- Jordana Klein
IMG Academy's Look Inside College Recruitment
How to stand out from other student-athletes
The question we all want to ask, but never do. Well, we asked, and you’ll be glad we did!
Ever wonder what makes the difference between yourself and “the other guy?” How does a coach narrow down the roster to capture the ideal team? Athletic scholarship offerings, academic aid, or none at all? What’s the big difference? We’re here to provide you with the insight you need to know in order to make a lasting first impression and leave an even greater legacy at your dream school.
For starters, there’s no such thing as too many questions, and this goes for during the initial part of the process through enrollment and freshmen year. When making an official or unofficial visit, it’s essentially an interview process for both the student and the school. By asking questions, you’re making it known that you’re interested in the program and that you’re engaged in the process. Asking questions like “where do you see me on the team?” or “how would I best make an impact on the program?” are impressive yet incredibly informative during the recruiting process.
From the first point of contact, on, you want a coach to know that you’re interested. And, if you aren’t let them know as well. From a point of respect, you’ll be acknowledged for your diligence, and, trust us, coaches talk amongst themselves as well.
Throughout the email process, it’s incredibly important to let coaches know why you’re interested (not just that you’re interested.) May seem like a no-brainer, but it’s so impactful during communication with perhaps hundreds of prospective students. On that note, tell the coach a bit about yourself personally – at the end of the day, this team will be your family for four years, so it’s beneficial to get to know a person both personally and athletically.
Additionally, send out a highlight film via email of your skills, shots, strokes, and all of the above. Allow coaches to see you play, both electronically and in person. By sending the film along with dates, times, and locations on where to see you physically play, a coach can have a better understanding of the player they’re working with. Don’t forget to include field numbers, team names, jersey number, and position, when applicable.
By taking into consideration all of the above, a student-athlete prepares to the best of his/her ability prior to signing that National Letter of Intent (NLI). Official and unofficial visits allow for a first-hand look into your next home, so it's crucial to be prepared in every aspect. Here are a few other key items to know prior to visiting a campus:
- Dress appropriately
- Act accordingly and on your best behavior
- See EVERYTHING
- Visit the dorms / residence halls
- Explore the local town and the area (this is your future home!)
- Set up meetings with intended majors and the admissions department, when possible
- Create a pros and cons list after every visit to keep them in order
- Send thank you notes to coaches / teams (email or handwritten works)
All in all, the college recruitment process can be just as important as the efforts you'll soon be putting in at the institution of your choice. But, it's the hard work and effort put in NOW that will lead to some of the best academic and athletic opportunities to come!
11/8: Don't miss IMG Academy's Fall Signing Day Ceremony!