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May 2, 2019

5 Questions you Might Have About the College Recruiting Process

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There are so many moving parts to the college recruiting process. It is an exciting time, but if a student-athlete does not know how to manage it or has questions about how to tackle the process they should seek help, so the process goes as smooth as possible. The decision is not one to take lightly, but it should be fun as you are planning your future! There is no need for stress, and that’s why we have researched the top 5 questions high school athletes might have as they are being recruited and a current University of Michigan track and field athlete has answered them for you.

Question 1: Where do I start?

This is a relevant question in my opinion because it does depend on the sport. But 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 you never know 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, and that can set you apart). The start sending emails and letters to the coaches or recruiting coordinator telling them you filled out the online questionnaire, 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 its a top school on your list and you don’t hear anything, keep updating them with your stats, times, academics, etc.

Question 2: How do I know if I am on a coaches radar?

You might be on a coaches 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.

Question 3: 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 just because it may seem better 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.

Question 4: 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 gage on how to narrow down the list. Only you know the best fit for you!

Question 5: Is there a way to make myself stand out to a coach?

Your skill in your sport has already caught the coaches 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 as well as you are figuring out if you’d be a good fit too.

Good luck and stay positive!