If you are a student athlete wondering on what you can do to get ahead in the recruiting process read our 23 tips to get ahead. It’s important to start the process early so you educate yourself and make a great decision when in identifying and choosing your ideal college fit.
The order of our steps it’s not important but rather you taking actions and following those tips. They often say that it’s not about how you start but rather how you finish. In the recruiting process it’s important to start early because of the competition. There is a school for everyone out there. You just need to put in the work and truly know what you want for yourself.
1. Be Proactive
You need to constantly promote yourself to college coaches. Don’t wait to be seen or discovered. Make yourself discoverable and put you resume on the market. What I mean by that, send your athletic resume to all those coaches that your are interested in their program. Just do the work yourself.
2. Visit Schools
Go on and visit schools. You have an unlimited number of unofficial college visits you can take. Go on and see what each college has to offer.
3. Be Confident
When you approach college coaches or talk to them in person or via phone, just saw that you are confident in yourself. Confidence leads to success and without it we will not overcome our fears. Take the lead and show how confident you can be.
4. Be Persistent
When you contact a college coach and you don’t hear back from them a month later, just contact them again. Don’t be afraid to call and leave a short voice message followed up by an email. Be patience and wait another week or two. If you don’t hear back, don’t be afraid to move on but don’t get upset or down on yourself. Stay positive and be patience because you are now a step closer in finding your school.
5. Get Help
Talk to your student advisor, your club and high coaches and ask for advise. Tell them your goals of playing at the college level and ask them what you should do to get there. Always be open to what everyone has to offer you so you become more knowledgeable. We are not perfect but we can always choose to get help and learn more.
6. Communicate effectively
When coaches ask you a question, please don’t just give a one word answer. Explain, show that you are excited and that you are looking forward for the future. Express your true personality because that’s what coaches want to get from you. Show your character and always respond back to the coaches.
7. Be Careful On Campus
When you take a college visit, you will make friends from the team. Everything you say or do, will later be communicated to the coaches. Choose your words and actions wisely and don’t do anything stupid while you are on campus. You want to make a great impression and be liked and respected by those around you.
8. Coaches Recruit Players
College coaches want to talk and hear from you the student-athlete. Don’t have your parents contact college coaches on your behalf because they won’t be interested in you. Show that you are accountable and responsible for your actions. Take the initiative and show that you are mature and responsible to play at the college level. You are the one playing in college so it’s time to show your true colors.
9. Email Before You Call
You should always email the coaches before you try calling them. Email them your resume, tell them who you are and why you are attracted to their program. Once you email them it’s much easier to call and leave a voice message. Tell the coaches when you will try to call again and they may answer your call. You can call them but they can’t call you at times.
10. Don’t Play A Coach Against The Other
Most college coaches are friends with each other and they constantly talk amongst themselves. Don’t say to a coach that another school is offering you more money. That’s like asking the coach to see if s/he can offer you more. There are other ways to ask that if that’s the case for you.
11. Professional Athletic Profile
Without an online athletic profile, it’s hard to introduce yourself to a college coach. You can create a FREE PROFILE HERE and update it regularly with your latest information. Share it with the coaches in an instant and promote yourself effectively. Remember that you always compete against some else for a spot. Show coaches why they should choose you. Upload your schedule, stats, photos, video highlights and more. That’s how you will stand out from the crowed.
12. Contact Coaches Before Attending College ID Camps
Introduce yourself to the college coaches a week before you attend the camp. Now that you have an online profile, you can use it as your resume. Kindly ask the coaches to evaluate you so you can work on improving yourself.
13. Initiate The First Contact With The Coach
You should be the one contacting coaches. Don’t wait for them to contact you. Coaches are busy with their teams, trips, training schedule, recruiting and so on. Just because hey go to recruit, it doesn’t mean that they will see you play. So get on their radar first and when they come to a tournament or showcase, they will see you play.
14. Respond To All Emails From Coaches
Don’t take more than 2 or 3 days to answer a coach. If you take a week or two, shows that you are not that interested. If that’s the case, coaches will move on quick with other athletes that are more eager to get into their program.
15. Talk To Players Or Alumni Who Have Been Thru The Program
Knowledge is powerful and the more you know the better for you. Ask players, friends, and teammates about the school, training style, coaching philosophy, academics and so on. Ask and you shall receive. The key is to ask more people from different roles so you see the big picture from all angles.
16. Ask Coaches Where They See You Fit
Don’t be afraid to ask coaches how you would fit in their team. You should get an idea of what the coach is thinking of you at the moment.
17. Be Honest
I can’t stress enough about this one and the effect it can have on people.
Honesty is the best policy.
When talking to a college coach tell them that you want to keep your options open till your will find the right fit.
18. Always Smile
Always keep a smile on your face. Show that you are a happy student-athlete ready to work and excited about your sport. Those that don’t smile lack confidence sometimes and don’t truly show their true character. A smile will always make you more friends and help you build great relationships. It all starts with a smile.
19. Learn the NCAA Rules and Regulations
NCAA tends to change their rules every 2-3 years. So stay tuned and familiarize yourself with the rules. The more you know, the better your strategy and timing will be.
20. Find Out About Financial Aid
If you go to a school in state and you are a US citizen or green card holder and based on your parents income, you will find our how much financial aid can get. Your grades play a major role into this as well. So keep your grades up and study because it will save you money in the long run.
21. Know What You Want In A School
You have no idea where you would like to go to school. That’s OK but make sure you start looking. You should know if you want to stay in your state or out of state. What division you have in mind and is the school offering your major. Those are few factors that could slightly help you get closer in identifying the right fit for you.
22. Be Realistic
If you want to play at the D1 level but you are not there yet, save yourself time and money by looking at the D2 and D3 schools. You want to know Why You Are Not A D1 Athlete read this article and you will understand what I mean.
23. Time Management Is Key
Starting now, you need to master your time management. Plan your homework, nutrition, gym time, training and how you spend your free time. When you go to college, your life will be very busy. Learn how to prioritize your tasks and complete them as soon as you start. Don’t multitask because you will fall behind. In college you will have 5-7 classes, training, homework, traveling and more. If you can’t manage your time wisely you will be in trouble and feel stressed out before you know it.
And that’s the list I hope will help you get ahead of your competition but most importantly prepare you as an individual for the next chapter in your life.