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How to Get a Cross Country Scholarship

Getting recruited and finding a scholarship is all about reaching out to coaches early in your career.

The quiet period for NCAA cross country begins Monday, December 10, and with the exception of a brief dead period from December 16-21, runs until January 2, 2013. Athletes must know what the NCAA recruiting calendar looks like for their sport so they can plan out different phases of their personal recruiting process, and cross country is no different.

What Happens to Your Recruiting During the NCAA Cross Country Quiet Period?

The quiet period simply means that cross country coaches are allowed to have no in-person contact with a recruit; they cannot go to athletes’ cross country meets, but athletes are allowed to go on visits (both official and unofficial) during the quiet period. Athletes and coaches can also talk to each other via phone and email during in the quiet period.

During this time, you can work on your recruiting by reaching out to coaches and contacting them (either to introduce yourself, or update them on the end of your season), but more importantly to take visits. Take some time to schedule a few unofficial visits to the colleges in your area that may interest you. Taking visits is allowed during the quiet period, and you still have some time to reach out to coaches and see if they will be available to meet you.

Taking the Right Steps Will Earn You a College Cross Country Scholarship

Our Cross Country Scholarship Page outlines the recruiting process for all cross country athletes. If you haven’t started your recruiting process at all, it may be difficult to just jump into visiting a coach during this quiet period.

The first step to finding a cross country scholarship is determining what schools your times match up with. Cross country can sometimes be simpler than other sports because your time is either good enough, or it isn’t. Don’t think that just because your times match up that you will receive a scholarship though. The recruiting process takes much more work than simply telling coaches your times.

Once you’ve done some research on schools and found your targets, you will need to put information together about yourself to present to coaches. Coaches will want to see your event history with times, your grades, test scores, and other basic information about your personality and high school career.

Start contacting coaches to get your name out there and to show interest in schools. Communicating with coaches over the remainder of your high school career will help you develop the relationships that can end with a cross country scholarship offer. You can find coaches’ contact information available on each school’s sports webpage, or you can create an account on our free recruiting database for access to coaches’ phone numbers and email addresses.

Continue to update coaches on your progress and take a few visits to different schools to get a better feel for what you want from your college experience. You will want to take the necessary precautions to ensure you are eligible to compete at the NCAA level, so make sure you are aware of the NCAA eligibility requirements while you are going through the process as well.

Other Resources to Help You Learn How to Get a Cross Country Scholarship

Cross Country Scholarships by the Numbers
Athnet Recruiting Page
Guide to Communicating with College Coaches
Getting Coaches to Respond to Your Email

Do you have any questions about what it takes to get a scholarship in cross country? Let us know in the comments section below, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+!


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