The USA TODAY High School Sports Recruiting Tips are provided by our recruiting partner, Playced.com
Tomorrow is New Year’s Day. Many people will make a resolution to lose weight, exercise more or put some money in savings. Well, if you’re a high school athlete who really wants to play in college, I have a suggestion. You need to make a New Year’s resolution to commit some time to making your dream a reality. While 5 minutes isn’t a long time, if you’re willing to make a New Year’s resolution to commit 5 minutes a day to your recruiting process, your odds of landing a college scholarship will increase dramatically.
With nearly 2,000 colleges to choose from and many factors to consider, the college recruiting process can be overwhelming. For those reasons, breaking the process down into 5-minute tasks makes a lot of sense. Really, to get started you might have to commit a little more time up front to determine which colleges to pursue and develop a game plan, but after that you can break down the process into short, easy tasks. Here are 5 things that will take you less than 5 minutes and will move you closer to playing at the next level.
1. Send one email a night to a college coach
Right after dinner 3 or 4 nights a week take 5 minutes and send an email to a college coach at a school you are really interested in attending. Make sure you proof it and make sure you express specific interest in the program, because if you do it the right way then reaching out to one college coach a night will go a long way toward finding a college scholarship.
2. Research the colleges you are interested in
It shouldn’t take you more than 5 minutes per school to do a little reconnaissance about the colleges on your list. All you really need to do is find the college website and first make sure your grades and test scores are good enough for you to be admitted. Many athletic careers have been stalled by the admissions office. Then make sure the cost is in line with your family budget, particularly if you play an equivalency sport. After that, check out what is important to you personally. You’d be amazed the kind of information that is available online. You can check on things like average class size, parking availability and even boy-girl ratio! The point is, make sure you are going to be happy at the school even if athletics doesn’t work out.
3. Review the team rosters for the colleges you are considering
Nearly every college website in the country has the team roster available and most can be sorted by position and graduation class. In less than 5 minutes you can review the team roster and the incoming recruiting class to get a pretty good idea if they might have a spot for you. With a little work, you should be able to target schools that actually need a player like you.
4. Ask your coach to be involved
An endorsement from your current coach can go a long way toward landing a college scholarship. Your coach’s opinion about your abilities, work ethic and character will be important to every college coach. Stay after practice for 5 minutes and ask your current coach for some help in your recruiting process. He or she can help you identify the right colleges and can reach out to the coaching staff on your behalf. That said, don’t expect them to find your scholarship for you, that isn’t in their job description.
5. Spend some time creating a quality “recruiting resume”
An organized, comprehensive college recruiting resume detailing your athletic and academic qualifications/accomplishments will put you a step ahead of the competition. A well thought out resume makes it easy for a college coach to quickly decide whether he or she is interested in you as a potential recruit. Your resume can be online or on paper, but you need to have it available to share with college coaches. Spend 5 minutes a night putting a recruiting resume together and after a few sessions it should be ready to go.
Here’s the deal
You can get a lot more accomplished in 5 minutes than you think. If you’ll make your New Year’s resolution a commitment of 5 minutes a day to finding the right college, you will become a college athlete.