Finding a college to continue your academic and athletic career is a challenging task. It is definitely not something that should be taken lightly because your choice in a college will affect you for the rest of your life. Here is a breakdown of some of the dos and don’ts in college recruiting.
Start doing this early in your high school career. As an underclassman, you will have a million other things on your mind, but learning at a young age what to look for and what you want in a college experience will make the whole process so much easier. Here is an easy guide that gives you five things to do every year to get recruited.
Make the Initial Contact
One of the biggest misconceptions surrounding recruiting is thinking that coaches will find you. College coaches will not find you! Everyone thinks that if they just play hard enough, scouts are out there looking. Nothing will hurt you in recruiting more than believing the previous statement. Unless you are a top football or basketball player (think top 200), you will likely go unnoticed by coaches.
Stay in Contact with Coaches
Making initial contact is extremely important, but keeping connected is paramount. Putting together a sports resume will help you get initial interest, but it is your job to continue to update coaches with your progress—both athletically and academically. Coaches talk to hundreds of athletes during recruiting, and they are looking for reasons to cross athletes off from their recruiting lists. Losing touch with an athlete is a great reason for a coach to cross you off his list. If you need inspiration, check out these 50 reasons to update a coach.
Attend Camps and Fill out Questionnaires
Almost every school has a recruiting questionnaire available on their website. This is another great way to make initial contact with a coach. You can find links to recruiting questionnaires available on our free recruiting database. Going to camps is also a great way to get recognized and make sure that coaches see you perform. Don’t just sign up though; make contact with coaches before going to camps.
Wait Until Your Senior Year Has Started
One of the most common problems we come across is athletes waiting too long to start looking for college opportunities. The NCAA has strict rules on losing eligibility after you graduate high school. Don’t wait too long to start recruiting because you will miss out on opportunities. If you are a senior or have recently graduated, some options for you are junior college, postgraduate studies, or walking on.
Talk to a Coach Like He/She is Your Friend
Finding a scholarship is similar to finding a job. Pretend the coaches you are talking to are potential bosses. Make sure to edit all of your correspondence with them and use spell-check. Be professional and polite when you talk to them on the phone; it will go a long way.
Post Inappropriate Things on Social Media
When looking for scholarships, you always want to paint a good self-portrait. Again, college recruiting is like looking for a job, so make sure you only post appropriate things on social media sites. Coaches recruit based on an athlete’s character more than you might think!