An Athlete Reality Check
Athletes are an interesting breed, wired slightly different than non-athletes. We are naturally competitive and usually ego driven, which makes sense in many cases. Sometimes to beat the best you have to believe you are better than the best whether that is truly the case or not.
Unfortunately during the college recruiting experience, some athlete’s egos are met with a large dose of reality. Depending on the situation, this reality check can be shocking and unwelcome but needs to happen in order to place everyone back in check.
Display a Strong Work Ethic
Reality says that as an athlete, you aren’t likely the best out there. If you happen to be the best at this point in your career you might not be tomorrow, next week, next year, or 4 years from now. Reality also says that your recruiting efforts aren’t just going to happen because you’re good, because you’re the best on your team, the best in your area, the state, or even the country. Yes, for some it does–for most it doesn’t. Recruiting is a time for ego to be in full check and work ethic to be in full gear.
A Personal Story
From my personal archives, I was that athlete mentioned above. I had a bit of an ego. I thought because I knew I was good, coaches were just going to flock to watch me play football and everything was going to work out just as planned. All of this was supposed to happen just because I was a good athlete. To add into my ill-fated thoughts I also had the benefit of playing with many gifted football players.
College coaches were flocking to see my teammates, further feeding my false sense of reality that someone was “just going to see me play and offer me a ride.” I can tell you if you ‘re currently that student-athlete, your dreams too will face a harsh reality if you don’t change your way of thinking.
The One Percent
One percent of high school student-athletes do not have to work to get recruited, they are truly the ones who can say “If I play they will come.” If you do the math, it’s likely you’re not in that one percent, which means you have your work cut out for you. You cannot afford to sit back and wait, you cannot afford to hope you have a great senior season; you need to do your own due diligence and be proactive.
What You Need to Do
This means building a quality resume, contacting coaches you have an interest in playing for, being realistic about those playing opportunities, and continuing to update and reach out to those coaches who might show some interest in your abilities. If you find that coaches are not showing interest continue to keep at it–coaches are extremely busy people and sometimes it will take three or four times before they will respond.
By having a better understanding and sense of the true reality that recruiting brings into the situation you can better yourself as an athlete and a recruit.