The USA TODAY High School Sports Recruiting Tips are provided by our recruiting partner, Playced.com.
Last week we covered your recruiting checklist for freshman year. This week let’s talk about the things you need to accomplish as a sophomore. Your sophomore year is a critical time in your recruiting journey. It really sets the tone for how successful your scholarship search will be. If you’ll commit to working at your recruiting process as a sophomore, you will (most likely) play in college.
Here are the things you need to do, the things you should do, and the things that would be great to do as a sophomore. If you don’t do these as a sophomore, your junior year will be extremely busy!
Things you need to do
- Take the PSAT to determine where you stand academically.
- Use the NCAA Division I core course worksheet to make sure you are on track with the core course requirements.
- Research how coaches in your sport evaluate athletes.
- Develop a plan to work on your weaknesses and enhance your strengths.
- Pick a quality summer team to play for. It doesn’t have to be the best team, but it should be a team with solid coaching, a good schedule and one where you will have a significant role. You can’t be seen or get better if you don’t play.
- Work hard on the field and in the classroom. After all, we are talking about going to college.
Things you should do
- Meet with your coach to review his or her assessment of your abilities.
- Review and update your list of appropriate colleges. Create a Favorites List of 20-30 colleges at levels you realistically qualify for.
- Fill out the Recruiting Questionnaires for the colleges you are interested in.
- Reach out to the coaches at the colleges that match your abilities expressing interest in their program.
- Ask your coach or an objective third party for an honest assessment of your strengths and weaknesses.
- Sign up for a few strategic camps and/or showcase events. Pick events where coaches from the schools you are pursuing will be in attendance.
- Play every game and finish every play as if a college coach is watching.
Things that would be great to do
- Check the entrance requirements at the colleges on your Favorites List. Even if they offer you an athletic scholarship, you still have to get into the school!
- Discuss the family college budget with your parents. Most athletic scholarships are partial scholarships, so family budget might be a factor in which colleges you pursue.
- Start creating an athletic resume and a highlight video for college coaches to view.
Next Monday we’ll cover your junior year. Your junior year is the most critical year when it comes to finding a college athletic scholarship.