Potential college recruits are constantly looking for an advantage over other athletes. Well, exploring local colleges and universities is an obvious advantage that athletes often overlook. Coaches’ recruiting budgets don’t allow them to get out on the road as much as most people expect, leading them to recruit local athletes quite often. Learn how to take advantage of local college recruiting options.
Coaches Are Able to Watch You Play More Often
If an athlete wants a scholarship, they have to find ways to market themselves to coaches. Most of this marketing eventually leads toward getting a coach to come out and watch an athlete play live. However, coaches don’t have as big of a budget for recruiting as most people think they do. Targeting coaches at local and semi-local colleges makes it easier for them to come out and scout you once you have built a relationship with them.
Summer camps can help athletes play in front of coaches as well, and attending local camps costs much less than traveling; athletes should still take the necessary steps to ensure they get the most out of their camp experience though. Whether they travel 10 miles or 1000 miles for a camp, athletes have to establish communication with coaches prior to attending camps, because coaches typically only scout athletes they already know at camps. It will be easier for coaches at these camps to come see you play during the year as well due to your proximity to them.
In-state Tuition Doesn’t Cost as Much as Out-of-state
This doesn’t matter for private schools whose tuition is the same for in-state and out-of-state students, but if you are looking at state schools then you could have a big advantage over the out-of-state athletes that you are competing against. Some athletic departments strongly encourage (and sometimes require) their coaches to recruit in-state athletes. They do this because scholarship limits aren’t tied to tuition costs. For example, let’s say at a state university the tuition for an in-state student is $10,000 and the tuition for an out-of-state student is $20,000; a full scholarship would cost twice as much for an out-of-state student.
Unofficial Visits Are Your Secret Weapon
Athletes are starting to commit earlier than in the past. Official visits, which are visits paid either partially or in full by the school, used to be one of the last stops on the path to a scholarship offer. Now, recruits are starting to take more unofficial visits and start committing to college at a younger age- not even making it to their official visit period without previously committing. An unofficial visit is a visit that the athlete and his or her family pays for (athletes on an unofficial visit are allowed to receive free tickets to a sporting event).
Athletes can benefit by visiting the schools they can afford to drive to as a sophomore or junior. Getting out to these campuses early will help athletes learn what they want from their college experience, but more importantly it allows them to start forming relationships before other out-of-state athletes can afford to take a recruiting trip.
What do you think? Will you or someone you know start looking at local colleges to get an advantage in your recruiting? Let us know in the comments section below, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+!