The college recruiting process is a stressful, exciting, disappointing, and fulfilling process all at the same time. If you want to be recruited to play sports in college, it’s no surprise that you need game.
But not just the “dribble past you, make a cut to the corner, and sink a three-pointer with my eyes closed” kind of game. In order to really determine if you’ve got what it takes, you should consider your GAME. This easy and helpful acronym can help you start thinking about whether you are ready to start.
G: Grades. Do you have the grades and test scores to get accepted into college?
A: Ability. Do you have the developed athletic talents and skills to play at the college level?
M: Motivation. Do you have the motivation and dedication that it takes to get recruited?
E: Exposure. Are you ready to be proactive and market yourself to college coaches?
Academics is an important part of the recruiting process that many athletes seem to forget. Getting good grades and scoring high on the SAT/ACT are just as important as your athletic skills; remember you are a student- athlete, which means you are a student first. Coaches want to see athletes who work hard to do well in the classroom and who will study hard to earn their degree. As you do your research into colleges, make sure you fit the academic admission requirements for the schools you are interested in.
While you may be the star of your high school or club team, sports in college are on a whole other level. It is important for athletes to be realistic about their abilities and find which division level they can be successful at. A good way to help you determine your abilities is to attend a college game or event and watch them play. You can also find colleges that host sports camps and showcases that will allow you to demonstrate your skill to college coaches. They can help you figure out your best level of play.
The most important aspect of the recruiting process is being proactive. Coaches aren’t going to be able to find you if they don’t know you are out there. It is up to you to initiate contact with these college coaches and present yourself as a valuable asset to their team. This means doing school research, creating a recruiting resume, and sending coaches your information. But it doesn’t end there. Coaches are looking for athletes who work hard in the classroom and in competition. You will also need to stay organized and continuously collect stats and video to update coaches on your progress as much as possible. Getting recruited takes A LOT of work, so make sure that playing sports in college is your ultimate goal. . . then GO FOR IT!
The more college coaches you contact, the more chances of finding an opportunity that’s best for you. When you start researching schools, make sure to keep your options open. If you narrow down your preferences, fewer schools that will fit your target list. While it is important to look for schools that you feel you will succeed at, if you focus too much on a specific region or division level, you could be missing out on great opportunities elsewhere.