The question many talented high school athletes come to International College Counselors with is: How do I get recruited?
The expert college counselor’s answer: An athlete needs to get noticed by the right coach.
It’s easier in some sports and cities. Athletes in AAAAA and AAAA football and baseball have scouts come regularly to their games. If you’ve ever seen Friday Night Lights, you’ll know that for some sports, and in some cities, whole counties come to games. In metropolitan areas, many sports are regularly covered in widely distributed newspapers or newscasts.
But, every year, thousands of other outstanding athletes are overlooked for one simple reason: the coaches didn’t know they were there.
Have a power drink and breathe. Whether you participate in baseball, bowling, cross country, fencing, field hockey, football, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, rowing, skiing, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, softball, volleyball, water polo, or wrestling, there are ways that you can help yourself be recruited.
- Depending on your sport, start contacting coaches and building relationships with them as early as possible. Perhaps even in junior high if you’re competing in a sport like gymnastics. Try to get them to know your name without being annoying. For example, send them the occasional newspaper article about you and the teams you play for.
- Create a professionally prepared resume that highlights your athletic and academic achievements. Then post it online.
- Make a high-quality sports video of yourself in action. There is a real probability that a college coach will never see you play in real life until you play for him or her. The best video is a combination game video and skills video.
- Use the Internet. Visit college sports sites and college sites and collect as much information about the different sports programs as you can. You’re looking for a school that will be a good fit for you and your talents, athletically and academically.
- Get evaluated if you can. Many third-party people serve as the eyes and ears of the coaches who don’t have time to see every player. Get to know the evaluators in your area. Coaches and evaluators face immense pressure to fill their slots with the most gifted athletes they can find. Their jobs depend on it. Your pro-activity actually can make their job easier from their perspective.
- Attend college sports camps if you can. The director of the camp is usually the college head coach. It’s also recommended that you gain experience by competing in any tournaments you can.
- If a college does show interest you, answer any request they have immediately. If a coach or school is requesting more information chances are you are probably being seriously considered. Ask your high school coach to complete any requests for information about you as soon as possible, as well.
A BRIEF FOUR-YEAR TIME LINE
Freshmen: Take this year to grow and develop your skills. Also, plan your academic calendar. You want to make sure you meet the academic eligibility at the end of your high school career. Even a high school sports superstar is not be eligible to play as a college freshman if he or she does not have a transcript with the right high school courses. Athletes and parents of athletes, make sure you read the NCAA Guide for the College Bound Student Athlete (free PDF to download)
Athletes and their parents can also contact us at International College Counselors to arrange a meeting with one of our college counselors in Dade, Broward or Palm Beach County and we can help you plan your high school sports career.
Sophomores: Get serious if you are interested in competing in college. Start working on raising your visibility and building a reputation as a mature, hard-working, team player. This is also the year you should start researching the ins and outs of recruiting, regulations, colleges, coaches, and sports programs.
This is an ideal year for International College Counselors to help you, as well.
Juniors: This year is your most important one. It is the accomplishments of your junior year that will get the recruiting phone calls later in the year. Get on the coaches’ radar screens as soon as possible to better your chances of successfully getting recruited. Boost your visibility by reaching out to coaches with notes and calls, visiting schools and meeting coaches. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t hear from coaches. NCAA rules prevent them from contacting or calling you until late in your junior year.
Seniors: Make sure that you are eligible by completing all the classes you need for academic eligibility. Show continuing development in your sports skills. Don’t slack off until after you’ve received and signed the “Letter of Intent” and, even then, if you really screw up, they can drop you.
Talented athletes, good luck and take care of your body. Keep working hard to get stronger, faster and fitter. It’s a competitive environment out there – but if you’re a true athlete at heart – knowing that should only push you more.
If you need help, contact a private college counselor at International College Counselors to help you with college admissions and finances.
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International College Counselors
International College Counselors provides expert college counseling on undergraduate and graduate college admissions, financial aid, tuition, essays, and college applications. Mandee Heller Adler, lead college admissions consultant and Founder of International College Counselors tailors her wide range of college counseling and college coaching services to address the goals, needs, and dreams of each individual student, whether Florida college or Ivy League university. Our college advising company, based in Miami-Dade, Florida, works with domestic and international students. We also work with high schools. Our college counselors are in Miami, Boca, Broward and Palm Beach. Let us help you make the best decisions choosing, getting into, and paying for college.