NCAA Track and Field Recruiting
How to Get Recruited for College Track and Field
College track and field recruiting is a long process where coaches and scouts will want to evaluate your accomplishments, potential, and if you will be the right fit for their program.
Despite what you may think, track recruiting isn’t all about your best time, jump, or throw. Each event is recruited and scouted differently, and it is important you know how coaches recruit for your events so you know how to be a better recruit.
How Each Event Get’s Recruited
Every track and field program is on the lookout for an elite level sprinter who shows an ability to be good over multiple events. In college, sprinters will run anywhere from the indoor 60 meters to the 200 meters and might be asked to step up to the 4 X 400 meters if the program needs it. Because a good sprinter can score for you in multiple events, they are going to demand the most scholarship money.
Scouts are always looking for young talented sprinters with excellent natural ability. You don’t have to have the best form if you are fast, the right program can develop your form.
The middle distance events are seeing the most change at the college level. Increasingly, you are seeing strong 400-meter runners pushing to the 800 meters and some of the elite 800-meter runners taking their great turnover up to the 1,500 meters. Most middle distance runners will be asked to run cross country as well, and this added base to your training means you can probably step up distance on the track as well. This means you have to be willing to try different events at the college level if you are a middle distance runner. If you are looking for a scholarship, you need to show an ability to contribute points in multiple events.
Scouts look for strong runners with a good biomechanics and top-end speed. College coaches can then plug you into their program, and you will develop into a college runner.
Every college distance runner will be asked to run XC as well as indoor and outdoor track. It is a full-time job and then some to make the jump to being a college distance runner. When recruiting, runners’ coaches are looking at how you train in high school and whether your biomechanics and running style will fit their training program. Scholarships are available to the runners who score points for both the XC and track teams.
Scouts are looking for runner who can handle the added distance in training and who have the ability to score in multiple events. That means you could be asked to run anything from the 800 meters to the 10K if your team needs the points.
Some programs are built around a strong group of throwers. Having one or two dominate shot and discus throwers can mean a huge amount of points at every meet. Because the javelin and hammer are not very common at the high school level, coaches are always recruiting throwers with the willingness to try new events at the college level.
Scouts look for athletes with good size and athleticism with a lot of room to improve. Remember, you will be throwing a heavier weight, so the ability to get stronger is a must.
Jumps are one of those areas where you can’t afford to not only have athletes, but only the top athletes are worth spending a lot of scholarship money on. Because it is very rare for an athlete to have the ability to compete at multiple events at the college level, coaches recruit jumpers who can come in a score points right away.
Scouts look for athletes with a proven ability to get good numbers as well as an ability to do it in the biggest meets. Coaches know that given an athlete with good marks in high school, they can help them improve with year-round training.
Author: David Frank