High School Recruiting

Tips for High School Athletes: How to Get Recruited

Here are some tips that are relatively easy for you to control. If you are negligent in any of these three areas, the college sports scholarship you’ve always dreamed of could be derailed before it ever gets started.

Arguably the most important of these is taking care of your grades. But what does “taking care of your grades” actually mean?

When they are recruiting you to play at the college level, the first thing your prospective college coach will ask you about is your grades and test scores (PSAT, SAT, ACT). You want to be able to truthfully give that coach an answer that will make you both happy. Recruiting is a two-way street, and being a diligent student gives you a big advantage in recruiting and, ultimately, in earning a scholarship.

A good first step on the road to academic success is meeting with your high school guidance counselor. Once you let her know what your athletic goals are, she can help guide you in the right direction.

The rest is up to you. Develop good study habits and learn how to manage your time. Playing a sport in college is like having a very demanding part-time job—and remember, you will be a full-time student as well. You must learn how to organize your time to survive in this environment.

It cannot be overemphasized just how important getting good grades in high school will be to your chance at a college athletic scholarship. Schools can face scholarship penalties for subpar student athletes. Since these scholarship penalties can hamstring an athletic program for years to come, college coaches are increasingly reluctant to take a chance scouting and recruiting weak students no matter how athletically gifted they might be.

This brings us to our second important item—exposure. Let’s face it: you could be the world’s greatest athlete, but if nobody is scouting you, you could remain the world’s best-kept secret.

One of the great recruiting myths is that college scouts always locate all the outstanding players. The truth is they don’t. You may be from a small town, you may be a late bloomer, or maybe your parents took you skiing instead of sending you to showcase events.

Whatever the case, you need to be seen to get recruited and land a scholarship. Attending showcase events is one of the best ways to get this exposure. Ideally, you should try to attend a college recruiting camp at a few target schools where you’d like to compete in college.

Finally, there is one more aspect that you can control and take charge of: your attitude. If you’ve got the college-level skills, excellent grades, and a great attitude, you are well on your way to earning that college athletic scholarship.

But what is it to have a great attitude? First of all, be easy to coach. Be aware of your body language. When a college coach is scouting you, he will notice these things. Make eye contact. Smile. Nod your head. Listen. Above all, be open to doing things in a different way than you’re used to. Always be respectful and use appropriate language. These are things you already know how to do; now make it a habit to be that player every coach wants to coach.

That scholarship is closer than you think. And there are three things you can do right now to make it happen—get good grades, attend college sports camps (to be seen), and have a great attitude.

Author: David Frank

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