“Leadership isn't about your own achievements, it's about how you influence others to accomplish theirs” - Tyler Hollingsworth, Co-Founder of USA Scholarships
USA Scholarships has been in existence for almost two years. Our team of recruiters have noticed a common trait amongst the students who apply to our programme. At its core, students who have leadership qualities make it while the others do not.
Most high school students do not know what they want to achieve in life, which is fine, as we know they are only kids. However, there are a select few who do and will go to extraordinary lengths to accomplish their goals. Before hearing about our company, most students and parents never thought studying in the USA could be possible, once they realise their dreams are attainable, two groups of athletes emerge: The "Go-Getters" and "The Avoiders". The Go-Getter students, effectively utilise all opportunities at their disposal to win huge scholarships, while the Avoiders tend to preserve the status quo, play it safe and miss out on life changing experiences.
Avoiders tend to have low empathy and lack assertiveness, only asserting themselves when stressed or uncomfortable. They tend not to care about the scholarship procurement process and only want results to go their way. Avoiders do not like taking advice and will keep a low profile. Students who fall into the Avoider category may enjoy early successes but will need to adapt a Go-Getter attitude to maintain that success throughout their careers.
Go-Getters are highly assertive and possess an ability to set goals and achieve them. They have high expectations of themselves and those around them, exhausting all available resources. Go-Getters are optimistic, consciously knowing the risks yet confident in the abilities of others. They actively engage in the recruitment process with our agents, ask questions, meet deadlines and consistently follow up on our progress. One of the most prevalent traits of the Go-Getters in our programme is their willingness to research colleges that have shown interest in them. USA coaches are blown away when communicating with these athletes, who, inevitably, received more funding.
Go-Getters In Action: One of the most influential students to pass through the USA scholarships programme is Gerald Lowe. Gerald is a South African Rugby player who joined USA Scholarships back in 2015. Gerald was the Deputy Head Boy of Menlo Park High School, and Captain of the Blue Bulls U/19 Academy. During his senior year at Menlo Park, the team suffered a number of major setbacks: The coach was replaced in the middle of the season and the majority of the team sustained injuries - the season looked bleak. When speaking to Gerald about these experiences, he downplays them, as he has the Go-Getter leadership traits. He is naturally confident, charismatic and he exudes optimism. Gerald will be attending Kutztown University in Pennsylvania, where he will be a member of the Goldern Bears Rugby team.
When asked to pen his thoughts on leadership, Gerald produced the following: "...A natural leader is someone with good work ethic, influential skills and adaptability. Leaders set goals and work hard each day to achieve them. I believe that a leader's ultimate goal is to become the best possible version of themselves; one can achieve this through balance, discipline and working harder than anyone in the room to achieve their goals."
It's important to remember these athletes are only kids and both types of students are important. As USA Scholarships grows and expands its reach into Europe and Asia, students will come in all shapes and sizes and may not fit the mould of the Go-Getter. We strive to ensure that all our recruiters are examples of the Go-Getter leader. The better we are as a company, the more Avoider's we will be able to guide and nurture into becoming world-class student-athletes.
Why Choosing the Correct Subjects for Matric is Vital for Aspiring Athletes.
Choosing your subjects wisely can play a major role in your USA athletic chances. There are three major sporting associations that you need to know; the NCAA, NAIA, and the NJCAA. By following the subject requirements set out by the NCAA, you will qualify for all three and will give yourself the best opportunity to win a scholarship.
All the above-mentioned associations take your marks into consideration from Grade 9 to Grade 12. The NCAA requires South African students to take; Mathematics, English and an additional language for four consecutive years. They also require 2 Social Sciences and 2 Natural Sciences. (Maths Literacy is not accepted)
When choosing your Social Sciences, the following subjects will give you credit; History, Geography, Religion, Archaeology, Criminology, Psychology, Anthropology, Sociology and Economics (Business Studies and Business Economics do not qualify).
Ways to Ensure Social Science Compliance:
When selecting subjects in grade 9, you should choose either History or Geography. This is the best way to qualify for NCAA eligibility.
If your high school does not combine History and Geography into Social Science in grade 9, you will get two credits. It does not matter that both subjects were taken in the same year.
