To be successful in the recruiting process for all sports, the first thing you must be is good at your chosen sport. College coaches are always keeping an eye out for talented athletes who can help them win games at the next level. It doesn’t matter the level or the location, talent trumps everything in the athletic recruiting process and that includes being on a successful team.
A good example of this has happened actually at the same high school over the last decade. Earlier in the 2000s, the school produced a running back with Division I scholarship offers from a variety of schools in the eastern half of the country. He ended picking a prestigious University but his team went winless that year on the gridiron. Keep reading because there is a point to this that ties in to the subject, I promise.
Recently the same high school won one total game, going 1-8 overall, and sent two athletes to a Division I-AA school in-state. In both situations, the high school ended up sending more players to the Division I level than games that they won. This shows how skills and athleticism are more important than winning.
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However, what the overall success of your high school team can do is open up new doors for you. This really does apply to all sports. If you can help your team get to the State tournament, chances are strong that college coaches will come out in droves for this. It doesn’t matter if this is football, basketball, soccer, track, or anything other sport I didn’t name. Making a deep run in the playoffs is a great way to get an opportunity to showcase your skills in front of new coaches.
A good example is the State basketball tournament. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, college coaches from the in-state programs will likely be coming for at least a few days to watch the players. Then there will also be a ton of out-of-state coaches who attend for at least a day or two (depending on the timing and their schedule). Factor that all in together and these are new doors that could be opening up for you if you play well.
Obviously the key is playing well. For football, this would be similar to going to a camp and doing great. Not only are you trying to help your team win the game, excelling individually is a great way to really make a name for yourself and put yourself on the map for new programs. The more options you have, the better off you will be in the overall recruiting process.
So while individual skills is vital when trying to get looks from college coaches, playing for a winning team may be what puts you in a situation where an out of state school that rarely recruits kids in your area finally has a chance to see you. An eventual scholarship could help pay for your college. Keep that in mind when some say that the postseason doesn’t matter all that much in high school athletics.