If you are a student-athlete who is thinking about transferring, there are several things to consider before making your decision. This can obviously be a very difficult decision for most, if not all, student-athletes.
Speaking as a former student-athlete who transferred after his junior season, I can fully understand the anxiety behind starting over at a new school and leaving behind the relationships that you have formed at your current school. But at the end of the day, each athlete needs to look at his/her priorities as a student-athlete.
If you are a person who is more concerned with a continuous 4-year education from the same major university, then it may be in your best interest to stay where you are currently at. The same applies to those who are content with being a bench player or moderate contributor, or are simply fulfilling a dream of wearing those school’s colors.
However, if you are a person who wants to put him/herself in the best position to achieve their full potential, then you need to closely examine your options for staying/leaving for the following year.
The best indicator for your future with your current school would be your relationship with your head coach, and whether or not he/she sees a successful future for you on his/her team. I’m sure most of you have at least one coach on staff that you admire, or have a good relationship with. But, the head coach should be the tell-tale indicator. After all, he/she is the one who will make the final decision.
It might also be beneficial to look at your coach’s track record of developing players and what kinds of players get the most playing time. Some schools put more focus on developing their own players out of high school, while others may put an emphasis on bringing in junior college players to contribute immediately.
For example, if you just finished your first year at a particular school as redshirted player, does the trend indicate that you still have a good shot at playing time, or does that most likely mean your future with that school is dwindling.
There are many things to be considered when looking at your future with a particular athletic program. But understanding these issues will hopefully put you in a better position to make a confident decision that will allow you to move forward with no regrets.