There’s no doubt that the recruiting process for high school athletes is confusing, stressful, and basically very overwhelming. Between the NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA, there are dozens of athletic and academic requirements that athletes need to meet. College application requirements add even more confusion to the mess. It’s no wonder that we are constantly getting phone calls from both parents and athletes!
Choosing a college is also a big life decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. The pressure to impress college coaches, to get good grades, and maintain a work-play balance challenges all student-athletes. Recruits should remember to take a day off from recruiting and competition in order to be at their best and to avoid burnout. Staying organized and consistent also helps reduce the craziness of getting recruited.
Despite all of the chaos and stress that comes with being recruited, there are opportunities to relax and enjoy yourself. It is so important for college coaches to see this side of you because there is so much more to a student-athlete than what they do on the field. What makes an athlete happy is key to their success in college and coaches want to get to know you and see that side of your personality. Being able to express yourself will help you find the best fit for you.
Here are some ways to enjoy the lighter side of recruiting:
- Recruiting Questionnaires: Many of these forms are pretty basic, asking for your general athletic and academic stats. But if there is an opportunity to show a little more about you, take some time and explain why you are interested in their program and what you are interested in. This gives a good impression to the coach about the type of athlete and person you are, helping them get to know you right off the bat.
- Emails/Phone Calls: These types of communication with coaches can become pretty routine, especially if you start recruiting early. Most of the time, it’s an opportunity for the coach to see how you are doing and how you are progressing. In addition to giving the coaches the updates you are looking for, make sure to take some time to ask questions about them and the school as well (have them written down!).
- Official and Unofficial Visits: Visits to potential schools is one of the best ways to experience the college you are considering as a recruit. It’s your chance to enjoy college life, experience the school atmosphere and have a good time learning more about the team and getting to know the coach and other athletes. Besides going to a sporting event and attending one of the practices, there will be some down time and it’s always important to be yourself and make sure you will find what will make you happy at that school.
While your recruiting process is serious at many times, there’s also a lighter side to it. Make sure you find what will make you happy, and give yourself an opportunity to have fun!