College Recruiting - Frequently Asked Questions
What are my chances of playing college sports?
Honestly assess your athletic talent–You can start by asking your coach for his opinion. When you research college programs that interest you see where your talent fits in. Camps, showcases and combines can also give you invaluable insight into where you stack up.
How do I know if I will play?
During the recruiting process ask the coach if you are being recruiting for a starting position or to add depth to the team. Ask about the student-athlete that currently holds that position, how you stack up against them and what year they are in school. Coaches often have a good idea of what positions are set for the following year. Always keep in mind that your primary goal is a quality college education.
Who should I rely on to help me get a college athletic scholarship and a spot on a team?
YOU and only you. You can get assistance from your parents, coaches and recruiting services. But ultimately you are the only person who can make your dream of playing college sports come true.
Coaches are not interested in recruiting your friends, coaches, or parents. You need to make the effort and contacts–your goal of getting recruited will not just happen.
Make lists, ask questions, write letters, and surf the web for information. Ask your coaches and academic advisers for tips and advice.
If you know someone who has been through the recruiting process make it a point to talk to them and seek their advice.
When am I allowed to contact college coaches?
According to eligibility rules you are allowed to contact college coaches at any time. It is against the rules for a coach to contact you at certain times but if you initiate the conversation or contact they can reply. Make sure that when you make contact you have something noteworthy to tell them or have well thought-out questions to ask–you don’t want to be known as the recruit who wastes their time.
What is an unofficial visit?
An unofficial visit is a visit that you take to a college campus at your own expense. Unnoffical visits can be taken at anytime and as many times as you would like. While on an unoffical visit the athletic department is allowed to give you up to 3 tickets to a sporting event, but no other perks or gifts.
What is an official visit?
An official visit is a visit that you make to a college e paid for by the team or athletic department. The school is able to pay for transportation, lodging, meals and reasonable entertainment for the recruit while they are on their visit. The visit may be up to 48 hours long. Official visits can only be taken in an athlete’s senior year and each recruit can take five.
When should I start the recruiting process?
When the recruiting process starts really depends on the sport. A good rule of thumb is to start your freshman year.
During your Freshman year you will want to meet with your high school counselor and come up with an academic game plan. Make sure you are meeting all the needs of the NCAA and NAIA in addition to the specific colleges that interest you. Look for summer camps that will help you develop as a student-athlete and gain you some valuable exposure to coaches as well.
During your Sophomore year research programs you are interested in and contact coaches. The summer after your sophomore year you should consider attending the camps held by those teams.
Your Junior year is the most important in the recruiting process. This is the year coaches will be looking at your statistics and the admissions department will be looking at you academic achievements. Make sure you have already established a relationship with coaches so that when your senior year starts they already know you are interested in their program.
By the time you start your senior year you should have narrowed down your list of possible schools to five or six. If you have not already established a relationship with the coach you should do it now.
How important are grades and test scores?
Getting good grades and having good test scores is just as important as having good statistics in your sport. A coach can only recruit you if you are academically eligible to compete at that specific school. Not only do you have to qualify for the academic requirements of the NCAA or NAIA but you will want to make sure you know what the academic requirements are for the school you are interested in attending.
Don’t believe the myth that a coach can get you into the school if he wants you bad enough. A coach still has to answer to the University and NCAA or NAIA on the GPA and graduation rates of their athletes. Most coaches won’t gamble on a student-athlete who hasn’t demonstrated he can handle the academic responsibilities of the school.
Remember it’s called Student-Athlete. You need to perform in both.
Are you prepared to pay for college even if you have an athletic scholarship?
An athletic scholarship is a great way to get a quality education while competing in the sport you love, but just because you are good at your sport doesn’t mean that the cost of college will go away. A majority of athletic scholarships are partial scholarships.