Hint: It takes hard work, on and off the court.
Considering every level, there are just less than 2,000 women’s college basketball teams in the United States. However, there are more than 400,000 female high school basketball players. And of those, only about 28,000 will play at any college level.
All of that means the relatively few women’s college basketball coaches out there don’t all have the time to scout and recruit thousands and thousands of players. And, unless you’re an elite player with coaches constantly knocking on your door, odds are, the ball may be in your court to get yourself recruited.
Put In The Work
Simply put, getting recruited is going to take some work on your part. And the first step is to honestly assess where you stand athletically, and then look at different schools in different divisions to see where you might fit best, athletically and academically.
Then, do your research and assemble a target list of the schools that you think will fit you best, and reach out to the coaches at those schools via email. Make sure your email includes links to your online profile and highlight video, academic details, your physical and athletic stats, and your contact info. Once you send an email to a coach, follow up with a phone call.
In addition to doing your own recruiting homework, you should also put in the work on the court. Strive to play at the highest level possible, as coaches most often look for varsity or AAU experience. In addition, to enhance your exposure to college coaches, take every opportunity you can to play at summer tournaments or camps.
Finally, don’t overlook your academic work. You’ll need to fulfill the NCAA’s requirements to qualify academically. And, if your grades and entrance scores are high enough, you may even qualify for academic scholarships as well as athletic scholarships. And that could make you an even more attractive recruit to college basketball coaches.
Know What Are Coaches Looking For
While height and stats are always nice, most women’s college basketball coaches look at a number of factors when considering a recruit, primarily:
• Height and Build
Height, physical build, athleticism, and strength are frequently the first things many coaches consider. While there’s not much you can do to get taller, you can always work to improve yourself in the other areas.
• Technical Ability
It seems obvious, but you should have the fundamental basketball skills down if you want to be recruited to play in college. Your technical abilities should include ball protection skills, sound shooting technique, and proper footwork.
• Basketball IQ
Coaches look for recruits with good on-court decision-making skills and situational awareness. That includes position-specific skills, defensive reading ability, or simply game management ability.
In addition to having the grades to qualify academically with the NCAA or to earn academic scholarships, college coaches look for recruits with solid grades because good grades show your discipline and time-management abilities, as well as the ability to handle the load at the collegiate level.
How Do You Get Recruited?
In addition to having an online recruiting profile and highlight video (which should be updated often), start filling out athletic department questionnaires as soon as your freshman or sophomore year in high school. Filling out a questionnaire doesn’t mean that the school will recruit you, but it is a simple and direct way to let a school or coach know that you’re interested in their program.
If you get recruiting material in the mail or via email from a coach, respond to it promptly. Again, responding doesn’t tie you to any particular school, but it does show a coach your discipline and interest in being recruited. Plus, more coaches interested in you now will hopefully translate to more scholarship offers later. And more options are never a bad thing when deciding where to attend college.
You can also take unofficial visits to colleges anytime. This will give you an opportunity to get a feel for a campus and athletic facilities at your own pace. Just be sure to let a coach or staff member know ahead of time if you want to see the school’s basketball facilities.
Finally, if you want to raise your profile with college recruiters, attend camps at the schools you’re interested in, or participate in showcases or tournaments where you know coaches will be present. Again, remember that not every coach has a huge recruiting budget, so getting yourself on the floor in front of more coaches can equate to more recruiting opportunities later.
Getting the game to play women’s college basketball takes work. But getting recruited to play in college takes work too. Apply yourself to recruiting the same way you’ve worked at being a better basketball player. The effort and hard work you put in, on and off the floor, is what will get you recruited to play in college.
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