Scout: Rika Arai
WANT TO PLAY COLLEGE SPORTS?
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My name is Rika Arai. I am a professional golfer in Japan. Currently I am playing on CLPGA and TLPGA tour. I moved to the state when I was 14 years old just by myself to access better environment for golf training. At that time my English skill was very poor that I just smiled at people when I had no idea what they are saying to me. 4 years of American high school and golf training got me a full scholarship to the D1 school “University of Miami”. And I can definitely say that my college experience was the best time in my life that I wouldn’t trade to anything.
American college is a special and magical place. You get to meet so many different people and learn about something you like from the best. On top of that you get to play your sports too. To be able to balance academic and athletic is very hard but at the end you will be good at using time very efficiently.
One of my favorite quote is “Do what you can with all you have wherever you are” from Theodore Roosevelt. It’s simply saying that wherever you are, you must give everything you have. That is very important in college because you may have tough classes or competition but the very last thing you do is quit.
I majored in excise physiology and minored in sports medicine. Honestly, it was a tough major and I did struggle in few classes, but I just loved leaning about how human body works, and that was the only reason I kept going! So, for the future student- athletes I want you to keep trying and look forward. There are plenty of resources that can help and support you including us!
WHAT IS AN ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIP?
Athletic as well as academic scholarships are much more common in the US than in most other countries. Athletic scholarships are awarded to athletes of outstanding performance in order to enable them to finance their studies in the US. The athlete participates fully in practice sessions with the college team and represents the university in various tournaments and competitions. The coaches’ job is to professionally look after the teams; in this sense, he has a similar position to that of a professor and is also paid accordingly.
For what reasons are scholarships awarded?
For generations, American universities have had college teams in all kinds of sports. These teams are professionally managed by specially employed coaches and serve as an advertisement for the respective university in numerous competitions. If a team has regional or even nationwide success, the media will cover its development. That is why college teams are a means to market the university in order to recruit new students. For this reason, the universities provide the coaches with a budget to recruit talented athletes from around the world and help them finance their studies or even their entire stay abroad.
Why an athletic scholarship to America
The American College system produces some of the best sporting talent in the world. The facilities, coaching and support networks including sports science, nutrition, physiotherapy and fitness training are all world class. Universities travel the length and breadth of the United States to play each other; it is big business involving, massive corporate sponsorship, fanatical crowds, rich history, and national television coverage. Collegiate sports are as close to a professional environment as it’s possible to get. A normal schedule involves one to two training sessions or practices a day plus additional sports specific weights and fitness sessions within in a normal athletic scholarship. All this alongside a full university degree program.
Athletic Scholarships are funded sports programs that include Football (Soccer), Golf, Basketball, Tennis, Field Hockey, American Football, Baseball, Swimming & Diving, Track and Field, Fencing, Rowing (Crew), Skiing, Gymnastics and many more athletic scholarship programs.