Athletes and their parents constantly ask me questions about the athletic recruiting process: "What do I do? Where do I start? Which schools should I target? How do I go about getting a coach's attention?"
The process can seem overwhelming, because recruits don't always have the information they need to make the right decisions. This lack of knowledge can lead to stress, missed opportunities and poor choices. Athletes and their parents are not at fault. Choosing a school is a complicated life decision that requires proper education and advice.
The first step is to look at yourself as a student-athlete and develop an athletic and academic profile. The second is to identify your ideal schools. This can greatly assist in developing your direction and your target schools. My company recently developed a mobile app, RecruitU, that helps you perform this analysis.
The key elements of your profile include your primary sport, level of play, GPA, and SAT/ACT Scores. Then you should include other factors when determining your compatible schools: cost, size and location. This info forms a set of criteria for you to consider when attempting to identify matching schools (our RecruitU app does this immediately).
This disciplined approach gets you off to a great start and helps you find schools that match your profile. You should now be ready to take the next steps: reviewing your target schools in greater depth, both as a student and as an athlete; visiting schools and talking to people; introducing yourself to coaches, and sending them your key info and full game video so they can evaluate you. Hopefully, your video will generate interest. (Note: this part of the process can also be managed online through our website, Recruitingsportsnet.com.)
Don't sit and wait for coaches to contact you. Once you identify your target schools, take the initiative and market yourself to the coaches at those schools. College coaches are looking for talent, but they also want student-athletes who fit the profile of their schools and programs.
Being recruited takes a lot of work and effort. But the result is well worth it. When all the work is done, you will have a short list of schools to work with and evaluate. This will reduce the scope, confusion and stress associated with the process. When athletes take all of these steps, they often find a connection and/or opportunity (including an athletic scholarship.)
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock