In most cases, a student-athlete is first considered a “recruit” by college coaches after completion of his or her 9th-grade year. Given that, being a “recruit” is simply a matter of being promoted to 10th grade. But for most recruits, actually getting recruited takes a lot more work. And if you want to be the type of student-athlete that gets recruited to play at the next level, and you want the opportunities to find a school that also fits you academically, be sure to remember these five tips during your recruiting.
It’s perfectly natural to consider fudging your stats or to add some weight or height to your profile or in your communications with college coaches. It’s also one of the biggest mistakes you can make as a high school recruit. While it may seem personal for you, remember that recruiting is a business for college coaches. For a college coach, awarding a scholarship of any amount to a recruit is an investment. They will do their research to ensure they’re making a smart investment.
On top of all that, college coaches also understand that your athletic abilities and physical size will continue to improve. It’s part of their job as a recruiter to project that. Being honest with coaches about your size, abilities, and accomplishments will actually make you easier to recruit. Bending the truth will only make a coach’s job more difficult and it could ruin your recruiting.
Another area where you need to be honest in your recruiting is in your own assessment of your talents and abilities. It’s fine to dream of playing for a top school in your sport, but coaches deal in reality. So save yourself some time and honestly look at yourself, your talents, and abilities, and then target your recruiting toward the schools where you’ll fit best.
While it’s never easy to find the right school for you, the best starting point is to compare yourself physically, athletically, and academically, with a given school’s most recent recruits. Remember that, in most sports, usually the top 5% or less of high school recruits earn scholarships at Division I school programs. If you’re not among that top percentage of elite athletes, that doesn’t mean you won’t be recruited. But it does mean you might have to set your sights a bit lower.
You Need More Than Just An Online Profile
Since the premise of the article hinges on the fact that just becoming old enough to be considered a recruit doesn’t mean you’ll be recruited, it’s also important to remember that getting recruited requires more than simply establishing an online recruiting profile. There are exponentially more high school recruits than there are college coaches. And if you aren’t an elite-level athlete whose athletic ability stands out in 7th or 8th grade, you have to work to get those coaches to notice you.
An online recruiting profile should make a college coach’s job easier by providing everything they need to know about you. But it’s up to you to make sure you get on a coach’s radar so your profile will be seen. To do that, make sure to include the link to your profile whenever you reach out to a college coach. Remember that your online profile is an important part of your recruiting, but in no way should it be the only part.
Make A Recruiting Video That Scores With Coaches
Like your online profile, a recruiting video should show a coach what you can do and make him or her want to see more. It doesn’t need to be a career retrospective dating back to 3rd grade and it doesn’t need to be a slick, glittery Hollywood production. It simply needs to show your top clips in the first 30 to 45 seconds to catch a coach’s interest so that he or she can see what you can do and, hopefully, intrigue them enough that they add you to their recruiting lists.
As noted above, you’ll most likely be one of the thousands of recruits trying to get a coach’s attention. That means firing off one email with a link to your profile and recruiting video isn’t likely to get you noticed. If you’ve identified schools and programs where you think you can find a fit, don’t expect them to find you. Excelling athletically means hard work. And if you want to be recruited for an athletic scholarship, you’ll have to work even harder.
Remember that, more contacts made with more coaches mean more opportunities to be recruited. Don’t give up if a coach doesn’t respond to your first or even your second email. Be persistent but don’t be a pest. That persistence can make you a more desirable recruit. And that can pay off with a scholarship opportunity.
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