Recruiting Tip: “Recruiting rejection” is part of the process

Recruiting Tip: “Recruiting rejection” is part of the process

Recruiting Column

Recruiting Tip: “Recruiting rejection” is part of the process


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No one enjoys being rejected.  Whether you get turned down for a date or don’t get invited to a party, being rejected just isn’t any fun.  I think everyone would agree that being told “yes” feels so much better than being told “no”.  Unfortunately, if you’re going through the college recruiting process, you better get ready to be rejected.

“Recruiting rejection” is as much of a part of the college recruiting process, as signing a national letter of intent.  Although recruiting rejection is not any fun, it actually serves a meaningful purpose, if you let it. Like any kind of mistake or failure in life, recruiting rejection gives you an opportunity to grow, mature and adjust. Keep in mind, the goal of the whole recruiting process is to find the college that will give you the best experience academically, athletically and socially.

For that reason, you need to understand the types of recruiting rejection, who it affects and how to overcome it. Here’s my attempt to cover those three topics.

The two types of “Recruiting Rejection”

There are two types of recruiting rejection and you should understand both.  The first type of rejection is “indirect rejection” and it is absolutely the worst type to experience. Indirect rejection can be best described as a college coach failing to acknowledge your existence.

Indirect rejection might mean a college coach has never been to one of your games or has never seen you play. Maybe you sent an email or tried to connect with a coach on social media and that coach doesn’t reply or ignores your request. You might attend a showcase camp and see college coaches talking to other recruits, but they aren’t talking to you. All of these would be examples of indirect rejection. Bottom line, when a coach does not know that you exist, you are indirectly being rejected.  Unfortunately, when you experience indirect rejection there is no easy solution because you don’t know why a coach might not be interested.

The second type of rejection college recruits deal with would be considered “direct rejection”. If you’re a recruit experiencing this type of rejection, consider yourself lucky! This is the type of rejection you want. The best example of direct rejection would be when a college coach knows who you are but isn’t interested and let’s you know it.  In my opinion, no matter the reason, being told “no” is a lot better than not being told anything! And for that reason, direct rejection is better than indirect rejection.

Who does it affect?

Quite simply, recruiting rejection is something every college recruit will deal with. Whether you’re a 5-star athlete or you’re in the 98% of under-recruited athletes, you are going to deal with one of these two types of rejection during the college recruiting process. You need to know this so that you can prepare yourself for the process.

How to overcome recruiting rejection

Nearly every recruit will have to deal with rejection. Here’s my three-step process to overcome recruiting rejection:

  1. Accept it as part of the process: Accepting that rejection is just part of the process allows you to overcome any fear of failure and will get you that much closer to your perfect school.
  2. Learn from it: Figure out why you are being told no, so you can make the necessary adjustments.
  3. Understand that “you are what you are”: It shouldn’t take long to determine what college level is right for you and what schools match your abilities. Rejection has a way of straightening your recruiting path. Don’t put pressure on yourself by trying to be something you are not. Rejection is a form of evaluation. Once you know who you are, opportunities will start coming your way.

The bottom line

Recruiting rejection is part of the process for nearly every recruit.  Learn from it, don’t take it personally and make the necessary adjustments.


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Recruiting Tip: “Recruiting rejection” is part of the process
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