The USA TODAY High School Sports Recruiting Tips are provided by our recruiting partner, Playced.com.
If you’re looking for an athletic scholarship, expect to run into a few obstacles along the way. Not every coach is going to be interested in you, not every roster will need a player at your position and you may not qualify academically for every school. If you hit a bump on the recruiting road it’s time to make an adjustment, not an excuse. Here’s a list of the three recruiting excuses we hear the most and some possible adjustments to make.
Recruiting excuse No. 1: “The academic requirements at some schools are too high.”
If you aren’t happy with the schools you qualify for academically, or if your grades are damaging your “recruitability”, find a tutor, commit to a study program and/or take an SAT or ACT review course. An athlete with good grades and test scores is much more attractive to a college coach than an athlete with average grades and mediocre test scores. College coaches don’t want to waste their time recruiting athletes who might struggle to stay eligible academically or worse yet can’t get past the college admissions office.
Finally, you need to understand that most coaches realize that good grades and test scores are an indication of a student’s work ethic and achievement standards, for all areas of their lives.
Recruiting excuse No. 2: “I don’t have any time to spend on recruiting.”
Listen, I know high school athletes are busy with studying, homework, practices, games and lessons. That said, if you really want to play in college, stop looking for excuses. Commit a little time up front to your recruiting efforts and then just a few minutes every few days. It will make a difference. The time you spend up front should be to identify the right schools to target.
After that, take 15 minutes a day (maybe right after dinner), three days a week and reach out to the coaches at those schools. It’s a small price to pay to play at the next level.
Recruiting excuse No. 3: “I’ve tried, but no coaches are responding to me.”
If you’ve truly contacted numerous colleges (more than 5), multiple times (more than once) and haven’t heard back, then it’s time to wake up and smell the Gatorade! They probably aren’t interested. Their recruiting class might be full, they might not have a need at your position, or you might not be a match for their program. Don’t take it personally or get discouraged, just move on.
Re-evaluate the kinds of colleges you are targeting. Ask your current coach for his or her opinion about the schools on your list. Remember, many of the Division I recruiting classes fill up early, so if you are starting late, you may have to consider another level of competition. Again, the point is to make an adjustment based on your situation.