The USA TODAY High School Sports Recruiting Tips are provided by our recruiting partner, Playced.com.
The college recruiting process doesn’t have to be expensive. Let me repeat that: it doesn’t have to be beyond your financial reach. College recruiting does not have to drain the college fund. Be smart with your recruiting dollars by being selective in lessons, camps, and select/club teams. They can all be very important in developing a college athlete, but all three can be expensive. No amount of money poured into any of the three will ensure a college scholarship or even a spot on a college roster.
Specialized lessons that make you a better player are probably a good investment on a limited basis, but take advantage of your current coach and work on your own. With few exceptions, college coaches attend showcases, camps and clinics to evaluate players they have already identified, not to find new prospects. So don’t think that if you spend a bunch of money on a camp you will be noticed. And don’t think that if you don’t go to a camp or can’t take lessons from a former Olympian that you won’t be recruited.
With respect to select/club teams, you don’t have to be on the best team. You just need to be on a team that plays quality competition and has good coaching. When it comes to other costs such as videos, trips to tournaments/camps, unofficial visits to schools, and using a recruiting service, each family should budget an amount that makes sense for them and is in line with the goals of the athlete.
Many, many athletes have no intention of ever playing professionally and their college recruiting is going to be a different experience than an athlete for whom college athletics is a step toward playing professionally. Keep that in mind when you’re deciding how to spend money on recruiting. And finally, your current coach’s recommendation will count heavily in the recruiting process, and you control your relationship with your coach. That doesn’t cost anything!
The bottom line is that nothing pays bigger dividends than consistent hard work. The harder you work at your sport and at the recruiting process the better the results.