Many student athletes aspire to play college athletics but aren’t really sure where they fit. Many don’t know how to get the attention of the schools they wish to attend or the attention of any school at all for that matter. So many families waste countless time and money on recruiting methods that simply don’t work.
Getting recruited by a college or university is a very distinct process. There are thousands of college programs that offer financial assistance to prospective student athletes. The process is beginning at younger ages now but it isn’t really a process that can be finalized until an official letter of intent has been drawn up and signed by the individual being recruited. Too many times we see prospective student athletes narrowing their focus to one or two schools and often times, their skills aren’t on the level that would offer them financial assistance to the institutions they desire to attend.
For most athletes and families the process of identifying the right colleges, getting a coach to take notice, and making the best choice on a school can be very daunting. In order to better understand the process, you have to make sure you know what it is you’re looking for and the amount of scholarship money or total scholarships they have available. Interestingly enough the number will vary from situation to situation and as the level of competition decreases, the number of scholarships and money decrease as well.
The process of getting a scholarship first starts with getting recruited. Most athletes and families think that recruiting doesn’t start until their senior or maybe junior year; that is not that case. In an effort to get the best players from each recruiting class, coaches are looking at athletes as soon as their freshman and sophomore years in high school and sometimes earlier. Coaches are restricted in contacting you early in high school, but they can view online profiles of athletes and watch video of them if it is available. That is why every prospective student athlete should create a free online profile and get their information online for coaches to view.
Let’s pretend that Johnny wants to attend a local division 1 university in his area and is seeking a football scholarship. The first thing he should do is complete an online profile that will put information about him in a space that can be easily obtained by the university.
The next thing he should do is complete a prospective student athlete questionnaire that will direct the college in his direction or at least put his information in their database. If that college or university has summer camps, he should consider attending at least one of them at an early age to meet some of the coaches on the staff, so when the recruiting process begins, they have a familiar point of reference to help boost confidence in him as a prospective student athlete. I will caution kids to stay away from camps that are invitational camps especially if they aren’t invited personally because very little if any attention will be paid to them since the players that were invited will garner most of the coaches attention. Save that money or attend a skills camp where everyone will be evaluated equally.
If you have a hudl or youtube account with game film on it, you should consider releasing that link or put it in your online profile. Put highlights out there, but make sure there are a few game films available if the coaches want to see more. One thing to remember is that anyone can look good on a highlight tape, but as a former college football coach I can go on the record and state that coaches want to see you in every aspect of the game. They want to see what you are doing when you know you aren’t getting the ball. Do you hustle on and off the field? Do you carry out your assignments when the play is going away from you? All of these things matter in the big picture. So when you play the game, never take plays off. If you are tired come out for a play and then come back in. Staying out there usually means you’re a little selfish. Trust me when I tell you that coaches look at everything.