I don't think anyone handles rejection well. It makes you feel unwanted and worthless. It's a part of life and something we all have to learn to accept. Rejection is common in athletic recruitment and unless you are a blue chip/5 star athlete, you will have to deal with lot of rejection. People often forget how difficult it is to play college sports and how few people actually make it. Athletes are trying to get into the best schools possible and coaches are trying to recruit the best athletes, but limited spots are available each year. So, it's natural that more people will be rejected than accepted. I think that athletes struggle with the reality because they are hoping and in some way expecting to get into their top choice (dream) schools. When in reality the likelihood of being accepted is slim to none. That rejection turns into defeat and the athletes right fit schools don't seem to be so interesting. On the other hand, I think its really hard to get over the fact that you might be able to go to a school academically but not athletically. It's a lot harder to handle the rejection when you think of it from the academic side and thats when you have to think about how badly you want to play your sport in college. Are you willing to give up the sport to go to a better academic school? Those are the choices you will have to make during the recruiting process. The worst thing you can do is be upset about it and dwell on the fact that you aren't being recruited by the coach. Coaches on the other hand are ok with rejection. They understand that it's a numbers game and they will be rejected more times than selected. For example: For every 100 athletes they might show interest in, they can expect some to show interest, a few to visit and a couple to commit. Obviously the numbers vary depending on the sport and roster spots that need to be filled. Most athletes that I've come across don't like to reject coaches and they feel bad. To me, that means they don't understand the process well enough as far as rejection goes. As an athlete, you can only pick one school, so you will be rejected the rest. That could mean five or more schools/coaches. Once you understand that concept, it will make it easier to reject coaches but also to handle the rejection you receive by coaches.
By Tarek Merchant