One of my biggest frustrations is listening to parents and athletes give excuses on why they haven’t started the recruiting process. I have a hard time understanding why someone would not start on time in grade 9. I guess I could argue that people are not educated to know when the process starts and what needs to be done every step along the way. But, that can’t be the reason as you can google recruiting timeline and find tons of detailed information nowadays. I also used to think I was missing something that a parent goes through that stops them from helping their child get started. Now that I’m a parent of three kids, I realized that isn’t the problem either. Yes, its hard to manage your own life let alone three other peoples lives, but we prioritize things all the time as parents. We make sure our kids go to a great school, plan vacations, setup college fund accounts, and so much more. So what is the problem? Well, I’ve come to the conclusion that their is a fear in many athletes and parents mind that they don’t want to start the process until they are "ready" to start. In other words, they don’t want to start until they are at the level athletically and academically that they think they need to be to reach their dream schools and present themselves to college coaches. Thats a big problem because not many athletes actually end up reaching their dream schools. More importantly, you can’t start the recruiting process when you think you are ready, you have to start when coaches are ready. After all, coaches are the ones scouting and recruiting you! Many people have the misconception that if if they build a profile, attend a showcase or do anything related to recruitment, that the coaches will take them off a list and never want to recruit if they don't initially meet the athletic and academic requirements of their programs. This is a false assumption and is NOT how the process works. Coaches scout players as early as grade 9 and build a list of potential prospects. They start narrowing that list down as they learn more about those prospects, but they also add more athletes to the list if they now meet those coaches recruiting needs. So, I am going to continue to push every athlete and their parents to start the process! The last thing you want to happen to you is lose out on opportunities, scholarships, and get stressed out because you now have to crunch the one hundred hours the process takes into a short period of time. Take it from someone who has been through the process and helped thousands through it. My advice comes from years of experience. I can assure you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. So please, don’t think twice, get started today!
By Tarek Merchant