Are you a student-athlete that dreams of playing at the college level and has a shot at being recruited? If so, you must start the recruitment process early during your sophomore year if you want to remain competitive. Here are four important tips to consider if you desire to take your athletic skills to the next level.
Eligibility To Play
Depending on what school you decide to play intercollegiate athletics, understand that different governing bodies dictate eligibility requirements to play college sports. The most well-known governing body is the NCAA, but there are also the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for smaller colleges and universities and the National Junior College Athletic Association for junior colleges and community colleges. It is a safe rule of thumb to keep your options open by maintaining the academic requirements of the NCAA Division I and Division II eligibility requirements.
Don't Rely on Athletic Skill, Grades DO Matter
It is a common misconception that your talent on the field will be the only thing that will get you recruited to play at the college level. While your athletic record may open the door to join the team of your dream school, you must understand that coaches also do not want to risk sitting you out because of academic issues. Show your potential future coach that your academics will not be a problem and stand out in both the field and the classroom because coaches do have many other student-athletes across the country from which they can choose.
The Broken Leg Test
According to the NCAA, less than 2% of college athletes go on to be professional athletes, and, on average, professional athletes play for less than ten years, or 3.5 years for the NFL and less than five years in the NBA. You will have to consider a career off the "playing field" at some point, and it is best to take advantage of your college education to prepare you for that moment. However, since most student-athletes will play for only a few years in college, it is important that you find the right fit college for you. Choosing a college goes beyond athletics, and if you suffer an injury that terminates your athletic career, will the college of your choice be the right one?
Athletic Recruiting is on You
Many student-athletes feel that it is the responsibility of the coach or athletic director to coordinate the recruiting process for them. However, college coaches want to develop relationships with their athletes, and you can grab their attention early in your high school career by reaching out to them. Once you determine that you want to pursue the recruitment process, get in touch with the coaches at the schools of your choice by sending a resume of your athletic achievements, video links of your games, and your upcoming schedule. Finally, become familiar with the NCAA recruitment rules because they can vary between sports.
Stay proactive and initiate the process early because delaying the recruiting process will close many doors quickly. Remember, you are the best advocate for your future, so start early and hit the ground running!
For more information on recruitment for student athletes or finding the right fit college, contact Steve Colley at firstname.lastname@example.org.