The importance of backup schools in athletic recruiting, even after you made your final college decision

The importance of backup schools in athletic recruiting, even after you made your college decisionIf you are like most athletes who read this site, I hope that you have been able to use what we have talked about everyday over the past few years to get evaluated by college coaches.  And although the athletic recruiting process has its ups and downs, athletes who follow our advice and have some talent can get their college education paid for.

One of things that I always discuss is having backup options in the recruiting process.  By that I feel it is important to look at schools at a variety of different levels to see what these programs have to offer.  If time is not a huge factor, then it would definitely be worth taking as many visits to see as many different schools.  But seeing these programs up close and personal can help you down the road.

If you were to put all your eggs in one basket, how exactly would you know what else is out there?  How would you see what campuses you enjoy and what programs would be a good fit for you?  This is why variety and keeping your options open is important.  These secondary and backup options could help you down the road as well.

I recently talked to a recruit about his college decision and he basically said that his decision boiled down to being the best guess at somewhere he will feel comfortable at over the next four or five years.  And while picking a college can be an educated guess based on the amount of research you put into it, you really could say it is an expensive guess regardless of where you go.

And the thing about guesses is that they sometimes end up being wrong.  You may love your coach during the recruiting process but end up hating him once you get to the school.  You may hate the campus, your teammates, the distance from home, and so many other things that you just won’t know until you get on campus and start going to school there.  Visits may help but there are a lot of variables that could make you want to change schools.

Things don’t always workout and you may feel more comfortable at another program.  You took your most educated guess and it didn’t work out.  If you had spent the recruiting process focused on this one school, then you really would have to go back to step one and try to figure out what schools are out there and what other programs that there are to consider.

But if you had kept your options opened and considered all schools at a variety of levels, you will have a much easier time trying to figure out where you want to transfer to.  Hopefully you did a good job keeping notes and information about the recruiting process (hopefully mom and dad didn’t throw it away) so you can refer to those and get a better feel for the coaches, your thoughts on certain visits, and things along those lines.

You may have taken a scholarship at a Division II football program and then realized that you didn’t want to put that much time into the game.  So if that is the case, look more at the Division III schools that were once recruiting you.  Most coaches understand that if they lose an athlete to a bigger school, there is still that chance that they may not fit in there and come back to your program.

This is why building relationships and seeing schools at all levels is important while you are being recruited.  Yes, if you didn’t do it and plan on signing later this week it will be difficult to start looking at smaller schools.  But it is something to consider for those who haven’t wrapped up a final decision or are younger.

And this article is not a story trying to say that everyone will hate where they sign and eventually transfer.  It is more about the importance of backup schools and how doing your due diligence is important throughout the recruiting process.  It could help you with your first and even your college decision on a college.

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