The NCAA also is not the only college sports organization with this rule, many other such as NJCAA, JUCO, and NAIA all allow veterans to play.
Coaches are also very eager to recruit athletes out of the military. These military athletes have life experience and leadership qualities that are unheard of in an average 18 year old freshmen. Not to mention, during 4 or 6 years in the military you have had more time to condition and get into much better shape than you were in when you enlisted. The fact that these athletes do not usually require financial aid because of the Post 9/11 GI Bill makes them even better recruits. However, coaches are often unsure of where to find these athletes to recruit them and people transitioning out of the military don't know how to put themselves in front of these coaches to get the process started.
When military athletes play sports in college after service, not only the team and school benefit, but the athlete does as well. The graduation rate for NCAA athletes is 85%, compare this to the graduation rate of veterans which is about 50%. Playing sports increases your chance of graduating because sports provides a structured team environment and sense of purpose that may be missing from a standard college experience. Simply put, giving military athletes a new mission in sports helps keep them in school.
There are some challenges however to playing sports after the military. When you are transitioning out of the military, the scouting and recruiting network that was available to you while you were in high school is no longer there, so how do you find a team to play for? Athletes of Valor is an organization which exists to fill this gap. We will help put you in front of coaches who are looking to recruit athletes from the military. Athletes of Valor does this because we believe that athletics is the single best tool veterans have to make sure they are able to graduate college after serving their country. We will also help with the process of picking a college that is an academic fit for you and work with you throughout the application process. This service is, and will always be free for veterans. If you think you have what it takes, sign up and connect with an Athletes of Valor scout. Click here to sign up
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