The college recruiting process is complicated and can be overwhelming for many families. There are schools to research, coaches to contact, profiles to be built, videos to be edited, and much more. And this is on top of your student athlete’s schedule and responsibilities.
To be successful in athletic recruiting, you need to be organized and have an understanding of how the process works. That way, you don’t lose control of the process, and you have a better chance of earning a spot on a college team.
Once you start the recruiting process, it will be easy to let it take over your life. That’s why it’s a good idea to get started early, as early as the freshman year of high school. That way, the process is spread out over the course of four years, and you will have a better grasp of everything you need to get done. In order to be effective during the recruiting process, it is important for you and your athlete to establish guidelines and boundaries so that you don’t become buried with everything that is required during the process. You and your athlete will need to work together to stay organized and stay in control of the process.
1. Set Guidelines for College Recruiters/Coaches
Once you start having conversations with college coaches and recruiters, it will be important to make time to e-mail or phone them to continue to get to know them and their program. But you shouldn’t let these conversations distract the athlete from their responsibilities at school or at practice. Coaches understand that high school athletes are busy and have a lot going on, in addition to trying to find the right college for them. Create a schedule for your family that dedicates time to the recruiting process, after they have done everything else they need to get done. Let coaches know your schedule so they understand the best time to contact you and where you will be ready and prepared for their call.
2. Don’t Forget How You Got There
High school athletes work hard to do well in school and on their team. Most of them are fortunate enough to have parents and families who support them in their endeavors, and many wouldn’t be where they are without that support. High school coaches also do a lot for your athlete, and working with them to help you through the process can be a definite advantage. Just remember everyone who works with your athlete: teachers, coaches, trainers, friends; they all have an impact on the success of your athlete. The hard work that you and your family have put into everything is how you got where you are and will continue to take you through the process and into college.
3. It’s an Opportunity, Not an Entitlement
When you start talking to coaches who are interested in your athlete, remember that there are hundreds of other high school athletes just like yours who are trying to get recruited. The hard work isn’t over when your athlete gets recruited or gets a scholarship offer. This is just the beginning of the experience, and if you aren’t up for the dedication, there are tons of others who would be willing to take your spot. Be grateful for each opportunity you are given and make the most of them.
4. Keep Expectations Realistic
As you start researching schools and sports programs, it is important that you talk about what level your child can perform at, both academically and athletically. You can have a conversation with your athlete’s coach and talk about their abilities and where they think your athlete could play: NCAA, NAIA, or NJCAA. That way, you have an idea of what schools you and your athlete should target, but make sure to take into account their grades and test scores as well. It’s okay to have a few “reach” schools, but in order to find the best opportunity, you have to be open to lots of options and levels.