For student-athletes, winter vacation brings a much-needed break in school and gives athletes time to evaluate where they stand in regard to finding an athletic scholarship, and what they can do to correct their course, or to increase their chances.
Things You Can Do During Winter Break to Get Recruited:
- Research Schools: You are beginning your high school journey, so you aren’t too far into the recruiting process. Use this time to figure out what you want in a college: location, school size, academics, campus amenities; the earlier you know what you are looking for, the easier it will be later when you are looking for a scholarship.
- Recruiting Questionnaires: If you already know what schools you are interested in, fill out the questionnaires on each team’s sports webpage. Coaches use these questionnaires to identify potential recruits and to learn more about them. Get your name on coaches’ recruiting lists by filling out questionnaires.
- Check Your Classes/Eligibility: The NCAA has strict academic requirements. Make sure you will be eligible to compete in college by determining your academic plan early in your high school experience.
- Online profiles: Recruiting is shifting to an online environment. Getting a recruiting profile set up earlier helps you get more exposure throughout the years. Ask us how we can help you get an online profile set up.
- Letter of interest to coaches: You can start sending letters of interest to coaches to help them identify you. Coaches still can’t talk to sophomores about recruiting, but you can contact a coach at any time to get your name out there and to help them identify you as an athlete they want to recruit.
- More Questionnaires: As mentioned above, filling out questionnaires can help coaches know you are out there, and help them identify you as a recruit.
- Ask Coaches about Camps: Coaches want to see athletes play live, and attending the camps that coaches attend is a great way to get coaches to see you play live. Over winter break start asking coaches what camps they will attend over the summer so you can start planning your camp schedule.
- Unofficial visits: While you are off from school, take the time to plan some unofficial visits to local schools. It will help you become familiar with what you are looking for in a college, and get you used to the importance of vising schools.
- PSAT: It’s important to prepare for standardized test during your sophomore year so you are prepared when it comes time to take them. Try taking the Practice SAT (PSAT) your sophomore yea to help you prepare for the real thing later in high school.
- Highlight tapes: Coaches want to know what you are capable of. Create a good highlight film to showcase your skills.
- Unofficial Visits: Take more visits to schools. The schools you visit during your junior year should be to schools (coaches) you are talking to and should be more targeted than the ones you visit during your sophomore year.
- More serious recruiting letters to schools: The regulations vary by sport, but as you get into your junior year coaches will be able to talk about recruiting more specifically. Take time during your break to identify and contact the schools that seriously interest you.
- Schedule SAT/ACT: You should start taking standardized tests during your junior year. You should take the tests multiple times because you can combine scores from different sections each time you take the exam to increase your overall combined score. If you don’t start taking exams during your junior year then you won’t have a chance to take it multiple times, which is a serious disadvantage in regard to college acceptance.
- Official Visit: Senior year is the time to take official visits. Winter break may not be the best time because college students will be home as well, meaning you won’t get a full appreciation for what a college campus is like if you visit it at this time, but if you are busy with sports and academics you can squeeze in an official visit at this time.
- College Applications: You need to figure out the final details and requirements for each school you are applying to. Most applications are due in January and February, so check your application requirements now to avoid any last minute problems.
- One final SAT/ACT: Depending on when your application is due, you may have time to register for one more standardized test to bring your tests scores up and enhance your admissions profile.
- Calls to Coaches: If you are still struggling to find an opportunity then you need to get on the phone and start reaching out to coaches immediately.
Winter break is a great time to focus on your recruiting. It can become a challenging task for some athletes, but that is why we are here to help! If you have any questions about what steps you need to take to get recruited, just ask us in the comments section below, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+!