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The huddle

August 27, 2019

3 Recruiting Tips | From a DI Athlete

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All right, so, the recruiting process…where to begin? Well, getting recruited is rough, annoying, heartbreaking, and frustrating all at the same time. I should know since I am a DI athlete and had a swell of time going through some of the ups and downs of the process.  However, it is also one of the most exciting and fun times that you will ever have in your athletic career. Going to visit new schools and looking at a place that you could possibly compete at is exhilarating. All right, maybe I need to calm down with my adjectives, but you get the idea.

3 Recruiting Tips

The first thing that comes to mind is not to put too much trust in the coaches.  This sounds crazy and maybe a bit rude, but let’s think about this, you only met them once or twice. Most coaches are trying to sell you on their program. They want you to play for them, so they will say whatever they need to, to get you.  This doesn’t mean that every coach is going to lie to you, but it doesn’t mean every coach is going to tell you the truth. I’ve heard too many recruiting horror stories to change my mind on this topic. Athletes who were promised things when getting recruited ended up receiving little to nothing they were promised. You have to be wary of things like this, especially when it comes to scholarship money. If you are not signing papers for a scholarship, but the coach promises you scholarship money in the upcoming year, that’s a red flag! The number one rule I had to tell myself to remember was if it’s not an official document that is signed by the coaches, then it isn’t promised and should not be expected.

One of my teammates recently transferred to my school (University of Maryland) from another university because he didn’t receive the money he was promised. He committed to a school, was promised money while he was there, waited a year, competed, but did not receive the scholarship money he was promised! It’s wild how coaches will do that. I am not saying to distrust coaches entirely, but you have to be wary when they promise you things. Ways you can avoid getting duped by a coach; you can talk to current and former student-athletes.  You can also search through the ratings and reviews on LRT Sports. 

The second piece of advice is to be persistent. Be the recruit that emails coaches regularly. Be the recruit that has a plethora of questions. I did this when I was being recruited, and I did not annoy the power five coaches, so I’m sure you will not. In most cases, it shows you care.  

Also, let me tell you, it wasn’t just my athletic ability that got me here. It was a combination of being smart and very outgoing in my recruiting endeavors. Unless you are a 5-star recruit, your dream school isn’t going to pick up the phone randomly, call you and offer you a scholarship. You have to initiate conversations with the coaches. If I didn’t reach out to the coaches first, I would’ve been recruited by three big DI schools. What I’m saying is that if there is a dream school that you would LOVE to go to or even a school you are just mildly interested in, you can’t sit back and wait for them to contact you. Because most likely, it won’t happen. You have to be active in engaging in your recruitment.

The last piece of advice I want to give you (because the LRT Sports audience asked for it) is to always be to keep your head up. Some of you may not need this last piece of advice because you are complete stars in your sports and any school you contact will want you, but that isn’t the reality for 99% of student-athletes. There may be times where the school you are interested in may turn you away. There could be a time when the coach of a school is looking for a higher caliber athlete. There are times when you contact a school, and they’ve already given away their scholarship money they have for the upcoming school year. All these situations are a debbie downer, and it’s disappointing, especially when you want to go to that school! However, it isn’t the end of the world. For every school that isn’t looking for your position, there is another school that needs your position. You have to keep your head up when looking at schools because if you start to get down on yourself because some schools turned you away, it’ll completely ruin your recruiting experience and could impact how you present yourself to other schools or how other coaches/schools will see you. This isn’t one of those, “if you work hard and keep trying you will achieve what you want” kind of things because you also have to be smart while working hard and trying to be recruited.

You should know what positions or events may be open or what the coach may be looking for. Contacting a school’s baseball coach who already has eight outfielders that are returning for the next year (only three play at a time) isn’t going to do anything for you if you also play outfield. Not to say you SHOULDN’T contact them, but if you are hoping to play your first year or earn a scholarship, it might be a bit difficult. Now, contacting a coach who has six current outfielders where only four are returning could be a good idea. You must be smart and know what the team has/needs to avoid constant rejection or disappointment. To reiterate, you have to keep your head up, while also being smart in the recruiting process.

In conclusion These three tips are crucial to anyone’s recruiting process. Having a good attitude and rules is the reason why I compete in a DI school. I didn’t let my recruitment go to waste, and I feel like I went to the best school for me. Well, I mean maybe a school on a beach would’ve been nice. 🙂 

Hope y’all take away something from this!

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