6 Must-Knows for Helping Your Athletes Navigate College Recruitment
With fall comes college scouting and recruitment. This can be a very difficult time for high school athletes, who are unfamiliar with the layout of college athletics and often, overwhelmed and unprepared for the recruitment process. Having a coach who is willing to mentor and lead an athlete through this process, can make all the difference. Here are 6 must-knows for your athletes to successfully navigate college recruitment:
While the recruitment process used to peak in early fall of an athlete’s Senior year of highschool, this is moving earlier and ealier, with many ahtletes committing during their Junior year. Because of this, it is ideal for an athlete to prepare ahead of time, during Junior year of highschool at the latest. Athletes should begin thinking about recruitment and preparing as early as Sophomore year, but come Junior year, it’s time to really dig-in.
So whether you are working with an athlete who is well prepared and planning in advance, or working with an Athlete who is in his or her Senior year, but hasn’t started thinking about college recruitment, here are 6 must-knows for your athletes to successfully navigate college recruitment:
Finding the Right Fit
Help your athletes identify colleges that are potentially a good holistic fit for them. They should determine schools that are appropriate for their ability, both athletically and academically. How your athletes perform in both athletics and academics, will not only affect admission, but also the amount of financial aid they receive from a College or University, which will ultimately be an additional factor to consider.
Being a successful athlete is a huge time commitment. It can be easy for athletes to put all of their energy into sports, after all, that’s what they love! And as a coach, it can be easy to encourage that commitment. But when it comes down to continuing sports into college, GPA matters. Help your athletes stay well-rounded by emphasizing the importance of academics throughout their high school career.
- NCAA Clearinghouse
Athletes also need to register for the NCAA Clearinghouse, and while this may seem obvious to you, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is obvious to your athletes. If athletes are not registered with the Clearinghouse, schools are not permitted to proceed with the recruiting process. It’s simple to go online and sign-up.
- Athlete Profile
Encourage them to put together a profile that can be sent to college coaches. Some players create a webpage, but this can be as simple as a one-page Word document that is saved as a PDF. The profile is essentially a simplified résumé and should include:
- Name and Graduation Year
- Contact Information
- Academic Section - GPA, class rank, SAT and/or ACT scores and any significant academic honors (such as National Honor Society, National Merit Semifinalist, etc.)
- Club Teams or League Section - This will be where athletes list the training they have done with your club including team name, jersey number, position and coach’s name, phone number and email address. Make sure that when you share your contact information with your athletes for their profile, you are then available and responsive if recruiters and coaches reach out for more information.
- High School Team Section - List the same information items as the previous – team, jersey number, position, coach name and coach contact information.
- Athletic Accolades/Awards - List awards such as varisty letter winner, first team all-state, etc.
- Additional References - If you are not automatically listed as one of the earlier contacts discussed, offer to be a reference for your player.
- Game Film
In addition to the profile, it can be just as important to have game film to share with recruiters, depending on your sport. Help players gather game film. The easiest way to help a player with this process? Make sure that game film is easily available throughout your athlete’s career, rather than waiting until the last minute to dig-up and go through 5 or 6 years of footage.
- Reaching Out & Staying in Continuous Contact
Encourage athletes to send personalized emails to contact coaches at their schools of interest. If you personally know a coach at one of the athlete’s top schools of interest, consider reaching out to introduce them. Helping a high school athlete network with college coaches is a small task for you, but is invaluable to them. In addition, if you do have a relationship with the coach and the recruitment progresses, consider attending a visit or meet-up with your athlete and the recruiting coach. A campus visit will be crucial come the final phases of the recruitment process.
Want to share the importance of the college recruiting process with your athletes? This information was republished from the original Upper Hand article “The Recruiting Process Part 1 & 2” for young athletes, written by Edward Cartee Assistant Coach, Trinity University Men’s Soccer Head Coach, Central Catholic High School Soccer United States Soccer Federation “A” License.