If you are in Grade 11, and it is too late to switch subjects. You can complete an online course to make up. These online courses are eight weeks and are turned in and marked online. (Contact us for more information.)
The following subjects will give you credits toward your Natural Science requirements; Biology, Life Science, Physics, Chemistry, Physical Science, Anatomy, Environmental Sciences and Physiology. The NCAA requires students to complete two years of a Natural Science in high school.
Ways to Ensure Social Science Compliance:
In Grade 9 you took Biology and Physical Science which were not combined into Natural Science.
In Grade 9 you should select Biology or Physical Science as a high school subject. This is the best way to qualify for NCAA eligibility.
You are in Grade 11, and it is too late to switch subjects. You can complete an online Natural Science course. These online courses are eight weeks and are turned in and marked online.
Common Problems Students Experience:
In Grade 9, South African schools often combine History & Geography into Social Science and Life Science & Physical Science into Natural Science. As a result, the NCAA will only recognise one year, and you will need to take additional subjects in grade 10.
Maths Literacy is not acknowledged by the NCAA. No matter how talented you are, you will not be eligible to compete in the NCAA for one year. The problem is, coaches do not offer scholarships to ineligible athletes when they can recruit someone who can play. Our advice is to avoid it at any cost; it is better to get 50% for Core Mathematics than 80% for Mathematics Literacy. (Maths Literacy is accepted by NAIA and NJCAA Colleges.)
Can I still play in the NCAA if I do not meet their requirements?
Yes, you can still play in the NCAA. The requirements listed above are specific to the NCAA which is the biggest athletic association in the USA with over 1100 top institutions. The NAIA has 300 member colleges, and the NJCAA has over 500. When students do not meet the requirements, they will have to spend at least one season outside the NCAA before being able to transfer in. This is not uncommon and is used by many top athletes in our program.
When people think of South Africa, they think of a place that is rich in culture, history and abundant resources. Often, we do not think of the successful people who left to make a distinctly South African mark all over the world. In this week's blog, we focus on five South Africans who are using their heritage to dominate their respective fields in the USA.
Richman Mahlangu - University of Las Vegas
Richman Mahlangu had to endure the hardship of growing up in a South African township during the Apartheid era. His passion for tennis put his life on a different path to most township children. Richman's first experience of tennis was hitting a ball against the wall with a time-worn racket that was missing one too many strings. Tim Gray, a local tennis coach, took note of Richman's drive and offered to coach him for free. Their bond grew, and so did Richman's talent and determination which lead him to receive a tennis scholarship from the University of Las Vegas in 2002, where he obtained a Master’s in Educational Psychology. He now dedicates his time to coaching his two sons who have both received full tennis scholarships to Harvard and Georgetown University.
Nomvimbi Meriwether - American University
Nomvimbi Meriwether grew up in Soweto South Africa during the apartheid era. Despite all the hardships black South Africans had to face, Mrs Meriwether managed to become one of the first black female lawyers in South Africa. After obtaining her Law Degree, Mrs Meriwether crossed the Atlantic and enrolled in the MBA programme at American University, where she met her husband, Dr Wilhelm Meriwether, who also happened to be the first African-American accepted into the Duke University Medical School. In 1987 the couple travelled back to South Africa where they spent eight years at a rural hospital helping over half a million people. Their daughter, Nana, is the 2012 winner of Miss USA and she hopes to continue what her parents started by helping the less fortunate in South Africa.
Roelof Botha - Stanford University
Roelof Botha grew up in South Africa and attended Jan Van Riebeeck High School. He studied Actuarial Science at the University of Cape Town where he achieved the highest ever recorded GPA in UCT's history. He moved to the States where he obtained his MBA at Stanford University. Botha was listed 22nd on Forbes Most Successful Venture Capitalist list and is a crucial member of many well-known companies such as Paypal, Instagram, Tumblr, Youtube and Weebly to name but a few. He is currently a partner at Sequoia Capital and has a net worth in the billions of dollars.
Liam Pedersen - George Washington University
Liam Pedersen was born and raised in Cape Town South Africa before completing his honours degree at Rhodes University. He eventually found himself studying M.S.E.E at George Washington University and received his PhD in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University. Dr Pedersen currently works for NASA where he builds robotic systems to find life on Mars as well as robots that look for microbes in the Polar Ice Caps.
