The USA TODAY High School Sports Recruiting Tips are provided by our recruiting partner, Playced.com.
Picking the right college is one of the most important decisions you will make. It’s not a four-year decision. It’s a 40-year decision. For that reason, you really need to explore all your options. When you’re looking for an athletic scholarship you should expect to run into a few obstacles along the way. All the schools you are initially interested in may not be interested in you and if they aren’t you have to make an adjustment, not an excuse. Here are the four most common recruiting excuses and some possible adjustments to make.
Recruiting excuse No. 1: I don’t qualify academically for the colleges I like
Whether you’re an athlete or not, the better your grades and test scores are, the more college options you will have. That’s a fact. 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. Good grades and test scores make an athlete much more attractive to a college coach.
Recruiting excuse No. 2: I don’t have any time to spend on recruiting
If you aren’t a five-star recruit, then the college recruiting process is going to take a little time and effort. That said, if something is important to you, I bet you find the time to make it happen. If it’s not important, it’s easy to find an excuse. We all watch our favorite TV show, but we generally have something else to do when it’s time to clean the garage.
Commit a little time up front and then just a few minutes every few days. It will make a difference. Talk to your current coach about your abilities, research the schools that fit those abilities and then spend 15 minutes a day, three days a week reaching 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 sent emails, but no coaches are responding
One email is not going to do it. If you’ve truly contacted numerous colleges (more than five), multiple times (more than once) and haven’t heard back, wake up! They probably aren’t interested. The 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. There are plenty of other options.
Recruiting excuse No. 4: My coach won’t help me
A coach who is willing to contact colleges on your behalf and vouch for your abilities can make a big difference in your search for a college scholarship. That said; if your current coach is unable or unwilling, you have to improvise. Use your summer coach, an assistant coach, a skills coach or even an opposing coach to vouch for your abilities. If you still aren’t having any luck, you may have to go to a camp or use video to support your athletic abilities and use a teacher or other mentor to vouch for your character. The college recruiting process is on you. This is your scholarship, not your coach’s.
Here’s the deal
Lou Holtz once said, “Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you respond to it.”
This is great advice for college recruits. You have to be willing to make adjustments, because if you don’t, your playing days may be over sooner than you like.