Rejection is part of the recruiting process?
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. Athletes often forget how difficult it is to play college sports and how few people actually make it to the next level. Every athlete is 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 you will be more likely to be rejected than accepted. I think that athletes struggle with the reality of this because they are hoping and in some way expecting to get into their top choice (dream) schools. In reality the likelihood of being accepted to top choice school is rare. On the other hand, I think its really hard to accept the fact that you might be able to get into a school academically but not be the right level 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 your 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 the schools that reject you and dwell on the fact that you aren't being recruited. Coaches on the other hand are ok with rejection. They understand that it's a numbers game and they will be rejected more often by athletes then the athletes that accept an offer. For example: For every 100 athletes that have interest in a school, coaches can expect some some to stay interested for a long period of time, 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, but you get my point! Most athletes fear rejection and also fear to reject bad fit schools. To me, that means the athlete doesn't understand the process well enough and needs guidance on how to handle those situations. As an athlete, you can only pick one school, so you will be rejected everyone else. The same goes for coaches rejecting athletes. Once you understand that concept, it will make it easier to receive and handle rejection and you will spend less time worrying about the losses and focus on your opportunities.
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By Tarek Merchant