Elon Musk - University of Pennsylvania & Stanford University
Elon Musk grew up in Pretoria South Africa and attended Pretoria Boys High School. At 17 years old Musk moved to Canada to avoid being a part of the South African Military compulsory programme. He majored in Business and Physics at the University of Pennsylvania and attended Stanford University to get his PhD in Physics. He only landed up attending Stanford for two days before dropping out to focus his attention on his up and coming company called Zip2 Corporation which was bought for $307 million. He later played a major role in online payment services where his X.com company eventually became Paypal. Musk has a very interesting vision of the future and is doing everything he can to become a pioneer for future generations. In 2016 he was ranked 21st of Forbes Most Powerful People list.
South Africans are gaining a lot of international attention and are often complimented on the way they are changing the world. Whether it be a tennis father making his kids realise their potential, a lawyer helping million's of people or a philanthropist trying to make the world a better place, all these South Africans have the same thing in common: Determination. I think this is something every person who grows up in the Rainbow Nation gets instilled with.
Shelby Foote once said, "A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library". In this week's blog, we focus on some of the most beautiful of these Universities. From Ivy League Universities to State Colleges, find out who made their mark on these stunning campuses.
Princeton University - New Jersey
College of New Jersey was the original name of this Ivy League University when it first opened in 1746, changing to Princeton University in 1896. It was the fourth chartered institution of higher education making it one of the only colonial colleges established before the American Revolution. Princeton has a great reputation for education having a faculty to student ratio of 1:6, they are also extremely competitive in their sports programmes, having won the most Ivy League Championships since the league began.
Princeton University was the first university to use the word ‘campus’.
Due to the beauty of the campus, many well-known movies have been filmed there, A Beautiful Mind and Transformers to name but a few.
In the University Art Gallery, there are original Monet paintings.
75% of Princeton University graduates marry each other.
If the football team beats Harvard and Yale in the same year, there is a massive bonfire ceremony held in the middle of the campus
Michelle Obama - Former First Lady of the United States
Woodrow Wilson - Former President of the United States
Rice University - Texas
Rice University is a small private institution based in Houston Texas. The university opened in 1912 after its founder William Marsh Rice, a businessman from Massachusetts, created a Charter in his will stating when he passed, his enormous fortune would be used to fund a top University. When Mr Rice was murdered by his Valet, the Charter to build Rice University was triggered, and the first classes were held in 1912. Today, Rice University has a large focus on research, having recently raised $115 million in sponsorship's for research. This is a considerable feet considering that Rice only has 7000 students.
Rice University is often voted as the University with the Happiest Students as well as Best Student Life.
Rice University students are known for their pranking antics and seniors will often have a big prank planned for their year.
The Baker 13 tradition is held once a year at 10 p.m at night. During this tradition, Rice students will race around campus wearing nothing but their shoes and shaving cream.
Freshmen Students have to matriculate when they start at Rice. To "Matriculate" freshmen have to walk through the Sallyport Archway and into the academic quad.
William Marsh Rice is buried in the University, making Rice the biggest cemetery in Texas.
Lance Berkman - Baseball player for Houston Astros
Larry Izzo - Football player for New England Patriots
Kwatsi Alibaruho - NASA’s first African-American flight director
Larry McMurty - Oscar-winning writer
Candace Bushnell - Writer
Stanford University - California
Leland Stanford purchased 650 acres of land in 1876 to develop a stock farm. Leland's farm grew from 650 to 8,000 acres, and formed the platform for this prestigious university. Life was looking good for the Stanford family until Leland's only son tragically passed away of Typhoid Fever in 1884. This passing inspired him to spend his money on the children of California as he no longer had children of his own. After six years of planning and building, Stanford University opened in 1891, and the rest as they say, is history.
Stanford Athletes have won medals in every Olympic Games since 1908
Fountain Hopping is when freshman are challenged to run around the campus to each fountain and jump in and out.
The Wacky Walk is a tradition where graduating students march and run into Stanford Stadium.
Students take part in an activity called Steam Tunnelling where they sneak into the universities elaborate underground steam tunnels at night and run through them without getting lost.
There are more registered bicycles on campus than there are students.
