College Sport USA
Team line-up / Roster
The line-ups of the teams are similar to those in international club sports with regards to the way they compete as well as to how many members are on the team.
Competition and training phases
Generally, the official season only takes place during one semester, at the end of which the regional competitions and national championships are held to determine the official champion of each sport in each division. During this semester, the team travels to competitions at least twice a week, in order to play against teams of other, (often far away) universities. The remaining time/semester is used for physical, technical and tactical preparation for the official season. Many foreign athletes are surprised by the large amount of competitions, which are physically very demanding. Most sports have their season of competition either in the fall (August-December) or spring (January-May) semester. Some sports such as Basketball, Gymnastics, or Swimming and Diving compete in (part of) both semesters.
During the off-season, teams have tough practice sessions every day. In some cases, friendly competitions are scheduled at the end of the semester. These competitions are meant to test the formation of the team and help the coaches determine which players to include in next semester’s line-up.
Many coaches are paid according to the success of their teams. This means that the training is tough! You are not awarded a scholarship to sit around and do nothing. The tough training is very demanding physically, but the athlete has a chance of realizing his full potential under the watchful eyes of a professional supervisor. Another vital aspect is the team spirit, which is instilled in the athletes, and is widely regarded as the key to being successful in the USA.
Many athletes have said that they were never able to reach the same level of fitness, which they maintained during their time on a college team, again. This has persuaded many college graduates to try one or two years in the professional arena.