I remember there being exactly zero “Let’s Get You Recruited” companies when I was in high school. And, while there were showcase camps, they definitely weren’t every weekend, in every major city. The recruiting game has definitely changed and for the worse. Not only for the players and parents, but also for the coaches.
Let me explain. At the heart of the recruiting process is the desire for the right type of athlete to land at the right type of college or university. By right I mean that the talent and character of the player matches the level and values of the college or university. Too often, I speak with players that have given up on the opportunity to play sports after high school because they aren’t hearing from any D1 schools. Or, players end up at D1 schools, but without a scholarship or any chance of making it onto the field.
Even more troubling is when players tell me their number, which is nothing more than a score given to them by a recruiting company they just paid hundreds of dollars to. I’m sorry, but those numbers don’t mean anything, especially not to a college coach.[shareable width=”75%”]Even more troubling is when players tell me their number, which is nothing more than a score given to them by a recruiting company they just paid hundreds of dollars to. I’m sorry, but those numbers don’t mean anything, especially not to a college coach.[/shareable]
You need to get back to the fundamentals of being recruited. Where it is a win-win, for both you and the college or university. Getting recruited is like developing a relationship with someone. There are no short-cuts and it takes time.
Here are five ways to do it right:
1. Be honest with yourself. Successful collegiate athletes have an incredible passion for their sport. The time and effort student-athletes put in the classroom, study hall, practice field, and the weight room requires it. If you aren’t passionate about your sport, you won’t make it in college. Successful collegiate athletes are tough, but also honest with themselves. Your desire to play in college needs to be real. Saying you want to play sports in college to please your parents or impress others will only end up making you miserable. If you have the passion, keep reading. If you have a passion for something else, put your heart into that.
2. Know your talent level. Not everyone is meant to play D1. And, there is nothing wrong with that. It is incredibly important before jumping into the recruiting process that you evaluate your talents and skills honestly. How do you stack up on your high school or club team? What about your state or region? Knowing these answers will go along way when you start pursuing the places you would like to go. While parting with a few hundred dollars to have a recruiting company give you a number may seem like an easy and popular route, you don’t need to. If you are good enough to play in college and you have the desire, it can happen without that.
3. Take ownership – it’s not your parents job. Nine times out of ten, it is a parent, not the player that asks me questions about the recruiting process. Understandably so, since college is crazy expensive and parents are focused on not only providing the best education, but opportunity for their kid. But, it isn’t your parents job to get you recruited. It’s yours. College coaches want to hear you speak. After all, it is you that could end up being on their team. Bringing in the right type of player, in terms of talent and character, is critical to college coaches. Let them get to know you. Take responsibility and own the process of being recruited.
4. Develop a plan. Once you have honestly assessed your talent level and decided that you are responsible for being recruited, the real work comes in. Not only do you need to elevate your game on the practice field, weight room, and playing field, but you need to develop a plan. This plan will be the roadmap for guiding you through each step during the recruiting process and will help you feel like you aren’t climbing a mountain, but rather taking the right path. To help you with this, I have created a guide, called Developing Your Recruiting Plan, that walks you through this planning process. I will be sharing it with you soon and you will be able to grab your copy for free by visiting tomoldham.me.
5. Be honest with your coaches. And, ask them to be honest with you during the process. If a college or university is not interested in you, you should want to know that right away. You don’t want to waste a bunch of time during this process. Letting a college know that you aren’t interested is a good problem to have during the recruiting process. That means that you have had serious contact with a college or colleges that are interested in you and you in them. That’s a good thing, so focus on building those relationships to be even stronger. When you have made up your mind, let everyone know. College coaches will appreciate you letting them know so they can focus on other potential recruits.
I feel like I have left one of the most important off. Have fun. It may seem cliche, but it’s incredibly important. Enjoy the process and learn from it. After all, being recruited shouldn’t feel like climbing a mountain.