John F. Kennedy - Former President of the United States
Phil Knight - Founder of Nike
Tiger Woods - Professional golfer
Elon Musk - Founder of Paypal, Tesla and SpaceX
Reed Hastings - Founder of Netflix
University of Colorado Boulder - Colorado
This university is very fortunate to have a backdrop like Colorado, as it is so beautiful that you could put any building there and it will be breathtaking. The University of Colorado's buildings are magnificent in their own right, and the urban planning of the university has not drifted away from its routes. The University opened in 1876 to be the Colorado State’s main University. Boulder and Canon City had a competition where the losing town would have to open up a new prison. Luckily Boulder came out on top and we are now blessed with one of the world's most beautiful pieces of urban landscape.
Before every home football game fans gather around the bronze buffalo statue and rub its horns for good luck
There has been 5 Noble Peace Prize winners from the University of Colorado.
Their homecoming tradition is over 100 years old.
In 1949 a group of students hiked up and painted a huge CU on the Flatirons Mountains that can still be seen today.
The Nearly Naked Mile happens every October where students arrive at the race fully clothed, and you can guess what happens next.
Steve Wozniak - Co-Founder of Apple
Trey Parker - Co-Creator of South Park
Mat Stone - Co-Creator of South Park
Jim Gray - Emmy Award Winner
Billy Kidd - Olympic Skier
Miami University of Ohio - Ohio
Robert Frost complimented the university by saying it is “the most beautiful campus that ever there was”. Miami U, Miami of Ohio or Miami are often what is referred to when speaking about Miami University. The Univerisity held its first classes in 1824 with no more than 20 students. Now, Maimi consists of 18000 students. If the have an appreciation for beautiful architecture and Greek traditions then Miami is the place for you.
University of Miami’s on-campus Sports Hall of Fame houses an authentic Seminole war canoe that was hand carved and painted by tribes people in 1955.
As a football tradition, Miami players and fans hold up four fingers at the beginning of the 4th quarter at every home football game to indicate they own the last quarter.
You are not allowed to walk on the University Seal (crest) that sits in the middle of the campus.
The total cost of attending Miami during its first year was $93, including board, room, tuition, laundry, candles, and wood.
In the 1830's Miami was the fourth largest college in the United States trailing only Harvard, Yale, and Dartmouth.
Enrique Iglesias - Singer
Benjamin Harrison - 23rd President of the United States
Today our blog focuses on the success stories of the college athletes who turned pro. We focus on golf, athletics, soccer, swimming and tennis athletes as those are some of the sports we specialise in. You will learn about the difficulties race had on athletes as well as some other hardships these college athletes had to face to succeed in their sport codes. The blog also gives us a brief history on what these athletes achieved while at their respective colleges.
1. Golf - Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods is one of the most recognisable household names whether it be for good reasons or bad. He is undoubtedly one of the greats in the game of Golf but not many people know about the two years he spent at Stanford University and that he was a student-athlete. During his two-year stint at Stanford, Tiger won many tournaments as well as winning the Stanford Male Freshman of the Year award, the Pac-10 Player of the year, and he was named an NCAA First Team All-American. Realising his potential, Tiger turned pro after only two years in college and the rest is History.
Other notable college golfers:
Arnold Palmer - Wake Forest University
Jordan Spieth - University of Texas
Phil Mickelson - Arizona State University Bubba Watson - University of Georgia
2. Swimming - Ryan Lochte
When you think of great USA swimmers, people often think of Olympians like Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte. Michael Phelps attended the University of Michigan but was not allowed to swim as he already had an endorsement with Speedo, which is banned by the NCAA. Ryan Lochte did attend college and is often referred to as "Michael Phelps' shadow"; however, Lochte still has a very impressive swimming CV, which he has carried through since his college days where he swam for the University of Florida. The Olympian's college records’ speak for themselves, as he was a seven-time NCAA champion, seven-time SEC champion and an All-American an impressive 24 times while at the University of Florida. Most recently, he made stunning headlines for his bad behaviour at the 2016 Rio Olympics that did not go according to plan.
