I just took my daughter Sam to a 2-day softball camp at the University of Tennessee. She had sessions all day, rotating through different skill clinics. This was kind of an exhibition for college coaches looking at high school players. There were 2 college coaches overseeing Sam's group. I had to pull one aside & tell her that Sam has diabetes, so she might need to take some small breaks & I had to ask her to carry Sam's Gatorade. I was lucky, because this coach said, "Oh, ok, we have a girl with diabetes on our team. Do you have any glucose tabs?" So I felt very relieved!! We've only been living with diabetes for one year, so maybe I'm still a little over-protective, but if I'm not going to be around, I want someone else to know about Sam's diabetes & her needs. My question is, especially now that we're moving into possible college recruiting: how do I word it to a coach--who's working with Sam & maybe considering offering her a scholarship--that she has diabetes & it's a serious matter, but she can handle it with a few simple accommodations? I don't want to scare anyone away & I got lucky in Tennessee -- I know this is going to keep coming up. (And right now, Sam's going through a phase of not wanting to act like she has diabetes, so she would never tell the coach or even stop to test her blood sugar if I didn't step in).

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Thanks so much!

Understandable. coaches are going to recognize the skil level first and foremost.The honest truth is, as Last Chance says, that if an diabetic athlete isn't properly taking care of the diabetes first, they probably aren't performing as well as they could anyway. So, displaying the talent to earn a scholarship is already displaying the athletes ability to manage the condition, which makes it a lot easier to discuss.

You definitely want to make sure that coaches know about those skills. High school coaches regularly send out newspaper clippings and letters of interest to prospective colleges and both athlete and their parents are going to be involved in the recruiting process. When getting the attention of college coaches, initially, there really isn't a need to discuss diabetes. It's all about the athletes ability. There will be plenty of opportunity to talk about all the athletes needs later.

Hello FHS,
I have been reading your posts and I appreciate the advise, I am the father of a 15 year old diabetic daughter. She plays Volleyball and year around softball, I have many of the same concerns other parents have with athletic teenagers who have a goal to compete at the college level. My daughter is going to college softball camps and currently involved in the recruiting process. We travel to Southern California often and play in the showcase tournaments there. It sounds like you have experience being a collegiate athlete with type 1, and advise you can offer would be greatly appreciated. I completely agree with your comment," Displaying the talent to earn a scholarship is already displaying the athletes ability to manage the condition", Well said, thanks for the great commengs. Ryliiesdad

Hi ryliesdad. Yeah, I ran track and played football in high school. Got diagnosed with T1 a couple of years after high school, then decided to pick up track again as a way to help manage the diabetes. Had a pretty decent year, caught the attention of some D1 recruiters, and got a scholarship offer for the following year. Ran a few years for a club after college.

Thanks for the comments. Happy to help if at all possible.

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