Good advice is hard to find and that is doubly true in recruiting. No two people have the same recruiting process and taking one person’s advice as “the right way” can be dangerous. Too often we hear of people who receive well-meaning advice on what to do, that is the wrong advice for them. Below are the common situations where good advice is actually bad.
85 Football Scholarships Are Not the Same as 9.9 Baseball Scholarships
It seems obvious, but too many recruits assume negotiating for a scholarship in one sport, is like negotiating for a scholarship in another. For example, negotiating for one of the 85 DI FBS Football Scholarships per team, is very different than negotiating for one of the 9.9 DII Baseball Scholarships per team. FBS football are all full-ride scholarships where as a DII baseball program is dividing up 9.9 scholarships among 30+ players. If you are looking for advice on getting better scholarship offers, you need to talk to other recruits who have received scholarships for your sport and division level.
Recruiting Can Start in 7th Grade and Finish in Your Senior Year
Some sports and division levels are recruiting very early, while others aren’t finished recruiting until senior year. If you ask someone who is being recruited by a women’s DI soccer program when to start the recruiting process, it is 7th or 8th grade. In DI women’s soccer, the top recruits are committed by their sophomore year. The opposite would be in a sport like DI basketball where coaches are recruiting right until signing day because recruits are constantly flipping their verbal commitments. If you are looking to get started in recruiting, get a realistic view of what level you can play and align your recruiting with that timeline.
Don’t Treat All Areas of the Country the Same
Colleges in different geographic locations will recruit differently. For example, California baseball programs are routinely over-stocked with talent (having 40+ players trying out) and rely heavily on players going to JC to continue to develop. Programs in less populated areas might not have the same overflow of players, thus recruiting and scholarships are divided up very differently. Where you are from and where you are willing to go to school can have a huge impact on what type of opportunities you can find. Again, the best advice is talk to recruits with a similar situation to yourself.
Camps, Combines and Travel Ball Isn’t Always the Most Important Thing
Depending on what recruit or parent you talk to, you will get different answers on the importance of camps, combines or travel teams. From time to time I’ll hear comments like, “we went to a bunch of camps and didn’t get any interest. Our travel team played in one showcase and all of the recruiting interest came from there. Camps are a waste of time.” The rule of recruiting aren’t black and white. Some camps are better than others, some athletes don’t show well at camps and need to be seen in games, really, it depends on the athlete, position and what is best for the family. Determining the right camps, combines and travel team depends entirely on what schools and sports the athlete is targeting. You need to know that programs recruiting habits, including the events and teams/organizations they recruit from.
Take All Advice With a Grain of Salt
The truth is no one is going to have the same recruiting experience as you. Doing exactly what someone else did and expecting the same results will set you up for disappointment. The best thing you can do is find other recruits or families who have played your sport, went to your division level and to a similar region.
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