Other notable college swimmers:
Missy Franklin - University of California, Berkeley
Joseph Schooling - University of Texas
Katie Ledecky - Stanford University
Janet Evans - University of Southern California
3. Track & Field - Jesse Owens
One of the few good memories from the Nazi German era was the four gold medals Jesse Owens won at the 1936 Berlin Olympics much to Hitler’s annoyance. Owens will be forever remembered for defying the odds and never giving up. He had a very successful college Athletics career at Ohio State University even though he had to deal with all the hardships of being a black person during that time. He had to stay in Blacks only hotels away from the rest of the team, eat at blacks only restaurants and he even had to have a job to pay for his education because black people were not awarded scholarships. Taking all of this into account he still managed to win a record 8 individual NCAA championships as well as break 3 World Records and tie a 4th while attending Ohio State University.
Other notable college Track and Field athletes:
Tyson Gay - University of Arkansas
Allyson Felix - University of Southern California
Monique Henderson - University of California, Los Angeles
Kerron Clement - University of Florida
4. Tennis - John McEnroe
McEnroe attended Stanford University on a tennis scholarship after becoming the youngest player ever to reach the semi-finals at Wimbledon. He had a short but effective spell with the Cardinals where he guided the team to an NCAA championship. After only spending one year in college, McEnroe became a full time professional. "He is a young man who raised perfectly placed strokes to a high art form, only to resort to tantrums that smear his masterpieces like graffiti." This is how Pete Axthelm described the famous John McEnroe.
Other notable college tennis players:
Jimmy Connors - University of California, Los Angeles
Arthur Ashe - University of California, Los Angeles
Lisa Raymond - University of Florida
The Bryan Brothers - Stanford University
5. Soccer - Clint Dempsey
Clint Dempsey had a tough time getting to where he is today. Growing up in a trailer park and having no financial support from his parents, Dempsey thought his soccer career was over until his younger sister passed away. This tragedy inspired Dempsey to pursue a career in soccer. He attended Furham University where he was a crucial member of the Paladins side. During his three seasons at the University, he helped the side win two NCAA Championships where he scored 17 goals and made 19 assists.
Other notable college soccer players:
Hope Solo - University of Washington
Carlos Bocanegra - University of California, Los Angeles
In this blog we take a look into the biggest college stadiums in the USA. These stadiums are some of the biggest stadiums in the world and have existed since the early 1900s. College sport is huge in America where these stadiums attract thousands of supporters on a weekly basis.
10. Sanford Stadium
Sanford Stadium is a 92,746 capacity stadium at the University of Georgia, in Athens Georgia, named after the late Dr. S. V. Sanford; former president of the college. The stadium was opened in 1929 with the first football game being played between Georgia and Yale University. The hedges planted on either side of the field have been there since the beginning with the field often being referred to “between the hedges”, the hedges still exist today but had to be temporarily removed during the 1996 Olympic Games to make provision for the size of a professional soccer field. UGA the bulldog is the university mascot, after each mascot passes on, they are entombed and kept in the southwest corner of the stadium.
9. Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is home to the University of Southern California football team and is a very historic landmark. The 93,607 capacity stadium is the only stadium in history to host two Olympiads, two Super Bowls and one World Series. Due to the stadium being the only college stadium to host an Olympic Games twice, the Olympic torch is lit before the fourth quarter of every home game. If you ever find yourself at one of the Trojans home games don’t forget to kick one of the flag poles on the way to the stadium. Take note of the USC Song Girls, they are the cheerleaders of the university and are almost more well known then the team itself due to their all-white outfits that will never change.
8. Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium
We now move east to Texas where we will look at the Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium home to the University o`f Texas Longhorn Football and Track & Field teams. The stadium has a capacity of 100,119 although in 2016 the capacity reached a record-breaking capacity of 102,315 for a football game against Notre Dame University. The stadium is also home to the massive Big Bertha bass drum which is transported onto the field for home matches from its north end zone, which is its permanent residence. Remember to belt out “The Eye of Texas” song while holding out your “Hook em’ Horns” hand sign if you happened to be at the stadium for one of the Longhorns home games.
7. Bryant-Denny Stadium
Carrying on with our journey east, we reach the Bryant-Denny Stadium which is situated in Alabama and is home to the University of Alabama Crimson Tide Football Team. The 101,821 capacity stadium was opened in 1929 where the Crimson Tide came up against Ole Miss. This huge stadium is made even more daunting to the opposition teams when the ‘Million Dollar Band’ leads the crowd with varies chants and war cries. The experience at this stadium is what makes it unique whether you are cheering the team at the walk of champions or singing the Rammer Jammer song at full-time, you are guaranteed to have a lot of fun. Just make sure the Crimson Tide is winning before you shout out the Rammer Jammer otherwise, you might upset the locals.
