College recruiting is a complex and challenging process. Given the large number of NCAA academic standards, recruiting guidelines and stringent timelines, it’s no surprise that students and parents are often confused and overwhelmed by how to navigate the process.
To help you avoid the pitfalls, I’ve compiled a list of the three of the most common mistakes high school student-athletes make during the recruiting process.
1. Not Doing Your Research
If you’re a student-athlete with aspirations to compete at the collegiate level, you and your parents must take it upon yourselves to know as much as you can about the process. The information is out there and in most cases free to obtain, including the various collegiate levels of play, academic requirements, recruiting deadlines and how to contact college coaches. The Internet is loaded with articles and video resources on everything you need to know about college recruiting. You have to be proactive and diligent, and you need to commit to learning everything you can that will help you reach your goal.
2. Over-Relying on Your High School and Club Coaches
Some high school and club coaches may be willing to call college coaches or send out game film on behalf of their athletes. But the responsibility ultimately lies with the student-athletes themselves. It’s not a coach’s responsibility to market his or her players to prospective colleges. It’s each player’s responsibility.
3. Waiting Until the Last Minute
Like most things in life, the key to success is being proactive and planning ahead. Unfortunately, many high school student-athletes wait until their senior year to focus on their recruiting efforts. By then, it’s too late for most of them. The ideal time to start the recruiting process is during freshman year. Visiting college campuses and filling out college student-athlete questionnaires are things you can easily do to get a head start. By your sophomore and junior year, you should be developing relationships with college coaches, attending camps and showcases,and sending out game film and résumés. The earlier you start, the more opportunity you will have to get noticed by coaches and prepare for the future.