Athletic recruiting process information I’d tell a 16-year version of myself if I could

I haven’t talked about it all that in-depth but I played college sports for all of my four college years at the Division III level.  There was very little recruiting because I played on a very good high school team, averaged very little stats, and basically didn’t know what I was during throughout the recruiting process.  We were also limited in our trips to schools because of a vehicle situation that prohibited us from driving too far away from our home town.  I basically received mail from five to ten schools, calls from three schools, and only took one visit. 

The reason this site was started is for teenagers and their families to be informed about the athletic recruiting process.  So if I could somehow go back in time and speak to myself about what I could do to help myself in the athletic recruiting process, here are some of the main things that come to mind. 

Apply to more schools
Yes, applications for schools were expensive a decade ago and they are even pricier right now.  But I should have been applying to more schools.  I only sent applications in to three schools and one that I was going to play sports at.  If I knew what I was doing, I would have applied to three to five schools for athletics and then shop the packages around.  At the Division III level, this certainly would have helped me reduce education costs. 

Look more into NAIA/Division II/Junior College/Other Division III schools
If I knew about the whole marketing process of recruiting, I definitely would have looked into other options to help pay for my schooling.  I know my lowly stats would not have caught the eyes of many Division II schools but what would it hurt to try?  The other programs would have at least looked at me simply because of my height, the team I played on, and a good recommendation from my high school coach.   This coach was well respected in the state and that definitely would help. 

Take more visits
Basically I needed to make more visits so that I could see what other schools had to offer.  I am thrilled with the education and athletic experience I received in college but more visits would have helped me make the best possible decision I could.  If we didn’t have a car that could do it, then I should have looked into friends that were visiting other programs, other family members, or even taking a bus.  More than one college visits needs to be taken. 

Apply for independent scholarships
I know time is so precious as a 16-year old but taking the time to apply for independent scholarships is something that would be well worth it.  These scholarships take time simply because many require an essay but could help reduce overall tuition costs.  You may not get the scholarship but the short time invested is worth it. 

Learn more about the entire athletic recruiting process
My mom has/had no clue about the athletic recruiting process and I had no idea as well at the time.  That didn’t make for a good combination in her helping me find a school.  I wish I would have been able to education myself as much as possible about the process so that it would have helped me overall. 

Find out more about schools in my state/surrounding states
I probably would have wanted to stay close to home in some form or another but I knew very, very little about schools outside of the few colleges that were local.  It didn’t matter if a school was an hour away, I didn’t know about it, the level that it played at, or the conference that it was in.  Finding out this information could have definitely helped open up my options.  

Again, I loved the experience I went through at the Division III level.  I graduated with two majors, had a GPA above 3.0, and excelled in athletics.  But there is no doubt that doing these things would have opened up more doors for me and helped me gather as much information as possible. 

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