USA TODAY High School Sports has a weekly column on the recruiting process. This isn’t about where just the top five-star athletes are headed but rather a guide to the process and the pitfalls for student-athletes nationwide. This week’s article is written by Ross Hawley, the president of Playced Athletic Recruiting. Playced.com is an industry leader in college recruiting. Their technology-based recruiting service identifies the right colleges for potential recruits to pursue and provides a recruiting platform for student-athletes of all talent levels and ages.
Eligible + Capable + Adaptable = Recruit-able. That’s it. That’s the equation that every high school recruit in the country needs to solve. Because when it comes to fulfilling your lifelong dream of becoming a college athlete, you’ve got to understand how recruit-able you really are, or in other words, how attractive you are to college programs. Today’s article is dedicated to understanding the specific variables that will lead you to a college scholarship.
Benjamin Franklin once said, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Well, if our great founding father was talking about college recruiting, I can imagine him saying something like this, “In this world of recruiting nothing can be said to be certain, except eligibility and eligibility.” Well said, Mr. Franklin!
Recruiting Tip: Time to get real
Let’s put first things, first. You will not play your sport in college if you can’t make the grade. The end. There is no negotiating the word student out of the term student-athlete. If you’re wanting to play in college, get it done in the classroom. There are expectations of you off the field, that you not only have to understand, but also must embrace. Every recruit wanting to get to the next level must adhere to GPA requirements, core course requirements, standardized test score requirements and individual institutional requirements expected of them. And if you’re wanting to play at the NCAA Division I, II or NAIA levels, you need to be cleared by their eligibility centers, in order to compete at one of their member schools. So, know the rules and make it a priority to obey the rules.
If your goal is to be the most recruit-able athlete you can be, start by being the best student you can possibly be!
Do you believe in unicorns? Or how about mermaids? If you answered yes to either, or both of these questions, you might struggle with this part of the recruit-able equation. Without a doubt, this is usually where most high school athletes run into their recruiting brick wall. Because unfortunately, being truthful about your capabilities can be downright frustrating and isn’t always easy. It is, however, absolutely necessary if you aspire to play in college.
Recruiting Column: Not being recruited? Take this advice.
Legendary softball coach Mike Candrea once told me that he “truly believes there is a place for every athlete to play in college” and that is was “up to the athlete to figure out where that place is.” Think about that. He didn’t say a place for “some” athletes, he said a place for “every” athlete. That’s you, and you, and you! But you’ve got to be honest with what you’re capable of doing. Know your strengths, know your weaknesses and know what type of college program makes sense for you. Not every basketball recruit is going to end up at Kentucky, just like not every volleyball recruit is going to end up at Nebraska. And that’s ok.
If your goal is to be the most recruit-able athlete you can be, align your capabilities with the college programs you pursue.
“I’ve sent 10 emails to college coaches and not one of them responded.” “The coach came to watch two of my games and hasn’t talked to me since.” “I’m a senior in high school and haven’t had any college coaches contact me, yet.” “My high school coach is such a jerk and won’t call any college coaches for me.” And on, and on, and on.
Recruiting Column: 3 conversations every recruit should avoid
Have you uttered any of these comments or something similar? If you have, I hope since then, you’ve figured out that recruiting doesn’t always work out the way that we want it to. It’s just the nature of the business. That’s why you have to roll with the punches and adapt to your situation. Learn from each and every experience, then apply what you learn to the process, moving forward. If you aren’t being recruited, figure out why. If you aren’t getting replies to your emails, maybe you’re sending emails to the wrong programs. If your high school coach isn’t helping, find another coach that will. Just like any good quarterback, you’ve got to be able know your plays, read the defense and go through your progressions to find the open receiver.
If your goal is to be the most recruit-able athlete you can be, have the ability to adapt to what is going on around you.