The USA TODAY High School Sports Recruiting Tips are provided by our recruiting partner, Playced.com.
If you search the internet for recruiting assistance, there are literally hundreds of recruiting services/websites to choose from. Many promise they will help you find an athletic scholarship because they have access to people and information you don’t. Others promise college scholarships based on relationships, online profiles and/or networks. Not sure who to trust? My advice is to trust your instincts, but here are my thoughts on a few things to consider.
First things first: Recruiting services aren’t miracle workers. They can’t make you jump higher, run faster or throw harder. They can offer advice and support, but they can’t fix four years of no effort in the classroom either. Ultimately, whether or not you play in college will most likely be determined by your effort on the field, in the classroom and in the recruiting process. That said, most high school athletes and their parents are unfamiliar with college recruiting and they really want help. Like any industry, there are good recruiting services and there are companies that are just want your credit card number.
If you decide you want help, there are individuals and companies with the best intentions and truly want to help. In my experience those companies offer an advisory role in the process, help you organize and manage the process and don’t charge exorbitant fees. They are truly there to help and have the athlete’s best interests in mind. Obviously, the more help you want, the more the company might charge, but the companies that do it the right way generally don’t cross-sell, over-sell or sell your personal information to affiliated companies.
Then, there are the “other” recruiting companies. Just remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true. Also, if you feel pressured, step back, take a deep breath and trust your instincts. Do your homework. Read the reviews. Then ask questions and understand exactly what you are paying for.