The USA TODAY High School Sports Recruiting Tips are provided by our recruiting partner, Playced.com.
The most important factor in getting recruited is an athlete’s ability. Whether it’s a powerhouse Division I program or an NAIA school, there’s a threshold that athletes must meet to be considered by college coaches. The hardest part for high school athletes is knowing if they are good enough to play, and if so, at what level. For that reason, every high school athlete looking to play in college needs an honest, objective evaluation of their athletic abilities. Here’s some logical advice on who to ask for that evaluation.
Don’t ask your parents
The parents of a serious high school athlete are typically the least objective evaluator of their athlete’s talent. There are very few parents who can really be objective with respect to their own children; however, there are quite a few parents who believe they can. I call these parents “Scouting Director Parents.”They truly believe that their opinion of their athlete’s abilities is 100% accurate with no bias. I have yet to meet a completely objective parent when it comes to their own offspring. I’m certainly not objective about my kids and (I think) that’s ok.
Parents need to be their athlete’s No. 1 fan, not their talent evaluator! The trick for all parents is to realize that you aren’t objective and find someone who will be. Without an objective evaluation of their student-athlete, the expectations from college coaches are going to be distorted and perhaps disappointing. Consider this; almost every parent a college coach talks with has an unrealistic opinion about their athlete. It might be to every athlete’s advantage if your parents were one of the few who didn’t.
Ask your current coach
Athletes need an unbiased evaluation and the most logical source for that evaluation is your current coach. Aside from the athletes themselves, high school and select coaches are who college coaches trust the most. Current coaches will be honest with recruiting coordinators because their reputation is on the line. An objective evaluation gives an athlete a starting point in their recruiting journey.
Here’s the deal
Don’t ask your parents, teammates or friends for recruiting advice. Ask your current coach for an honest evaluation of how you stack up in your sport and be prepared to accept that evaluation. You might even ask them for some suggestions on which level colleges to target in your college search.