The USA TODAY High School Sports Recruiting Tips are provided by our recruiting partner, Playced.com.
One of the important steps in the college recruiting process that sometimes gets overlooked is an honest assessment of whether or not you actually fit on the roster at the schools you are considering. Your assessment should be twofold:
- Is there room for me?
- Am I really interested in this program?
Is there room for me?
Before spending the time to start contacting coaches at any school, it’s probably a good idea to review the current roster to be certain there’s a spot available for you. Nearly every college program in the country has the current roster on the school website and most can be sorted by graduating class and/or position. A quick look at the roster should tell you if there is a need at your position. For example, if you’re a third baseman and the team already has four third basemen, none of which are graduating, you might want to consider another school.
Am I really interested in this program?
You’re really the only one who can answer this question. While your parents, coaches and friend’s opinions might matter, ultimately you are the one who will be going to that college for four years. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Do I like the coach?
- Does his/her coaching style match my playing style?
- When do I realistically have a chance to play or contribute to the team?
- What is the makeup of the team?
- Do they have good team chemistry?
- What does the competition of the playing schedule look like?
- Does this school fit me academically?
- How are athletes treated on campus by other students and professors?
- If applicable, will this program prepare me for a professional career in my sport?
- Would I pick this school if I wasn’t an athlete?
Take away the scholarship offer and dollar amount. Forget that the coach recruiting you makes you feel like you are their No. 1 recruit. Pretend that you don’t know that your parents really, really want you to play for this school. Then, ask yourself, “Is this a program I would want to play for if none of those things were a part of the equation?” If you can’t genuinely answer yes to this question, you probably don’t fit on that roster.