Taking the first step and actually starting your college recruitment is definitely the hardest part of the process. The majority of student athletes are not sure where to begin, so they put off understanding the process and never fully pursue the goal because they think they will never make it. Don’t wait around to get recruited; you should be starting your freshman year of high school. Remember you are an athlete: you know what determination means, and you can be successful in the recruiting process.
Below you will learn three easy ways to move forward in your recruitment and how to become a knowledgeable and successful recruit.
Step 1: Understanding Recruiting Terms
If the NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA are not familiar acronyms to you, then you will need to make it your priority to be familiar with them, especially if you are not sure which college division level you will be aiming for. Depending on athletic ability, student athletes will be a better fit for one division level over the other.
When choosing a division level, recruits will need to consider what each division level has to offer; for instance, an average-to-good athlete may be asked to try out as a walk-on for a division I school but may also be offered a full athletic scholarship with an NAIA school. The same student will most likely see very little playing time with the division I school, while on the other hand, they may be able to be a starter as a freshman for an NAIA college. Having the opportunity to make these decisions will be up to the recruit to decide.
Step 2: The Most Important Step
After you have been evaluated and understand the division levels, you will then need to begin to create your school list. A school list is exactly what it sounds like—a listing of all the colleges you are interested in attending. This list should be fairly large at first; you will want to consider all schools which meet your needs, such as division level, majors offered, tuition costs, location, etc. Make your list easy to follow so you won’t be confused when you review it at a later time.
Step 3: Getting Your Name Out There
The final step in creating your college lists is to put the list to work. You have taken the time to narrow down your searches and locate programs which will help you find the best college for you. Now it’s time to get your name out to college coaches and see what they think. Keep in mind you will not always get the responses you want to hear from them, and sometimes you won’t even receive a response. Whatever you do, don’t get frustrated; be patient and persistent when reaching out to them.
If you are set on attending specific colleges, then you should not be willing to give up easily; if a coach does not reply to you on your initial e-mail, don’t be too quick to delete the school from your list. You should at least try to reach out more than once. Also remember college coaches at the NCAA DI and DII levels are restricted from contacting athletes until specific time periods, depending on the sport.
Remember to be successful in your recruitment, you will need to be proactive from beginning to end.