The recruiting process can feel like choppy water at times. Many different things come up, die down, come up again, and on and on.
It’s not a simple time. There are highlight videos to compile and post, college coaches to reach out to and communicate with, programs to research, admissions and standardized tests to take, deadlines to meet—all while getting through your high school season and academic year.
If you’re going to navigate these waters successfully, you need a crew to help you along. I think it should go something like this:
You need to be in charge of your recruiting. You’re the captain.
For student-athletes, the most important role to know—and to embrace—is that of the captain. The student-athlete has to be the captain of his or her own recruiting process. You have to be the one in charge, the one taking the initiative, the most proactive member of the crew.
It’s not an easy job, but it is non-negotiable.
Student-athletes have to let their drive and desire be what guides them through the recruiting process and gets them out successfully; it can’t be for the wants and desires of anyone else. No one else can captain the ship, because at the end of the day, no one else will be in your shoes as a collegiate athlete. It’s up to you and your leadership.
Your parents can help you stay in charge of your recruiting.
In our experience, many parents want to be—or think they should be—the captain, but that job belongs to the student-athlete. He or she is the one going to college, and it has to be a great fit academically, athletically and socially.
However, a parent or guardian can be the student-athlete’s biggest supporter and facilitator throughout the recruiting process–the first mate.
It’s up to the parent to be a good listener, a motivator, an organizer, a companion on recruiting trips and campus visits, someone to lean on emotionally, and someone to help figure out finances and things of that nature. A parent or guardian’s role in the recruiting process is invaluable and critically important to the student-athlete, just as the first mate is to the captain of a ship.
Your high school coach will help you stay afloat.
The engineer of the boat keeps all the mechanics running properly, and your high school coach is no different in this regard.
Your high school or travel team coach is there to make sure you continue to get the best training, practice and guidance while you are still on the field and under his or her leadership.
It’s not your coach’s job to land you a scholarship. But he or she will always be there to keep you on course while you’re still playing in high school.
Your guidance counselors will help you, too.
Your high school guidance counselor holds the recipe for academic success—so let’s call him or her the chef of your ship.
Guidance counselors have the resources you need to meet deadlines with test-taking and admissions processes. They are aware of NCAA regulations and core course requirements, and they’re there to help you set up your class schedule accordingly. They can also offer expert opinions on colleges that would meet your needs.
Your guidance counselor will help you determine (or discover) the areas of study that interest you and provide recommendations, when the time comes, about all the ingredients you need to get ahead and stay on course in the classroom. Take advantage of their services.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to additional family and friends.
If you’re preparing to play at the next level, chances are you have some special people backing you up in various other areas of support.
These are your deckhands, the people who are involved in every step of the process, but in their own unique way using their own unique gifts. Maybe it’s the praise of a grandparent, the distraction of a best friend, the empathy of a teammate, or the reality check of a sibling.
Deck hands are the best. They are there and working hard in their own way, and no captain can make it through the journey without them.
The waters are choppy. NCSA can help you navigate them.
Every student-athlete needs to be in charge of his or her own journey to playing in college, but our scouts can help you with expert guidance. The best way to get started is with a recruiting profile.