One of the most effective roles you can play in the recruiting process is that of helping your student athlete create a roadmap they can begin executing early in their high school career. Here’s a checklist of important tasks that you’ll need to undertake at various points in the recruiting process, beginning freshman year of high school.
- Thoroughly review the NCAA Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete
- Use Division I core course worksheet inside the NCAA guide to set specific academic goals and plan a core course schedule
- Begin SAT/ACT test preparation
- Determine your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) to familiarize yourself with the collegiate financial aid process
- Apply to all colleges you are interested in attending
- Start a correspondence log to keep track of your communications with college coaches
- Begin building a scouting report to present to college coaches
- Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center and make sure your athlete’s high school counselor sends his or her transcript at the end of junior year
- Plan official and unofficial visits to local college campuses, always contacting the coaches beforehand to arrange a meeting
- Create a highlight or skills video using sport-specific video guidelines
- Compile a list of target schools based on your qualifications
Finding an athletic scholarship can be a difficult, but it’s easier if you know the steps that need to be taken to give you the best shot during the complicated recruiting process.
When does the recruiting process start?
1. The athletic recruiting process started yesterday. You don’t have to look far on the Internet to find lists of college sports prospects that are still in junior high. Ideally, you should begin thinking about athletic recruiting in the seventh or eighth grade, and by the beginning of freshman year you should have a good understanding of the NCAA rules and core course requirements. The recruiting process is complicated and time consuming, and waiting until the last minute is never a good idea if you’re looking for an athletic scholarship.
How do I get discovered?
2. College coaches find athletic recruits based on third-party evaluations from trusted resources. You’re an outstanding middle blocker. You run through linebackers like they’re butter. You can routinely bury open three-pointers. Having the skill on the court or field doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be spotted by college programs. College coaches work with experienced talent evaluators and rely on online resources to identify and discover top athletic prospects.
How do coaches evaluate prospects?
3. Make sure coaches see your highlight video and use the Internet as your most powerful recruiting tool. Highlight videos help college coaches determine talent. But coaches don’t have the time to look at every video they receive, and they certainly can’t spend hours scouring YouTube for clips. When a highlight video comes from a trusted recruiting expert, that video doesn’t get lost in the shuffle. Easy access to video highlights and statistics lets coaches find players that fit their system. Showcasing your skills on the Internet makes the athletic recruiting process easier for both you and the coaches you want to impress.
Where am I qualified to play?
4. Less than 1% of college athletes earn a Division I full ride. More than 1,800 colleges have athletic programs and 94% of them are outside of Division I. The majority of college athletes don’t compete in Division I, so set your expectations accordingly. Most college athletes are at the Division II, Division III, NAIA or junior college level. An experienced talent evaluator can tell you exactly which level you should shoot for and where you’re likely to find the most success.
What is my coach’s role?
5. Your coach can take care of your development on the field or on the court, but getting an athletic scholarship is your responsibility. Ultimately, your athletic ability is what earns you a scholarship, but the recruiting process requires a lot of work off of the playing field. Your high school or club coach probably can’t dedicate the time that the athletic recruiting process requires.