No matter what sport you play, if you’re comparing at the college level, it is not an easy task. Between competing, lifting, conditioning, and school work, from Division I to Division III, it takes a lot of balance and commitment. Even so, people are always discounting Division III sports because they think it is easier and requires less talent or commitment.
From personal experience, sure, DIII may not always require as much as DI sports. But DIII is no joke.
Regardless of division, you have to put a significant amount of work into the sport at the college level. Division III is the perfect place for a kid who has talent and wants to continue their dream of playing college sports for those who do not have the size or skill for DI. College sports teach responsibility and commitment that each and every athlete can take with them in their future endeavors. Here are two more pros and one con of competing at the DIII level.
Pro: You Get to Give it Your All
The great thing about DIII is that most of us realize that this is the end of our athletic careers, so the coaches and schools know that they are going to get 100% effort out of us to make it as memorable as possible. DI athletes sometimes realize they are headed to the professional level right away and try not to get hurt. As a result, they may not give max effort in an attempt to preserve their professional career. You need passion and heart to be able to play at the DIII level. If you do not love the game, you will not succeed, regardless of the level.
It is so frustrating to see DIII athletes get criticized for no reason, and I bet many of these critics would not last one week as a DIII athlete. From off-season workouts, to lifting, watching film, and practicing every day, it is taken just as seriously as any division of sports.
Pro: You Get the College Experience (Plus Your Sport!)
Playing DIII also allows you to dedicate more time to yourself and your education. This is mainly due to the traveling aspect. Division III schools normally do not travel as far as the other divisions, so you are getting the best of both worlds as a DIII athlete. Being a student is the first priority in college, and DIII coaches care just as much about the athletes graduating and becoming successful in the future as they do about winning.
Aside from the focus on academics, all DIII athletes still share one goal: to win. You see a lot of unselfishness in Division III sports compared to DI because all we care about is winning. Division I athletes tend to be more selfish because they want to get recognized and drafted to the professional level. But for those of us who don’t expect a professional career, there is no better feeling than winning with your team and best friends. So DIII offers you the complete college experience: academics, friends, a social life, travel, plus the chance to play to win in the sport you love.
Con: No Athletic Scholarships
The biggest downfall that I think needs to change is that DIII schools should be allowed to give scholarships to their incoming athletes. Those who would love to continue playing and are not ready to give up the sport they love after high school should not be missing out on that opportunity due to money. If the talent, dedication, and grades are there for that athlete, they should get some sort of scholarship to help them fulfill that dream. But that’s a topic for another day.
In Conclusion: Consider DIII!
I am honored to be a part of a Division III athletic program. It has made me a stronger person both physically and mentally. It helped with time management, dedication, multi-tasking, and many other aspects that are going to help me in the future. We are all thankful for the opportunity to extend our athletic careers up to 4 more years no matter what school we decide to attend. The passion and dedication for the sport we grew up playing should not have to end after high school.
Playing in Division III changed my life forever and for the better. I would not change a single thing. Overall, it is an honor to be a part of any collegiate athletic team no matter what division a person chooses.Have an idea for a story or a question you need answered? Want to set up an interview with us? Email us at [email protected]