College recruiting can be an intense process. Many student-athletes don’t realize the time and effort they will have to put into the process before seeing the results they want. Some still believe that coaches will find them and don’t do anything to increase their chances of gaining exposure. The truth is that recruiting is work, work that some don’t realize until they see it firsthand. If you are going to be driven and committed to locating the perfect college program then here are the steps you will need to think about before getting started:
1. Are You Ready to Play College Sports?
Obviously, playing sports at the college level is going to be more intense and time-consuming than at the high school level. Getting to the college level is going to be work, but the real work comes with balancing college life, academics, and sports. Athletes will need to understand that there are different levels of college competition, and even though they may be shooting for NCAA division I, they may find a better fit attending a junior college first. Knowing which level of competition you can compete in and having the grades to get you there will lead to a successful recruitment.
2. Do You Have the Grades to Be Cleared By Initial Eligibility Standards?
Meeting academic requirements is essential when wanting to compete in college. NCAA division I and division II schools require their athletes to meet the minimum eligibility requirements through the NCAA Eligibility Center; this includes passing core courses, maintaining a passing GPA, and having suitable ACT or SAT test scores. All these items are mandatory before being considered for college scholarship opportunities. NCAA may have the strictest of the eligibility requirements, but some individual colleges and universities have their own standards that student-athletes must meet to be granted acceptance. Recruits who shoot for more than the minimum requirements will open up more opportunities because they won’t have to worry about meeting eligibility or retaking courses.
3. Do You Have the Drive to Be Proactive in Your Recruiting Process?
Eager recruits typically jump right in, without knowing how the process will go or why they are not seeing immediate results. This can lead to frustration and sometimes failure. We want recruits to succeed in their recruiting process; that’s why we are here to help answer the questions, but ultimately, it will be up to them to do the heavy lifting. This includes making the grades, improving their game each year, creating a sports resume, taking video footage, and reaching out to college coaches.
4. Are You Going to Be Organized and Confident When Communicating with College Coaches?
Once you have all the material needed to share with college coaches, you should send it to them, no earlier than your freshman year. After a week you will need to follow-up and then keep the coach informed on your athletics and tests from thereon. Reaching out to college coaches can be stressful. Some athletes don’t think they are good enough athletically to waste a coach’s time and give up before they get to this step, while others put it off too long, and potential spots go to athletes that expressed more interest early on. Being on top and ahead of the game will get you noticed. Replying to coaches’ responses immediately will show them you are eager to learn more about their program and also that you are ready to be considered a legitimate recruit.
These are just the stepping-stones to understanding the recruiting process. Each step consists of even more details and processes which recruits will encounter once they put themselves in the position to be ready for college recruitment.