Being a student-athlete is a full-time job. What often surprises student-athletes and their families, however, is the idea that the recruiting process is like a full-time job in and of itself.
“So you’re saying I have two full-time jobs? Really?”
Well, that may be what it sounds like, but that’s not exactly what we’re saying.
What we mean to impress on you is that your recruiting process comes in addition to your life on the field and in the classroom and that it not only needs to be taken seriously, it requires an additional sacrifice and time commitment.
It’s a lot of work, and it needs a level of attention compared to what you give your sport, your schoolwork, and your social life. I can’t overstate the responsibilities a student-athlete has to handle his or her recruiting “job” correctly. So I thought: What if the recruiting process were posted as job description? What would it look like? I could imagine it would look something like this.
Wanted: College student-athlete recruits across twenty-eight sports and fifty states.
As a student-athlete going through the recruiting process, you will be responsible for taking charge of the organization, timeliness, and proactive nature of how you interact with college coaches, and you will have to do so while also playing your sport in high school, participating on your high school or club team, and keeping your other school and social commitments. You may or may not solicit help and support from your parents, teachers and high school or club coaches. Regardless, the end scholarship offer and/or commitment will be up to you to attain, and ultimately your decision.
Responsibilities of a student-athlete
- Reach out to college coaches multiple times per week via phone calls and email.
- Respond to calls, texts, and emails from college coaches in a timely manner as they come in.
- Be aware of and stay up-to-date on all NCAA D-I, D-II, D-III, NAIA, and JUCO recruiting rules and deadlines for your sport.
- Create a player profile or résumé for college coaches to quickly and confidently assess your abilities.
- Regularly tape and update game and scrimmage footage and upload it online.
- Regularly send new and updated stats and honors to college coaches and post them on your profile or résumé.
- Visit college campuses and teams, both officially and unofficially, and come prepared with questions for current team members and coaches.
- Make your schoolwork and studies a top priority while simultaneously competing on your sports team and attacking your recruiting process.
- Constantly think about the person you want to be and how you want the world to perceive you; monitor and be responsible for the way you dress, speak, act, and post on social media.
Qualifications of a student-athlete
- Must be a middle school or high school student-athlete
- Must be as committed in the classroom as you are on the field, with a GPA to prove it and/or a plan to raise your grades
- Must be prepared to commit a specified number of hours each week—depending on your current class, (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior)—to the recruiting process
- Must have proven ability to work well on a team and/or the desire to do so
- Must have a solid relationship with your high school or club coach, as well as possible references from teachers or other school personnel
- Must be serious about playing at the next level and willing to give it all you’ve got from here on out
- Must be willing to accept coaching both now and in the future
- Must have strong penmanship skills to one day sign a scholarship offer
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