Simple Steps To Boost Your Recruiting, Whatever Your Sport
Regardless of your sport, there’s a lot to know about the recruiting process. Some of it you can find here and some of it you have to learn through experience. However, there are five things every high school student-athlete should know about the recruiting process that are just a bit more important. They are:
Start Sooner Rather Than Later
As a student-athlete, the benefit of extra time gives you two advantages. The first is that it offers you more time to research schools and athletic programs, so that you find the school that’s the right fit for you. Deciding on the best school and the best opportunity for you is a big decision. Starting your research early can make that decision much easier.
The second benefit of starting the recruiting process earlier is that it gives you more time to get your name in front of college coaches. The sooner you can get on more coaches’ radars means they’ll have more time to consider you and everything you have to offer. Beginning recruiting earlier means you’ll have more time to reach more coaches and consider more schools to find the best fit for you.
Starting early is also important because…
If you’ve got good grades now, keep working hard and keep them up. If your grades are average or below par, the sooner you can start working to improve them the better.
Your grades matter because if a coach is going to invest the time to recruit you, they’ll want the assurance that you can meet their school’s entrance requirements. In addition, a solid academic track record also shows that you’ll be able to handle the load in college, and that will make you a more attractive recruit. Finally, by carrying a higher GPA and earning good entrance exam scores, you may be eligible for academic scholarships at many schools. In situations where coaches may offer packages of athletic and academic scholarships, your good grades can offer you more opportunities and make you more “recruitable.”
It’s On You To Make The First Move
If you’re not on a coach’s radar, the ball is in your court to reach out to that coach and express your interest in their program and their school. It can be via email or phone call, but however you do it, you’re the one who will need to make the first move. Your coaches and connections might be able to open doors for you, but no matter what, it’s up to you to push them open.
Contacting a coach can be daunting, but remember that you will only have one window to be recruited. It’s now or never. Don’t let that window close with you regretting the fact that you didn’t have the nerve to reach out to some coach.
Do Your Research
The best approach when trying to decide where to attend college is to make a list of your top five or eight schools, and then compare those schools to a list of what you want from your college experience. However, if none of those schools offer you a scholarship, then you have to pivot to consider those that do. Remember to look at everything a school has to offer you, and don’t judge it on preconceived notions.
Once you know the schools that are interested in you, do your research. Check out a school online. Tour the campus. Look at the current team and decide where you might have the best opportunity to shine. If you’re considering a number of schools, look for ways to visit them on a budget. Again, you get one shot at recruiting, so consider all your options, don’t leave any stones unturned, don’t leave any questions unanswered, and make sure you’ve explored every opportunity, big and small before you make a commitment.
Don’t Stress And Enjoy The Process
Given the many unknowns, the recruiting process can be confusing and stressful. The power to reduce that stress is in your hands. Taking care of each of the four steps above will make your recruiting process much easier, and that will reduce the stress for you and your family. Again, it can be stressful, but being recruited is also the goal you’ve been working toward for years. Take the time to relax and appreciate all the work you’ve done that’s gotten you to this point and enjoy the ride. And when the time comes, remember to make the decision that’s best for you and only you.
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