Below is a list of tips that you should keep in mind as you move through the college sports recruiting process.
1.) Get your name out and get maximum exposure.
Unless you're LeBron James, where getting to know college coaches would be selling yourself short, your biggest concern as a college-bound athlete is getting as many college coaches to see who you are as possible. Most recruiters have no shortage of athletes wanting a spot on their roster. Some, however, are starving for qualified athletes and can't seem to do enough to make a good name for their program. Do these coaches and yourself a favor. Make a highlight video and add it to your profile of personal info and abilities. After all, it's win-win right?
2.) Let coaches know what you will offer their program.
Coaches don't recruit high school athletes simply to fill the spots of seniors that left the year before, or because the school gives them money to do so. They recruit with the intent of acquiring athletes who are going to help drive their program to success. Save coaches the time and trouble of having to figure out what it is about you that will make you a valuable asset to their team or program. Make the decision easy for them. Explicitly tell them your strengths and abilities in the bio area of your profile, emails, messages, or in the beginning of your highlight video.
3.) Make an effective highlight video.
Now more than ever, having an informational and high-quality highlight video can make the difference between winning a spot on a college team or not. Highlight videos save coaches time, effort, and most importantly the limited amount of money the school gives the particular athletic program for recruiting purposes. Simply put, make a more convincing highlight tape than your competition and you will be far better off.
4.) Keep the relationship you have with a coach alive and well.
You've worked so hard to get your name out to college coaches and build relationships. Once you've met a coach that shows interest in you, work hard to keep that relationship alive and healthy. Most importantly, don't let any relationship go sour. Always be polite, proactive, and interested in the relationship you have with a coach, regardless if it's the coach of your number one school of interest or of a school you've never heard of. Word gets around, and the last thing you want to do is be rude or blow off a coach from your number ten school and have it get back to the coach of your number one school.
5.) Be educated and keep up to speed with NCAA rules and regulations.
NCAA is constantly changing their rules, so keeping up with the most current list of regulations can be a daunting task. Every college-bound athlete needs to be familiar with the communication restrictions the NCAA places on coaches and prospective high school athletes, most notably ones stated in NCAA's Bylaw, Article 13. Talking to a coach during NCAA's forbidden communication period can result in permanent ineligibility to participate in collegiate sporting events and competitions. Keep yourself out of trouble. Frequently visit the NCAA website and stay up to speed with their rules.
6.) Get your paperwork done before your competition.
For many, the worst part about the entire recruiting process is completing and submitting all the required paperwork. Making sure that your transcripts and grades are submitted to the athletic program you are seeking in a timely fashion can be the difference between winning and losing a roster spot. If a coach is up in the air about you and another athlete, and you have your academic information submitted to the athletic program but your competition does not, this will show the coach your dedication and will ultimately result in you winning a spot on the team.
7.) Keep an open mind when selecting schools.
Limiting yourself to only certain schools only limits your chances of getting successfully recruited. It's a simple equation: The more schools you consider and the more coaches you try to build a relationship with translates to more potential relationships which ultimately provide more opportunities to lock down a roster spot.
8.) Be familiar with a coach's program before contacting them.
Nothing looks worse in the eyes of a coach than if you contact them to take a look at your highlight video, and you can't answer a basic question like, "What are you most interested in about our program?" Be familiar with basic info about the school and focus on knowing what his or her program strives for, names of assistant coaches and trainers, team motto, etc.
9.) Show that you are interested in academic success.
Don't lose sight of the fact that you are going to college to get a degree. While coaches are concerned with your athletic ability, every coach wants to see that you are devoted to your academic success. Show the coach that you are a student-athlete, not just an athlete who goes to school.
10.) Never lie to a coach or recruiter to give yourself an edge.
Being dishonest with a coach is always bad news. Whether your intention is to make yourself look better than your competition, or to tell a coach what you know he or she wants to hear, lies will always be discovered and will never win you a long term roster spot. This should go without saying, but do yourself a favor, don't lie to coaches. Ever.
11.) Never, ever give up.
The only sure-fire way to prevent yourself from winning a spot in a college sports program is to completely give up. Keep a positive attitude, show intensity, meet coaches with confidence and with a good highlight video, and an informative profile you're on your way to the next level.
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