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How to Get Ahead in the Recruiting Process

By starting the recruiting process early, you will understand and enjoy the experience more. You will be prepared to communicate with the coaches and team members, plus the excitement will build in anticipation for official visits. Be proactive! Reach out to coaches first, send a highlight reel of your high school athletic career, and even offer for them to watch your games. Read up on the NCAA rules. Reach out to friends, family, and teammates for advice, especially if they have been through the process. Coaches love when recruits demonstrate an interest in official visits, so prepare questions for coaches regarding athletic program goals, personal goals, athletic scholarships, coaching philosophies, and school culture. Here are some tips on how to get ahead in the recruiting process

You will have hundreds of thoughts going through your mind once the recruiting process is in full effect. Staying on top of the paperwork and deadlines will put your mind at ease. You can put the recruiting process at risk if you do not pay attention to when things are due — here is a list of dates and deadlines that you need to keep your eye on.

  1. ACT and SAT dates and deadlines
  2. You must register with the NCAA Eligibility Center
  3. Send in your college applications, deadlines are all different so keep careful notes
  4. Submit FAFSA paperwork
  5. Request final amateurism certification
  6. Send your final transcripts in, and your proof of graduation to the Eligibility center/s
  7. Sign your acceptance letter!

Freshman year is not too early to start the recruiting process, research, and compile a list of 25 to 30 schools that you can see yourself attending.  Keep a list of pros and cons. You can start emailing coaches to tell them that you are interested in their program. If anything this will put you on their radar.

Playing at the highest level is a must, ask your coaches what they think that you need to improve on. It is recommended that you self evaluate. It is good to know what you feel you need to work on because once you are on a collegiate team, you will have to rely on self-evaluation.  

Consider working with a personal trainer to improve speed, strength, and overall athleticism.

Once you are in your sophomore year, you will need to register with NCAA or NAIA Eligibility Centers. Go through your list of schools. You might want to add or subtract some, then complete all of the recruiting questionnaires.

You will also need to fill out their recruiting class paperwork. The coaches want to have a general generic number on you. This can be anywhere from your height and weight to sport-specific rankings and personal bests. Coaches will put this information into their database along with your contact information, emails, and any other information that they feel that can help them.

Tip: We recommend that you respond to every letter and invite that you receive from colleges. They will need to be all personalized.

This is also the time when you want to start to begin compiling highlight and game videos. https://www.hudl.com/page/football-highlights is an excellent resource for highlight videos.

Now is the time where you should be sending out personalized emails to coaches.  Let them know when your next game/meet or match is so they can observe you. Attitude is critical, so tell your parents that if they are at your game that they need to be respectful of the process.

Once your junior year starts, you will want to start narrowing your search down to 10 to 15 schools. Keep in contact with the coaches on a regular basis. If you are no longer interested, then let them know. Do not string coaches along. You can ask coaches where you stand in their recruiting list. Look to attend Showcase games and tournaments, make sure you’d let coaches know your schedule so they can attend.

Tip: Make unofficial visits to the schools you’re interested in. Take AP courses, challenge yourself academically!

Hard work and determination will get you to your senior year of the recruiting process. It is time to narrow your list of schools down to three to six; it is still essential to stay in contact with coaches every week. You may also ask them for a timeline of when they will be making offers.

Take official visits to the schools on your shortlist, meet coaches and players. Try to picture yourself on the campus as well as fitting into the sports program.

It’s now time to complete the  FAFSA form. Fill out all of your college applications early. Continue to keep your grades up and remember consistency wins the game.

TIP: Do not let one tweet ruin your scholarship opportunities, so post nothing on social media that can destroy your recruiting process.

Updated 8/19/19


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