The early NLI signing date is now over for class of 2014 gymnasts and you don't have a scholarship offer or a walk on spot.  What is next for you in the recruiting process?   I can think of two possibilities. First, wait for a possible late scholarship offer.  Second, look into a walk on spot on a team.

I spoke to a Pac 12 and ACC coach this week. They both said the same thing “Now that the early NLI signing day is over, we will begin to look at our list of walk on potentials.”

It can be very discouraging to not have received a scholarship offer, but if your dream is to compete on a collegiate gymnastics team you may still have options. It might just take a little longer than you had hoped.

Many college coaches will now be calling club coaches in search for the diamond in the rough or the gymnast that is developing well her senior year.  The coach is looking for the gymnast that can step in and fill the holes that the scholarship athletes can not for various reasons. Some college coaches will of course wait until Level 10 J.O. Nationals and the NIT meet to make these final decisions.

Also, many college coaches may not know it right now but in the spring they could have a scholarship open up due to unforeseen circumstances. It is important for you to keep working hard on your gymnastics and also academics. These later offers for scholarships and walk on positions happen fast. It is imperative that you make it as smooth and easy as possible for the university to get you admitted.

I would also recommend that you have a back up plan. You should fill out applications to colleges that you would also like to attend that do not have gymnastics. This doesn’t mean you're giving up. It is actually wise and should give you peace of mind knowing that you will have another plan in place. Continue on with patience and hard work, because you never know what might turn up when you least expect it.


"Anything you truly want is worth fighting for"
- Oprah Winfrey

Jill Hicks is the founder of JH Consulting which advises parents and gymnast through the recruiting process. http://www.jhicksconsulting.com