6. Tiger Stadium
“It’s Saturday night, in Death Valley” if you ask any LSU football fan what this statement means and they will tell you that it is game day at one of the most feared venues in college football, Tiger Stadium. This 102,321 capacity stadium is the home of the Louisiana State University Tigers Football Team. Tiger’s fans take pride in how tough the stadium makes for opposition teams that they even make sure the games are played in the evenings to make it even more intimidating than it already is. Thankfully they don’t put Mike the Tiger next to the opposition's locker rooms anymore, but you can still see him in his habitat across the road from the north end zone.
5. Neyland Stadium
Robert Neyland is often referred to as the best defensive coach ever and the University of Tennessee named their football stadium after their loyal coach who had three stints with the football team. The stadium has a capacity of 102,037 but has reached a crowd of 109.061 before. The Vol Walk is one of the traditions that must not be missed when visiting Tennessee, thousands of supporters pumping their team up on their way into the stadium and then finish your outing by cheering the team on while they run through the marching band's T formation.
4. Kyle Field Stadium
If you are all about spirit and tradition then a visit to Kyle Field Stadium, home to the Texas A&M University Aggies Football Team, is a must. The 102,733 capacity stadium has reached crowds of 109,000 plus and is regarded by many as the most intimidating stadium in America, the reason for this could be down to ‘the 12th man’. The 12th Man is the section of the stadium where the University students sit or should I say stand as they do not sit for the duration of the whole game and instead choose to make sure the stadium gets as loud as possible for their team. The 12th Man is helped by the Aggies band which is the largest military band in the USA.
3. Ohio Stadium
The most recognisable stadium in America and also one of the biggest. The Ohio Stadium has a capacity of 104,944 and is home to the Ohio State University Buckeyes Football Team. The distinctive horseshoe shape Stadium hosts one of the biggest college rivalries in the world when Ohio goes up against Michigan. Make sure you plan your trip to the stadium when this derby is played as you will see the tunnel of pride which is a tunnel formed by all ex-players of Ohio State to pump up their team against their greatest rivals. Take note of the bell tower which goes off after each home victory.
2. Beaver Stadium
Beaver Stadium home to the Penn State University Nittany Lions Football team is a 106,572 capacity stadium. The monstrosity of a stadium can be made even more daunting for the opposition team on white out day, on this day the whole stadium is dressed in white creating a reflection off the bleachers onto the field and is a must see if you are in the area over one of these game day weekends. Make sure you get to the stadium early as well so you can experience the tradition of the team arrival, where the team arrives on blue buses, each member of the team a has specific seats on the bus.
1. Michigan Stadium
Known as The Big House, the biggest college stadium of them all Michigan Stadium home of the University of Michigan Wolverines. The huge stadium can hold 107,601 people although it had a crowd of 115,109 people in 2014 for a game against Notre Dame, which now holds the all-time attendance record for a college or NFL game. The stadium doesn’t look as a big as it should when approaching it because three-quarters of it is below ground. When visiting the stadium make sure you do your research on how to participate in their crowd wave as it is not the same as the common crowd wave at sporting events. Make sure to shout as loud as you can when the home team runs through the tunnel to hit the famous "Go Blue" M Club Supporters Banner.
Leaving a positive impression is important when interacting with USA College coaches. Every facet of your profile should be carefully chosen to give them a reason to choose you, including your academics and community involvement. When it comes to highlighting your athletic capabilities, finding an accurate way to demonstrate your skills and stats can be tricky and sometimes inaccurate. To avoid leaving your future in a friend’s hands, we have put together a list of tests that many of our athletes used to get a head start.
Functional Movement Screening Functional movement screening works on a ranking system which keeps track of your movement patterns that are key to body function. It helps to identify all the limitations and asymmetries that your body is harbouring. This score is used to track your progress and targets your weak areas. This test is great for athletes at any level of fitness and is often used by Biokineticists to create a treatment plan for musculoskeletal injuries and pain reduction.
