For over 10 years we have been helping athletes and families find scholarship opportunities by utilizing online recruiting tools. Over that time we have spoken with all types of recruits and seen amazing results, both positive and negative. We’ve seen top DI talent end up without a team to play for and athletes get scholarships ahead of other more talented recruits because of their great attitude and hard work.
Across the thousands of recruits and scholarships there are a couple of traits that almost all of our successful recruits have in common.
The recruits have unwavering persistence
You are going to have far more disappointments then success in recruiting and you have to keep fighting. The recruits I have worked with that have the best “luck” are the ones that can get told no 20 times and keep emailing and calling. Coaches have to try and find the serious recruits through all of the half-hearted emails. Getting through this filter requires a consistent, quality effort from you.
They want a scholarship, but don’t ask for it
There is a difference between asking “for” and asking “about” a scholarship and successful recruits ask about scholarships. What you want to know from a coach is what it takes to get a scholarship from their program; it is your job to show that you are that type of student athlete. What you don’t want to do is ask a coach for a scholarship and then leave it up to them to try and determine if you are qualified. Help the coach recruit you, don’t expect them to just come after you.
They have more than one scholarship offer
Nothing gets a scholarship offer like already having one on the table. Even if you are talking to a DI school and only have a DII offer, the coaches know they are now competing against a scholarship offer. When a coach knows a recruit is getting part of their education paid for, it is going to be very difficult to get that recruit without offering some money. Our recruits are encouraged to have several schools involved in the recruiting process. This protects against losing an opportunity late in the process and leveraging offers against other schools.
An ability to follow instructions
You need to be able to read a coaches questions, respond and ask questions of your own. One of the most frustrating experiences for a coach is when they send you instructions to follow and you don’t follow them. If a coach sends you a link to a page with instructions and you ask them for something that was clearly answered on that page, they are going to question your ability to follow instructions. There are going to be several tasks that are going to require you read complex instructions, ask the appropriate people for help and get answers back to your coach. If you cause the process to drag on and waste time, this can cause a coach to stop recruiting you.
Where you’re from doesn’t matter
Being from a small town or an international athlete is never an excuse to not get recruited; you can get recruited from anywhere. Almost every college coach has recruited an international athlete or someone from across the country. It is all about fit, you need to show the coach you fit their program. Will you have to email more or look at more schools, yes, but who said this was going to be easy?