There are so many moving parts to the college recruiting process that while it may be exciting, it can be daunting as well. Student-athletes find themselves having questions and needing guidance to help the process go as smoothly as possible. The decision to commit to a college team is not one to take lightly, but it should be fun nonetheless! There is no need for stress – we have researched the top 5 questions high school athletes might have as they are being recruited and a former University of Michigan track and field athlete has answered them for you.
Where do I start?
This is the biggest and one of the most daunting questions, but it does depend on the sport. Fear not, there are some things all athletes can do! First, figure out a list of schools you want to contact – the more the better to keep all options open – plus a school may surprise you. Then, start doing your research on the schools, so when you do reach out to the coach, it is as personal to that school as you can make it (that will show your interest, which can set you apart). Next, fill out the online questionnaires and start sending emails and letters to the coaches or recruiting coordinator. Tell them a little more about yourself and your interest in their University, and then wait to see what they say when they get back to you. Don’t freak out if you don’t hear back; coaches are busy. If it’s a top school on your list and you don’t hear anything, keep updating them with your stats, times, academics, etc.
How do I know if I am on a coach’s radar?
You might be on a coach’s radar without even knowing it! That’s the fun part of this process. If you take advantage of your skills, you never know what door can open next for you. Often, coaches will email you back, call you when they are allowed to, set up a time to watch you play or visit your home, or ask for general updates. You usually know when and how interested a coach is in you. And, if a top school choice of yours is not showing much, it doesn’t mean they don’t hear you, so keep updating and keep showing your interest.
Is it better to sign on the early or later signing date?
Don’t worry about when to sign. It is hard to get all the official visits before the November signing date, but if you are confident in your school, then there is no reason to wait. However, do not rush to sign early if you are not confident in where you want to attend. This is a decision that impacts the next four years of your life and will be a big part of your future after college as well. Do not rush the decision.
How do I narrow down my list of schools I like?
I found that the best way was to make a pro and con list for each school and go from there. You also need to think about factors like a plane ride or drive away? Do they have the major you want? Are they in a competitive conference? Do you see yourself fitting into the team? By answering those to yourself, you’ll get a better gauge on how to narrow down the list. Only you know the best fit for you!
Is there a way to make myself stand out to a coach?
Your skill in your sport has already caught the coach’s attention at this point. I would say it is important to be personable and keep up to date with how the team does so on your next phone call, you can congratulate him/her on a big win or whatever it may be. Just being yourself will be key though because a coach wants to build a strong team culture, and it’s for them to decide if you are a good fit and for you to decide if they are the same for you.
Good luck and stay positive!
When doing research in the recruiting process for my daughter I came across the LRT Sports website. I was immediately intrigued as this was another dimension of the recruiting process that many people don't even consider. My daughter and I could "short list" schools based on the education she was looking for, as well as the opportunity to play her sport. LRT Sports not only gave us pertinent information into the recruiting process with different interviews of coaches and players, it also gave us insight into current and/or former players' opinions on the coach of that school in her sport. We could use this information to re-prioritize my daughters list of schools based on this feedback. I have many friends that are, or will be, going through this process shortly and I highly recommend using LRT Sports as part of anyone's recruiting process.
The college process presents a myriad of challenges. Factor in athletics and it becomes even more daunting. Now, add the fact that you have zero experience with sports. What is a the mother of a college bound student-athlete to do? LRT Sports has truly lived up to its promise. It has kept "the college recruiting process honest and easy by providing first hand information about coaches, schools and the recruiting process." Their interviews with current students, coaches, and professional athletes have provided realistic guidance. I am much more informed because of LRT Sports! The coach ratings are the most helpful. LRT Sports interviews allow us to hear from students as to how the adults are impacting not only their athletic experience but also how they are helping to shape their adult self.
The C.A.L.C. was thrilled to have Keirsten Sires come and speak to us on multiple topics relevant to high school athletics today, including recruiting. Keirsten reached all of our students and left them with great strategies that will not only help on the fields, courts, and mats, but also in the game of recruiting. She was a true professional and delivered a wonderful message.
Now that the recruiting process and the related stress is over, I wanted to thank you for your guidance. You did so much more than we had expected. Once you started the process by matching the best academic schools first, not the best sport programs, I knew you were the one. The way you laid out a timeline of contacting coaches, visits, and camps completely took any guesswork out of the plan for us. All of the student athletes that you put us in touch with gave us a look from the inside, and made us more comfortable knowing what was coming. Finally, using your website as a resource for knowing what to expect from different coaches based on former recruit reviews gave my son confidence before our meetings. There is no way we could have figured this out on our own, you really put us in a great position when decision time came.
I think hearing from other athletes is very beneficial. To be able to learn from people’s mistakes, and to be able to have access to those voices is really helpful; especially voices that have been there and done that. It’s very important for people to have access to information that could benefit them, and in this case there are many voices that can help the next wave of athletes.
If you have something that’s going to spell [the recruiting process] out for you… it’s so valuable. I think what everyone at LRT Sports is doing to spread the word and help advocate and educate athletes on the recruitment process is incredible.
Without question would have used LRT Sports. It would have probably been one of the most valuable tools that I could have had. If you want to know what these coaches are really like then I think this is the best tool out there. I’m really glad you are allowing recruits to have a resource like this moving forward.