VO2max Testing VO2max testing is linked to aerobic endurance and measures the maximum amount of oxygen that you can utilise during intense exercise. Oxygen is used by your body to convert food into energy. Your VO2max is usually tested on a bicycle set-up. Good test results depend on your, fitness, sport and your body characteristics. If you can achieve the below scores, you are well on your way to peakfitness.
Men (18-25): a score of 60 and over
Women (18-25): a score of 56 and over
Body Composition Assessments There are two tests to determine your body composition, namely; Hydrostatic Weighing and Air Displacement Plethysmography. Both measure your body density but are slightly different in process.
Hydrostatic Weighing: Submerging your body under water to measure your mass per unit of volume. On average your body weight under water should be 1/3 of your body weight above water.
Air Displacement Plethysmography: Sitting in a computer controlled BOD POD which determines your density by dividing your mass by your volume. It only uses air and your tidal breathing, whereas hydrostatic weighing uses maximal breathing.
60-yard beep test (shuttle run)
A 1 mile run in 6 minutes or less
Broad jump test
By using these tests in combination with your highlights reel, you will be able to demonstrate your value to a potential USA Coach. The Sports Science Institute of South Africa is leading the way in training for certain sports. Check out their website for a closer look or contact Monique at Sci-Fit Performance Centre for a full fitness assessment. Contact: Monique.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why Students Need to Take the SAT or the ACT Test: If you are contemplating studying in the USA, you're probably asking yourself, "What are the most important steps that I need to take in order to get there?” Well, taking the SAT or ACT test is a must. Students have a choice of which test they can take, however, you will not be able to study without completing at least one of these tests. The main reason why students are required to take these tests is because academic standards vary from schools and countries. University administrators understand this and use these tests to evaluate students academic ability based on the American high school curriculum.
The Differences Between the SAT and the ACT: The differences between the two tests are quite subtle. The SAT and ACT both cover, English, Math and Writing. The difference occurs with the ACT, which has a 4th section covering science. This 4th section has created the perception that the ACT test is the harder of the two tests, and students should consider this when choosing
Scoring: The SAT has two main sections (Reading & Writing and Mathematics with an optional essay section). Each section is worth up to 800 points. A perfect score is equal to 1600 points. The ACT has four sections (English, Mathematics, Reading Comprehension and Science, with an optional essay section). Each section is out of 36 points. Each section is added together and averaged to get your composite score. Example: If you scored 24 in Math, 23 in Science, 26 in Reading and 25 for English. Your average would be 24.5, which is rounded up to 25. ([24 + 23 + 26 + 25] / 4 = 24.5)
What is a good Score? A good SAT score is anything above 1250/1600, however, if you are looking to get into one of the top 100 colleges or an Ivy League University, you will need to score above 1450/1600. A good ACT score is 26 out of 36, which would put you in the 80th percentile. The 80th percentile does not mean you scored 80% on the test; it only means you scored higher than 80% of other students who wrote the ACT. If you are looking to get into one of the top 100 universities, you will need to score above 33/36, which will put you in the 99th percentile.
Subject Tests: The SAT Subject Tests are designed to examine a student’s knowledge of a specific area of study. These tests are generally optional and should only be taken by students looking to demonstrate their high academic pedigree as they help with admission into elite colleges. Certain universities do require the Subject Tests, for example, Brown University requires the SAT & 2 SAT Subject Tests.
The subject tests that are offered are: Mathematics, Science, English, History and various languages. These tests are all an hour long and are scored out of 800.
Important Notes when making a decision:
Focus on taking one test only.
Taking both is not necessary (The choice is up to you if you wish to take both).
Research the test that your targeted university uses and take that test.
Test scores are not only used in admissions but for scholarship awards too.
Talking to coaches can be incredibly daunting. While being nervous can result in having a bad conversation, it will not necessarily ruin an athlete's chance of joining that coach’s team. To be best prepared for an initial Skype or phone call with a coach, Athletes should do some research into that university well in advance. Coaches are not only looking at the athlete’s statistics and performances but they also want to get to know the athlete’s character and see if they will be a good fit for their programme.
Many athletes have expressed their anxiety in approaching a coach or when a coach approaches them. If you are one of these athletes, relax you are not alone. Meeting and communicating with coaches is intimidating, the most important thing you can do is to be prepared. Before setting up your first Skype or phone call, you should know a little bit about the university history; where it is located, how the team did in the past few years and look at the current players performances. These are all good topics to talk with the coaches about. You do not want to be stumbling over your words with little or no knowledge; this demonstrates that you are only into the university for the scholarship money.
