KEEPING TRACK - Student Athlete’s Questions

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KEEPING TRACK - Student Athlete’s Questions

on 28 March 2014.

Many student-athletes are in the process of choosing the university or college where they will continue their educations and compete. This process can be overwhelming, especially if the athlete is being heavily recruited and is considering several schools. Understanding that this is one of the biggest decisions of their young lives adds to the stress. To make the decision somewhat easier, questions should be asked when visiting prospective programs. I hope that the list included in this article will help in making the correct choice on where to further one’s education, thus leading to a great academic and athletic experience and a rewarding collegiate career.


1.    What are your goals for this program?

2.     What are your goals for me?

3.    What type of academic support will be available?

4.    What majors does this institution offer? Are athletes able to major in the area of their choice?

5.    What are the work-out expectations?

6.    Do you plan for me to run CC or just indoor/outdoor track?

7.    Ask for examples of workouts.

8.    Ask for a tour of residence halls.

9.    Who chooses my roommate?

10.Percent of athletes on CC/track teams from in-state?

11.Does the school provide equipment – training shoes (how    many?)spikes? practice gear?

12.How long do practices last? What time of day do you practice?

13.Are two-a-day workouts required?

14.Will I be given a summer workout schedule? (Example.)

15.Do you have a weight training program? Is the weight room shared at that time with other sports? What time does the team lift? Is a strength coach assigned to this team, and is the strength coach knowledgeable about track and field?

16.Tour all facilities, including CC course, indoor and outdoor track, and weight room. Tour academic area and meet the counselor assigned to track and CC team.

17.What times did your runners run in high school?

18.What improvements have they made?

19.Training room – who is responsible for taking care of injuries?

       Does team have its own trainer?

20.What financial aid is available? How do I apply?

21.  How does the team travel? Am I excused from classes if I am absent due to away competition? (Is this a department policy or a decision made by a professor?)

22.Where do you compete?

23.Do you go on a spring trip? If you do, how is it paid for?

24.Do you practice on Sunday?

25.What are my chances of making the travel squad?

26.How many coaches are with this program? Who will coach me?

27.Background/experience of head coach and assistant coaches. (How long? Where?)

28.How many seniors are on the team?

29.How did your team finish in the conference meets last year? Are there standards that have to be met in order to compete at the conference championship (indoor/outdoor track)?

30.What is the cost of tuition, room, board, books?

31.How much has tuition increased in the last four years?

32.Are tutors available in the department? Who pays for them?

33.Do student-athletes have priority registration, so that classes do not conflict with practice?

34.What is the GPA of the CC team? Track team? How does this GPA rank in the department?

35.What is the graduation rate for the track and CC teams?


Take notes so that you can compare answers as you visit different universities.


These questions may easily be adapted to other sports, with recommendations by your high school head coach.


Yours in track,

Rod O’Donnell


Read more of Rod O’Donnell’s Keeping Track articles  . . .

The Need to Speak Up -

A new book by John McDonnell -

KEEPING TRACK - From September-October 2013 print RUNOHIO -

Random Thoughts -

Another Division I institution has dropped its men’s track program -

 Ohio University Athletic Department's Worst Decision -

Life Lessons from Cross Country -

Ten Pledges for Cross Country Coaches -

London Olympics -

 Improving as a Coach –

You Only Go Around Once -

Dear Jesse Owens –

West Virginia State Cross Country Championship –

SPIRE Institute -

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