Have You Packed Your Recruiting Bag? (From NCSA Sports)

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So you’re just starting your recruiting process. Maybe you’re a freshman getting off to a strong start. Maybe you’re a senior starting to worry you’re not going to have a roster spot next fall.

No matter who you are, if you’re sitting there wondering, “how can I get started?” then here’s 3 things you can start getting in place. Recruiting is a journey, and these are things you need to “pack in your bag” in order to get going:

1st Thing to Pack: A Third Party Evaluation
Your mom and dad think you’re good. Your girlfriend/boyfriend thinks you’re good. Even your friends sometimes stop messing with you long enough to tell you you’re good.

You must be good, right?

Wrong.

The people closest to athletes sometimes wear what coaches call “love goggles.” When we’re watching somebody we care about, any good performance can make them look like the next Tim Tebow or LeBron James. Even coaches have a lot more to worry about than the technique of one player on their team.

When a college coach is recruiting you, they’re going to look at every little thing. Those home runs are great – but maybe your swing is a little high? You’ve got a cannon for an arm – but what’s going on with your arm motion?

When you get evaluated by an experienced scout, they can tell you your strengths, your weaknesses, and give you an honest assessment of what level you’re playing at. If you play at a Division III level, all the letters in the world won’t get a Division I coach to call you back. You’ll end up wasting their time and your own. On the other hand, if you play at a Division I level, you should know that, too!  CLICK HERE TO BE EVALUATED BY AN EXPERIENCED SCOUT

2nd Thing to Pack: Good Grades
College is for students. Students who are good enough at sports can sometimes get scholarships for their studies. But there’s a reason you’re called a “student-athlete.”

If you want to be a college athlete, you need a 2.0 GPA in high school. Some schools may have stricter standards, and Division I is in the process of raising their minimum GPA to 2.3.

Being a gifted athlete isn’t a pass to get bad grades, and nobody thinks it’s cool to slack off in school. Or at least Jeremy Lin didn’t, with his 4.2 GPA. USC QB Matt Barkley, sporting a 3.7 high school GPA, didn’t. You don’t need to be a super genius – A.J. McCarron got a 2.93 while putting in enough practice to get a scholarship with the National Champion Crimson Tide.

Bottom line: have at least a 2.0, and a 3.0 if you want to be on the safe side, if you’re worried about low test scores, or if you want to go to a higher-end academic school.

3rd Thing to Pack: A Highlight Tape
This one’s pretty simple. To get a coach’s attention, you need to prove you can be an asset to their team. To prove you can be an asset to their team, the coach needs to see you play, and they’re not going to come out to your game or meet if they have no idea who you are. If coaches don’t see a highlight tape, that’s as far as your recruitment with them is going. They don’t know how good you are if they can’t see you.

For The Truly Prepared: A Full Resume

A resume can help coaches get a picture of you beyond just how fast you are or how hard you can throw a ball. It gives them a complete picture of you as an athlete, a student, and a person. A resume should include:

·         Academics: those good grades you made sure to “pack,” along with test scores (there are minimum standardized test requirements for college athletes).

·         Highlight tape – see above.

·         Awards: from All-Conference to Valedictorian, share any recognition you’ve gotten.

·         Statistics: whether it’s your time in the 400, your batting average or how many sacks you had, coaches want hard numbers on what you’re doing when you’re in the game.

·         Activities – maybe you’re in the 4H Club or National Honor Society, maybe you break dance on the weekend or starred in the school musical. Either way, it shows coaches something about you.

·         Recommendations from coaches – they know a lot about you, probably have a lot of good things to say, and college coaches will definitely want to hear from them.

Once your bags are packed, you can take the tools you brought with you to move the next step: reaching out to coaches.

If you have no college coach contacts CLICK HERE to join the NCSA Network used by over 37,000 college coaches to find players!

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