When should I start contacting college coaches throughout the athletic recruiting process?

Contacting college coaches for athletic scholarshipsThis is one of those questions that depends on what the athlete has accomplished in his career.  If your son or daughter player varsity basketball as a sophomore and averaged fifteen points per game at the varsity level, you might as well get their name out to college coaches so that they can track your child’s progress over the next few years.  This is of course is if you decide to take the recruiting process under control yourself and contact schools yourself (CLICK HERE TO SEE THE ARTICLE).

If given the opportunity, I would definitely recommend that the earlier the better in contacting college coaches and making them aware of what your child has already accomplished.  But I would only do this if your child has actually accomplished something.  If 5-foot-7 Johnny loves the in state school but held down by the freshman coach, then that would NOT be the time to send out information to college coaches.  Never, ever mention that you had a problem with your high school coach in any contact with a college (This may eventually be a whole other article) and don’t play the blame game about stats.  I have seen players earn Division I scholarships averaging less than ten points per game on the basketball court because they made some huge strides in the summer on the AAU circuit.  Trust me in saying that in basketball, stats are not what college coaches base their scholarships on.

So if you decide to take it upon yourself and help your child get their name out after a very good year of sophomore football, the first step would be to see the LIST OF COLLEGES (They really should pay me a commission for all the links I give them) and find what ones would be a good fit.  Like I have said before, please do not use that list and email every college the profile you have put together (CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON PUTTING TOGETHER A PROFILE).  What you are trying to accomplish is a finding a good fit for what your child wants.  While they still may be young, this is just to make colleges aware of his or her ability for the future.

Here is why I feel it is important to get your name out as early as possible in the recruiting process.  For example, once football Signing Day 2012 finishes, these coaches will be switching their prime recruiting focus to the Class of 2013.  While they may have been sending a few letters and bringing you in for invites, if a football program is really interested in you, this is when the recruiting process should pick up.  And if they are already aware of you because you contacted them early, they will already have you on the list of running backs that they are looking at in this class.  Obviously this does not mean that you will be getting a scholarship right away in all cases, it does mean that they will have your name among the top recruits at that position in your grade.

If you decide to wait and not send out information about yourself until the spring of your junior year, which would be months after Signing Day 2012, the coaches will be adding you to the bottom of the list of prospective recruits.  Players can still earn scholarships this way but it is much more rare.  If I was a parent in the same situation, I would recommend getting that prospective letter out as soon as my child has accomplished something over a season.  And after that, be ready because the college coaches will probably ask for tape (Highlights and full games – CLICK HERE FOR ADVICE ON MAKING A FOOTBALL HIGHLIGHT VIDEO).

I have seen high school athletes receive scholarships without going through the process of contacting coaches or putting together a recruiting profile and a highlight video.  But if you as a parent or an athlete want to take the recruiting process into your own hands and help control your destiny, these are things that I would recommend.  I have seen many parents succeed by doing these things and if I had kids going through the process, this is exactly what I would be doing.

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