The USA TODAY High School Sports Recruiting Tips are provided by our recruiting partner, Playced.com.
In today’s world of online profiles, showcases, club teams and recruiting services you could spend a small fortune tracking down your college scholarship. Meanwhile, there are many recruiting resources that come with no price tag. Here they are…
Your guidance counselor
Your very first step in the recruiting process should be to identify which colleges you qualify for academically. The more colleges you qualify for academically, the more options you have athletically. Your high school college counselor can be a big help. Tell your guidance counselor early that you are interested in becoming a college athlete. Put them on notice so they can be thinking about which colleges might be appropriate.
Your current coach
If your coach is willing to help, he or she can make a big difference in your recruiting journey. First get an honest evaluation of your athletic abilities. If your coach is honest with you about where you stand (and you accept their assessment), your recruiting process is more likely to be successful. Next, ask your coach if he/she is willing to contact prospective colleges on your behalf. If they are willing to help, your recruiting process just became much easier.
Your current teammates can be a great resource in the recruiting process. Don’t ask them for help, but pay attention to what has been successful for them and what hasn’t. Talk to them about how they identified colleges and how they are contacting coaches. Are they sending emails, connecting on Twitter and/or attending showcase camps? Don’t compare your recruiting journey with their’s, but learn from their experience.
Today’s technology allows you to easily access the who, what, where, when and why of any question or situation. That includes college recruiting. If you can, take the time to learn about how coaches evaluate talent in your sport, learn the rules associated with the recruiting process and research the colleges in which you have the most interest. If you don’t have the time to do the research yourself, there are websites dedicated to help. Either way, technology can help you be prepared to effectively connect with any college coach.
If your parents really want to be involved, their best role is one of an administrative assistant. It is important to remember that this is your recruiting journey and you need to take ownership of your college search, but you can probably use a little help.
I am a firm believer that YOU are your best recruiting resource. There is no one better to pick your college home than you. 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. Think about it this way, at some point you will have to talk to the coaching staff at the colleges who are interested in you. It will make a much better impression if you took the initiative to make first contact.