If you are a sought after athlete in any sport, it may be tough to juggle the attention that you are receiving. It is not an easy process to be able to handle that, school, athletics, and just being a kid in high school. But in order to not burn yourself out trying to please everyone, there are some things that you can do in order to avoid that.
Most of this article will focus on being a sought after athlete with multiple scholarship offers and attention from a number of schools. And while this is a position that most athletes dream of being in, only a select few actually have the luxury of that many options at the college level.
As the old saying goes, “you only one chance to make a first impression.” There is no doubt that rings true in every aspect of life but it must be stressed as well during the athletic recruiting process. Being professional on all fronts throughout the courting process by college coaches will not guarantee a scholarship offer. As I have said before, you could follow every word of advice on this site but if you can’t play, the college won’t be paying for your education. The same is true about your professionalism.
But in my opinion, following the advice of this site and putting together a professional front during the recruiting process is a great way to stand out when compared to other recruits. It helps put you in the best position to be evaluated. Some college coaches will also notice the effort that you are making in trying to put the best foot forward in their eyes as well.
If you have a lot of interest from a variety of college coaches, there is no doubt that one of the lines you may end up hearing is about how their coaching staff really cares for their players and always does what is in their best interest. There is no doubt that when the coaches say this, there is some truth behind it.
But if you think for a second that they would be okay with you picking a larger school that could be a better fit for you academically, you are crazy. These coaches want to find the best athletes possible and will do all kinds of things to force you into a commitment (see deadline) and stick to it as well.
There have been some interesting comments on a few of the recent columns related to what it means when a college coach visits the high school of a potential athletic recruit. One reader felt that if a Division I college coach flew to your school, then you had it “in the bag.” Another poster had seen a Division I college coach come to the school to talk to two players and neither ended up with a scholarship offer.
So the question is what is the importance of having a college coach visit you during the athletic recruiting process? First off, when a college coach visits your school, regardless of level, it definitely is not a bad thing. But it doesn’t mean that there will be a certain scholarship offer on the table coming your way either.
One of the most frequently asked questions that I receive from parents is why is their child not being recruited by college coaches. Their son or daughter may have been lighting up the stats sheet on the sophomore team so they are obviously talented. And now they are wondering why a flood of Division I schools is not knocking down the door wanting to extend a full scholarship to them.
Unfortunately unless you have athleticism like Reggie Bush or jumping ability like Nate Robinson, that is not the case in how the athletic recruiting process works for any sport. The first thing that I always must talk about when this question gets asked is related to the playing ability of your child. Are they really good enough? Seriously?
Before going into exactly what a scholarship costs, it is important to discuss the different options that college coaches offer you as an athlete. At the Division I-A level for football and Division I basketball level, the coaches must either offer you a full ride or nothing. Obviously academics can help out (Which in most cases, I hope happens) but as far as scholarships go, it is all or nothing at the Division I-A level.
At the Division I-AA and II level for football (As well as Division II level for basketball), that is when partials can be offered. But that is also where things get interesting for a number of different reasons. If a school offers you $10,000 in a scholarship and that is how much the school costs in your first year, that is outstanding and means you will not have to pay for much. But with the way that tuition has been rapidly increasing, don’t be surprised if that rises to $12,000 per year before you are graduated. So if your scholarship stays at that amount, and tuition rises, it is important to know that you will be paying unless that package increases.
As a college coach in the game of recruiting, it is important to have back up options the entire time. While in some ways this is unfair to recruits, it is the best way that these college coaches keep their high paying jobs. If they fail to bring in athletes at any level, chances are that they will eventually need to move on. You can only get lucky so many times with backup options.
If School A intends to brings in one quarterback in their next recruiting class, it is important that they bring in the one that is highest rated on their list of prospects. Lets say that you are a quarterback prospect looking at schools. School A, as mentioned before, has offered you a scholarship. You are still waiting to see what other schools offer you a full ride. Because School A needs to know as soon as possible, they do what is called deadlining your scholarship offer.
One important aspect that may be a huge benefit to your recruiting process is staying organized. While it may seem easy, keeping track of all the attention that you receive is something that will help you make that final decision. It gives you a chance to look back at all of the schools you are considering before making a final college decision.
We will go through a variety of ways in which a recruit and their parents can track their attention. Some are easier than others but really, you are looking for a system that works well for you. It may be to write things down in a small notebook or put together an spreadsheet to determine which schools are after you when.
The easiest way to get recruited and stay recruited during your high school career is get to the varsity level early and make a name for yourself. By doing this, it makes it easier for you to get your name out to college coaches. The problem with that situation is that for all athletes, that never works.
Athletes peak at different times. Some may be more developed than others in their grade that they have the body type needed to play varsity as a freshman. But for others who develop slower or have a standout in front of them, it is hard to really jump onto the recruiting scene. What makes it worse that the senior year is not the season you hope to break out in.
As we have done in the past before, Recruiting-101 has had a chance to ask parents questions about the recruiting process who just went through it. These parents were in the same exact stages as those reading early on so they are here to help you.
In this article, we had a chance to get answers about being a small school athlete trying to earn a scholarship. He is from the Midwest and ended up signing his National Letter of Intent to a very good Division II program. In this second portion of the article, this parent talked about how they tracked recruiting process, why he didn’t try going Division I, highlight tapes, and more.