Ten things that you can do to hurt yourself in the athletic recruiting process

Unless you get an early scholarship offer, the athletic recruiting process is not easy.  There are going to be times of stress, frustration, and hopefully joy when you finally make a final decision.  But before picking a college, there is going to be a lot of things to do.

But instead of focusing on that, we are going to talk about the ten things you should not do in the chase for a scholarship offer.  These are many things we have talked about at times but thought this would be a good article to put ten things in an article that are things you should definitely avoid.  Onto the list!

1.) Waiting for schools to find you
Athletes will tell me that they are waiting until their senior year and the attention will start coming.  Are they serious?  Do the work yourself and don’t just wait.  You will be waiting to pay for student loans at a Division III school.

2.) Not marketing yourself
There may be some schools that find you and are aware of.  But what if there is an out of state school that never recruits your region and is a perfect fit, how will they find you?  You will need to market yourself to those schools and get your name out there.

3.) Deciding not to bother with a highlight video
I have to say time and time again that a highlight video is not where to save money in the recruiting process.  This is a very valuable tool and needs to be done, especially in football.

4.) Skipping summer college camps/AAU/showcases
Any chance to showcase your skills in front of college coaches is a great way to help yourself.  Unlike the independent combines that make me sick, college coaches are around and have the ability to evaluate you.

5.) Putting too much stock into a letter
Unless the letter says that they want to offer you a scholarship, then it means very little.  I was a high schooler once who was excited about a Division I letter I received (which I still have by the way).  But in all honesty, if it is a form letter or a questionnaire, there are thousands of other athletes that receive these.  Again, thousands.

6.) Focusing all of your attention on a small number of schools
Some families just take all of their visits to two or three schools.  What happens when those schools don’t offer?  Keeping things wide open and looking at lots of schools will help you in the long run.

7.) Going to independent combines/camps that cost money
It would do you better to just take the money out of the bank and burn it.  These independent camps only help put cash in the pockets of those that run them.

8.) Looking only at schools that are at one level (normally focused on Division I programs)
If you are reading this site frequently and only have Division I eyes, please comment on this post so I can smack you.  Keep your search broad and your options open.

9.) Not going on enough visits
If you don’t take multiple visits to a variety of schools, it is going to be tough to find a program that you end up loving.  See different programs and campuses helps widen your options.

10.) Relying on others to handle the athletic recruiting process for your family
Even if you decide to hire a recruiting service, your job isn’t over.  You may be paying them hundreds or thousands but you still need to educate yourself, take visits, and talk to them frequently about what is going on.


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