10 Must-Dos on Your Recruiting Checklist
Here's a checklist you won't want to misplace or ignore. Marking off each item will move a prospective a long way toward success:
1. Maintain academic excellence throughout high school. Grades can make or break your chances when it comes to staying on a coach's "A" List.
2. Objectively evaluate your talent. Parents and coaches can sometimes inflate ability and skill levels. Be realistic! Seek impartial opinions. There will always be recruits who are more talented and recruits who are less talented than you. A good attitude with a willingness to learn and improve, combined with being a team player, will get you farther than just excellent skills.
3. Develop your dream team. You must surround yourself with people who will help you during this scholarship search process. You must establish a game plan and work together to get it done. Parents are your top ally, and they will be doing a lot of the work for you. Coaches and academic counselors will also be very helpful. You must make them aware of your goal and enlist them in helping you succeed. This will be your "dream team."
4. Initiate the recruiting process with all of the colleges on your "Top 25 Target List." When a university sends you a letter inviting you to its camp, it does NOT mean that you are being recruited. They send out hundreds, sometimes thousands, of brochures in order to fill their camps and make money. Unless you tell the school that you are interested in its program, the school will not know.
5. Promote yourself. After you make the initial contact with a university coach, you must continue to promote yourself on a regular basis. It's not about ego, it's about being an advocate for yourself. Keeping the coaches posted on your latest achievements and schedule can give you the edge over other athletes competing for your same position.
6. Continue working on developing your skills. Coaches love to see that their prospective athletes are trying to improve their game. Just playing on your school team is not enough. Club teams, travel teams, special tournaments, private lessons and conditioning programs are all important in raising your skills to the collegiate level.
7. Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center. If you want to participate in NCAA Division I or Division II programs, you MUST be registered with and certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center. Your eligibility is based on grades, core course requirements, ACT/SAT scores and so on. The colleges must request information regarding your eligibility directly from the Eligibility Center. If you have not registered, they cannot continue to recruit you-plain and simple. Go to their website for more information. https://web1.ncaa.org/eligibilitycenter/common/.
8. Respond promptly to requests for profiles or questionnaires from colleges. You may receive a request to fill out a questionnaire from a university that you know you are not interested in attending. Please take the time to respond to their request and thank them for their interest. The college coaching world is a very tightly knit group, and they will share recruiting information. If they have info on an athlete who they do not have a place for, often, they will pass the name along to a colleague who might be recruiting for that position.
9. Ask questions. Lots and lots of questions! You want to be informed about the colleges, the programs, the players, and the coaches. Having enough information will help you make the best college choice for you.
10. Trust your gut. You will know when the college is right for you.
Editor's note: Thanks to Sports Scholarship Pro for the valuable article!