By the time you reach your senior year in high school, you’ve put in the workouts, reached out to coaches, and improved your skills. The hard part is done right?
Not necessarily. Committing, actually choosing the school you want to attend for the next 4+ years, will be one of the hardest parts of your recruiting process. Some people are absolutely certain where they want to attend, but most aren’t so lucky. So many athletes feel pressured to make a decision early, by college coaches, their friends, and their family members. As a result, they end up choosing the wrong school and having to decommit or transfer later. Don’t let that be you! Do your research, take campus visits, and find a school that is a good fit for you all around, not just athletically.
Take your time to research every aspect of every college you’re considering. Make sure you can see yourself attending the school even without your sport, in case something falls through.
Many high school athletes only consider Division I schools because they want to compete in Division I athletic programs. But, the academic environment at DI schools is very different from other, DII, DIII, NAIA, or JuCo schools, so athletes need to make sure they can handle the school environment along with the high expectations of their athletic program, and find a school that meets all of their needs.
Many people don’t know that NAIA teams compete at the same level as Division II schools, but their scholarship structure is different, as well as their perspective on academics. Similarly, DIII schools, while not offering athletic scholarships, encourage athletes to succeed academically, and therefore offer merit-based financial aid.
So before verbally committing to a college, have you looked into all of your options?
Breana Cassidy has had her fair share of not knowing where to commit. She verbally committed to Dominican College, but de-committed to attend Bloomfield College. After her first season with Bloomfield, she transferred to Brookdale Community College, but then spent her last years playing club soccer for Monmouth University. Breana shares her advice to high school athletes:
“Make sure you take the time to make the right decision for yourself. Don’t feel pressured to make one because of external reasons. Don’t knock something until you try it. I used to knock community college all of the time. I used to think I was too good for them, but in the end, it was the best decision of my life. And lastly, have fun with the process, it comes and goes so fast. Don’t get discouraged if you do or don’t get recruited by your dream school. Everything happens for a reason!”
A National Student Clearinghouse study found that 38% of all undergraduate students transfer schools at least once during the first six years of their post-secondary education.
The reasons for transferring vary, but for athletes they include not researching the head coach, assistants, and position coaches. You should also research if schools have academic help, the culture of the school, the dynamics of the team, and how coaches handle injured players. Asking questions is a big part of understanding team dynamics and coaching style, and doing so earlier can help lower your risk of transferring later.
Take note that transferring from one institution to another can cause problems for the athlete academically and mentally. There is a possibility that many of your credits will not transfer. On top of this, you will have to navigate a new school, town, friends, team, and coaching style. Many athletes may also risk a year of eligibility if the don’t follow the right steps in the transfer process.
Most transfer athletes that we have spoken with all say the same thing: they got caught up in the moment, and they believed the coach’s promises. They wish they had taken their time to do their diligence on the coaches and schools. It is so much easier for high school athletes to do their research early on, than to transfer later.
The athletes who did their research on the recruiting process and coaches in high school do not transfer nearly as often as the athletes who did not. The culture of the college can depend on the students, faculty, location, extracurricular activities the school provides, and academic help, and each of these will influence whether it’s a good fit for you.
Posted on October 6, 2021 in College Recruiting
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.