Preparing for contact with a coach is quite simple. You should anticipate the questions they will ask you. For example, if a coach asks, "What would you like to study?" Do not say that you don't know and you only want to play sport. If you are not sure, many USA universities accept students as an Undecided Liberal Arts Major. You should research this option and have a general idea of what is available to you.
Here is a list of common question coaches will ask prospective student-athletes:
What are your strengths as an athlete and what do you think you can improve on?
Why would you make a good edition to my athletic programme?
What are you looking for in a university?
If a coach reaches out to you via an email, it is important to respond quickly and politely; this will show you are enthusiastic and well-mannered. As important as it is to listen carefully and answer questions to the best of your ability, it is also good to ask questions of your own. Common questions you should ask coaches: 1. Academics - What are the admission requirements? - What are the popular majors or courses that the athletes in the team study? - What is the graduation rate of the athletes? 2. Athletics - What does the training programme consist of? - What will happen if I get injured? 3. Scholarships - What type of academic, international or athletic grants are available? 4. Social - What is the student-housing like? - Do teammates usually live together? - Am I able to work part-time?
When an athlete is prepared to communicate with coaches, the process is not daunting. You may feel nervous but the fear of the unknown will not be there. It is important to note that when coaches make contact with you, they must see potential in you so being prepared will make it worth yours and their time.
Winter brings cold weather, short days and longer nights which tempts many to stay indoors and cuddling up on the couch. Whether an athlete is in season or keeping fit in the off-season, winter workouts are not easy. The biggest challenge is an athlete’s mindset; it takes discipline and dedication to continue exercising in difficult conditions. Winter training also affects the athlete's muscles differently and precautions need to be taken to protect themselves from injury.
Motivation is a key element in maintaining a positive mindset when training in winter. Goal setting and working towards small achievable targets helps to keep athletes improving. Training in groups also helps to motivate an athlete as they have made a commitment, athletes prefer to follow through with the training schedule when working in teams as they do not want to let the team down. Winter precautions to reduce the risk of injury or sickness: 1. Extend the warm up - Spend more time on warming up your muscles and joints in winter, before you begin stretching. You do not want to stretch cold muscles. Rushing through a warm up can result in tears as the muscle fibres are tight and brittle. 2. Dress appropriately - Wear many layers, if you get too hot it is easier to remove a layer than to add one. It is also important to pack a change of clothing for after training. If you have been sweating, the sweat will rapidly cool, dropping the body temperature and you might get sick. A warm shower and a change of clothes will protect against this. 3. Breathing patterns - Inhaling cold air has a direct effect on the athlete’s lungs, their bronchial tubes will narrow and the mucous membranes start to dry up. If your breathing begins to burn your lungs, you are not breathing correctly and you may cause inflammation of the bronchi. The best way to breathe is through your nose and out through the mouth. Breathing through your nose increases the distance air has to travel to your lungs, therefore warming up on its way through your nasal cavity.
4. Stay Hydrated - Drinking water is just as important in winter as it is in very hot conditions. You may feel like you are not losing a lot of fluids during winter training but fluids are still being lost. If you only drink water when you are thirsty, your fluid levels are too low and your muscles are already not performing at 100%. Remember to consume fluids on a regular basis, even when you are not thirsty. 5. Eat your Greens - The vitamins and minerals in fresh fruits and vegetables are important for muscle recovery and growth. The micro-nutrients in these foods also help to keep an athlete's immune system strong. For a balanced eating plan, remember to include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. 6. Warming down - All athletes should know that stretching and cooling down after exercising is important, but in the winter season, many athletes just want to get warm and indoors. Focusing on the warm down and stretching process will help with muscle recovery and stiffness, as lactic acid is being removed. Winter is creeping up on us quickly. With the sun rising later, athletes are tempted to stay in bed a little longer. Self-motivation has never been more important to an athlete than right now. So remember to stay warm, set achievable goals, eat correctly and be cautious when training. There is no need to risk injury or sickness. By following these guidelines, you will be on track for some amazing results come summer time.