After participating in your sport for a number of years and achieving a high level of play, you may decide you want to continue in college. You may very well end up being one of the fortunate high school athletes recruited by coaches. So how do you navigate the athletic recruitment process? The following are some general tips and resources to guide you through the college admissions process.
- Be aware of NCAA academic eligibility requirements for courses in high school. Begin by reading the Guide for the College Bound Student Athlete found at NCAA.org.
- Conduct research on college sports programs. You may want to look into the level of time commitment, the differences between the three divisions, scholarship opportunities, style of coaching, college fit, and academic support for athletes. I highly recommend the following three websites:
- While coaches cannot call students until after July 1st before the senior year, student athletes may call or meet with coaches if they are on campus for an “unofficial” visit. Make sure to visit the admissions office as well, so they know you are on campus and interested in the college.
- If you have a particular college in mind, consider attending summer camps hosted and staffed by their coaches. Send an email to the coaches ahead of time inquiring about these camps and share your interest in their school. Make certain to include your stats and any pertinent information with the coach. Keep these coaches updated on your academic and athletic performances, including transcripts and test scores.
- Look into “showcase” events or tournaments where coaches from multiple schools can observe players at once.
- Create an athletic recruiting organizational spreadsheet to keep track of contact with coaches and where you sent your materials and when.
- Complete the online recruiting questionnaire found at NCAA.org by the late fall of junior year.
- Draft an athletic resume and compile a highlight video to send along to coaches along with times/statistics. You can also create a webpage to share. Don’t feel the need to pay a lot of money for a professional highlight video; coaches can be wary of overly professional products, as they can be highly edited and mask a student’s true ability.
- If DI or DII, your student must register with and send their SAT/ACT scores directly to the Eligibility Center. Your student’s guidance counselor must send an official transcript directly to the NCAA Eligibility Center as well.
In the fall of senior year, a student may choose to commit to a specific program by submitting an Early Decision Application, receiving a “Likely Letter,” or a National Letter of Intent. Coaches often use the ED application to force a decision from the recruit. However, keep in mind that any verbal commitment made at this time (or prior) is non-binding for both the school and the student.
On Thursday, we’ll be sharing finance tips for recruited athletes – stay tuned!