Take control of the recruiting process by using leverage. If you’ve received scholarship offers from multiple schools or have other financial assistance on the table, make it known to the college coaches who are pursuing you. That’s leverage, and it gives you an advantage by boosting your perceived value as a recruit.
The key to leverage is networking, and it starts early in the recruiting process. Contact a large number of schools—50 is a good starting point—from Divisions I, II and III and even the NAIA. Strong networking efforts will help you develop and build relationships with college coaches.
As you progress through the recruiting process, continue to reach out to new coaches while staying in contact with programs that have shown interest. Schedule visits, invite coaches to games and keep them updated on your latest achievements. Every relationship, contact, and scholarship offer will help you gain leverage.
Always Be Honest
One of the biggest mistakes a student-athlete can make is to mislead a coach. When a college coach asks if you are being recruited by any other programs, don’t get nervous and say “no” if in fact you are being actively pursued.
Always be honest, first and foremost. Don’t be reluctant to inform a coach that other schools have contacted you, if that’s true. Let the coach know which schools have shown interest, and tell him about any campus visits you have scheduled. If a coach asks whether you’ve received scholarship offers, briefly outline the terms of any packages that have been presented to you.
Confidence is Key
Being armed with powerful information gives you the greatest amount of leverage in this process. The more options you have, the greater your leverage. If your choices are limited, leverage shifts to the coach, since he has fewer competitors. You could even be left out of his recruiting plans.
Presenting yourself truthfully and leveraging your options can ultimately help you pull in the scholarship offer of your choice.