In todays’ environment we can easily interpret things differently. So it’s important that we know what college coaches want when they communicate with prospective student-athletes. Just because a college send you mail or emails, it doesn’t mean that you are being recruited. You can’t hope that you are all set and you no longer need to be active with your recruiting process. You may also wonder that if the school has send you brochures and other stuff, they are interested in you. Yes, they are interested in getting to know you better but don’t hope for more than that. This doesn’t mean much and if something comes out of it, great. If not, you need to move on quickly just like you were planning.
The goal here is to educate our student-athletes and parents about the process and prepare them of what’s about to come if they truly seek to identify the ideal college fit. We don’t want any athletes to waste their talent in the shadows of empty hopes and fall short of playing at the next level due to lack of preparation or knowledge.
So let’s outline some of the most common misconceptions in recruiting today. We could add more but we want a short and sweet list for you just like the college coaches like their athletes’ highlights videos and resumes.
1. You are a D1 student-athlete
You can believe all you can that you will be playing for a D1 school but the reality is that very few will make it to that level. The D1 level offer less money and it has many athletes who will be fighting for those spots. D1 level is just not for everyone and the sooner you realize that, the better. Wouldn’t you want to go to a school where you play and enjoy your college experience? You decide. Read this article which got over 10,000 views to find out why you are not a D1 athlete.
Instead, you should consider looking at more D2 and D3 colleges, NAIA or even a Junior College. Those are great opportunities where sometimes are missed by those players who dream so big but they couldn’t deliver. So by the time they realize that they should have consider the other schools, it will be too late. Other players more educated on the process will fill in those spots quickly.
2. Recruiting starts in your Junior or Senior year
Yes, for some of us. And that number is quickly shrinking. But the majority of players, really start earlier than that because they want to get ahead in the game. Due to the impact of social media and other advanced communication platforms and recruiting tools, the recruiting process has evolved tremendously and it’s happening a lot sooner. College coaches look at players in 9th and 10th grade to make sure they don’t miss out. In some sports coaches look at players in 8th grade. I know, it’s crazy but this is the reality. Rather than being shocked we need to adapt and do our jobs.
3. If you are a talented athlete they will recruit you
If you are a talented athlete, they will find you but not necessarily recruit you. Coaches look for good academic grades, a great attitude, good character, excelent work ethic, responsible athletes who can fit in their program and make a quick impact. It’s a lot more than just talent that needs to get you in.
The other thing is don’t wait to be discovered but rather make yourself more marketable regardless of your talent. Get on the coaches’ radar. There are way too many emails coaches have to read, so what makes yours special? Learn more about the best subject lines to email coaches and construct your email in such way that will be open and not deleted. Why you think your talent will get you to play in college. Talent alone, is not enough. You need good grades, great work ethic, good attitude and ready to take on new challenges. I don;t care if you play in high school, at an event or combine, tournament or a game, just play your heart out and run like it’s your last game. You will eventually make an impression and great things may come your way.
4. My video highlight will make a great impression on coaches
Well, your video highlight will only help you introduce yourself to the coaches. A video highlight alone, will not get you into college. Videos are important to your recruiting game plan but you need more than that to play your sport in college.
5. My high school or club coach will help me get a scholarship
Your coaches will not get you a scholarship. They will help guide you in the right direction, they will support you and make recommendations based on you academic and athletic abilities. Let’s say that you are not a D1 athlete material and a D1 college coach calls and asks your high school or club coach about you if you can compete at the D1 level. I am positive that most coaches will express their honest opinion because they don’t want to ruin their well established relationships and rapports with the college coaches.
If you are D1 level, I am sure your coaches will back you up on that. But don’t wait or think that your high school and club coaches have to help you get a scholarship. That’s not their job, it’s your responsibility. Players should contact college coaches early and introduce themselves with a professional resume and video highlights. Don’t be afraid to talk to coaches.
Please remember that there are over 1,800 colleges in the United States who can help athletes with different financial packages, financial aid and scholarships. Most of the money come from schools outside the D1 level. Schools at the D3 level only offer academic scholarships but they can save student-athletes a lot of money in the long run due to their great packages on academic and financial aid packages. Again, consider schools at all levels and don’t be afraid to contact the coaches yourself. Have fun!