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 for Division 1, academic aid, walk-on, or nothing 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 during the college recruiting process and leave an even greater legacy at your dream school.
- There’s no such thing as too many questions, no matter if you’re going through enrollment during your senior year and even starting freshmen year of college.
- Let coaches know why you’re interested!
- Tell the coach 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.
- Official or unofficial campus visits are essentially an interview process for both the student and the school and a great way to stand out amongst your recruiting class.
- 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 as a high school student-athlete.
- 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.
- Don’t forget to include dates, times, location, field numbers, team names, jersey number, and position, when applicable.
- Standardized test scores, like the SAT and ACT, along with your transcript remain important during the recruitment process.
Long before graduation, you should be narrowing down your list of schools, working with admissions departments to complete deadlines, completing the questionnaires and items on the NCAA Eligibility Center, and doing everything possible to earn an intercollegiate athletics scholarship.
A great way to get out in front of coaches can also be during summer camps, which oftentimes host guest coaches or invite college coaches to view the talent on the field. In addition to camps, the NCSA and BeRecruited websites can also be great resources during the recruitment process.
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!