Can you focus on the recruiting process and the football season at the same time?

If you read about any of the athletes throughout the country that have made their college decision within the last few weeks, a major thing that stands out when they talk about it is that they wanted to be able to focus on their senior season of football.  And in many cases, the high school coaches actually prefer athletes coming to a decision so that their focus can be on the high school season.

The problem is that for many athletes, not all of them are 100% sure where they want to continue their football career in college.  And if the coach is rushing them to a decision, it could actually lead to a decommit later in the fall and open up a difficult process for the athlete.  So the question is can you as an athlete be able to focus on both the football season and the recruiting process at the same time during the fall?

My answer is that you can but it can be extremely difficult.  If you are confident about your decision and know where you want to go, it really may be worth it to end the recruiting process before the season gets underway.  The reason is that it alleviates the stress and burden that you have from answering calls, practicing, doing homework, and trying to lead a normal life of a high school senior.

If you decide to put the football season in front of the recruiting process, there may be areas that you can hurt yourself when it comes to recruiting.  For example, you may decide to skip the game visits on Saturday so that you can watch game tape with your teammates.  While going to these games unofficially will not get you a scholarship offer, it will give you a great feel for what the atmosphere of game day is all about.  No matter who you talk to or what you see on television, actually being there is vital to get a feel for what it is like on those wild Saturdays at the school.

The second thing to talk about is your numbers.  This may sound selfish but if you put the team before the recruiting process, you may agree with your coach about playing out of position.  Not only will this hurt your numbers, it may be harder to get college coaches to watch your early game tapes when you are playing a position they are not recruiting you at.  This makes it difficult for even the best evaluators to get a feel for your future position.  And watching it on tape is not going to be easy.

Dedicating yourself to the season and putting recruiting in the background will also help you with nerves.  For example, most recruits send out game film from the first two or three games of their senior season.  If you are focused on the season and helping your team win, then you won’t be nervous about how you played in a certain portion of the tape.  You just have to worry about going out, giving it 100%, and going from there.  The recruiting will take care of itself later on.

If you decide to put the recruiting process in front of the football season, there is a good chance that you are going to get some teammates not happy with you as a person.  The majority of high school football players are not good enough to go on to the college level and want to make the most of every prep game they have left in their career.  And if you are focusing on yourself instead of the team, and they realize that, I can promise you they are not going to be thrilled.

Putting the recruiting process on top of everything may make you a ball of nerves and someone who cannot relax.  Your biggest concern is impressing college coaches and getting a scholarship offer/offers that you don’t worry about how the team does.  If you can rush for 150 yards and three touchdowns and the team losses, does it make that much of a difference to you?  In my opinion, no.

What you need to do is find a balance between the two.  You need to help your team win ball games first.  The better the team does, the better it makes you look and gives you the potential to showcase your skills in front of college coaches at State.  You also need to speak with your coach that you want to do everything you can to help the team win but you are also worried about recruiting.  Be honest and open with him about it (And try not to sound selfish while doing it).

To help yourself in the recruiting process during that final year of prep football, you really do need to make it clear what you hope to get out of it.  But at the same time, you want to make sure you are not putting recruiting ahead of helping your team win ball games.  Balance is the key here.

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