The USA TODAY High School Sports Recruiting Tips are provided by our recruiting partner, Playced.com.
It seems to me that it would be a terrible feeling as a freshman in college to wonder why you aren’t playing your sport if you really believe you’re good enough. Even worse, what if you really didn’t give it your best shot when it came to your college recruiting process? The last thing you want is to look back and realize you could have done more, but you just didn’t make the time. For that reason, you need do everything you can to make your dream a reality. Not every talented athlete is “discovered” by college coaches, but every athlete can control their recruiting journey.
Texas A&M Basketball Coach Billy Kennedy may have said it best when he told us: “The student-athlete should control everything that happens. From figuring out what kind of a degree they want to what type of a program they want to play for, they should control it all. The quicker a recruit can “zero in” on the colleges that he/she genuinely has interest in, the better off they will be.”
If you don’t want to have any regrets, then take care of the tasks you can control. Here are four suggestions to avoid asking having any “Recruiting Regrets.”
Don’t waste your time on the wrong schools
Contacting inappropriate schools about scholarship opportunities is like asking Taylor Swift to homecoming and expecting her to say “yes”. There is nothing you can say or do to convince a college coach you are qualified for his or her roster if you aren’t. And there is no way to explain away a few years of poor grades or mediocre test scores. That’s why you have to pursue colleges that match your academic and athletic resume. You can email any coach in the country, but the key is getting a response!
Many college coaches look to connect, develop and maintain relationships with athletes during their freshman or sophomore year in high school. In fact, in many instances that has become the norm. As a freshman, you can start familiarizing yourself with the process and identifying colleges that might interest you. As a sophomore and junior you should step up your efforts.
To have a successful recruiting journey you have to commit to the process. Sending an email to a few college coaches and hoping for a miracle isn’t going to cut it. How bad do you really want it? You will be rejected by some coaches. But, if becoming a college athlete is what you really want, you must accept it and move on to the next college option.
Being persistent means sending multiple emails to many college coaches. It should include asking your current coach to be involved. It could also include strategically identifying camps and showcases to attend. Finally, if all else fails, pick up the phone and call the coaches at the colleges you are most interested in.
Don’t expect someone else to do it for you
There is a long list of people who can help you with your college recruiting process; your parents, high school coach, summer coach, guidance counselor and even a recruiting service. That said, I am a firm believer that you are your best recruiting resource. There is no one better to pick your college home. Don’t expect your parents to take care of it for you, don’t ask your coach to find your college and you don’t have to use a recruiting service.
Here’s the deal
Take responsibility for your recruiting journey and do everything you can to realize your dream. At least then you won’t have any regrets even if it doesn’t work out.