My youngest is finishing her sophomore year, and we’re recognizing the first signs of collegiate recruiting season beginning. Having gone through college recruiting with both older kids, we know what’s ahead. College recruiting begins when kids start high school and coaches start to keep watch. But it kicks into high gear late spring of sophomore year and through junior year of high school. Colleges mail info, talk to their high school and club coaches and watch. Typically the best college coaches gather at high level tournaments and championships so they can view as many of the best athletes as possible at one event. They’ll scan results and know where to be looking. So what can you do to help your child be “seen” by the best schools?
- First, read the article on finding the right college match for your student-athlete. Know what kind of college or university, what level athletics your child is best suited to pursue.
- Don’t invest in services that claim to dish your child up to college coaches. College coaches, those I know and in all our experience, don’t need them and don’t use them, so you paying for videos and profiling is not a smart use of your resources.
- Check out the web sites of schools that are interesting, look at the rosters of the sports team to see how your child would fit in terms of talent level. If your child would be a genuine contributor on the team, fill out the student-athlete recruit questionnaire. Coaches will start watching to size up the athlete if they weren’t already on their watch list.
- Look for your child to participate in as high a level of competition as they can compete. If they are especially talented, but the high school team isn’t that great, seek a club team that can develop their skill and competes at least at a regional level, and at the national level.
- Look to make showcase teams. These are select teams or club teams, at professional training centers, that are put together, coached and taken to showcase tournaments and events where college coaches do show up in droves, hungry to watch top talent. Baseball is definitely one of those sports where this is key. If you’re going to invest, this is where to do it if they can earn a spot on a team. It has the potential to put your child in front of hundreds of coaches. This is a smart investment if you’re good enough to earn a spot on one of these teams.
- Be careful of your expectations. Landing a full-scholarship is extremely rare. 35%, 55% is much more realistic for many sports. Full scholarships do exist, but your child will have to be a game-changer and huge contributor to team/school program in order to land a big scholarship. There will also be pressure to perform, like being hired for a job, so help your child understand the responsibility and ensure their focus for college athletics matches the expectations of the scholarship and intensity of the program.