The recruiting process can be tricky. With only one shot to get it right, you’d better know what to do, say and ask.
IF SCHOOLS ARE PURSUING YOU …
Show interest but don’t seem sold on a single school. Playing hard to get works in this situation. Make yourself desirable.
Don’t be afraid to mention that other schools are interested in you. A school that knows it has competition will pursue you harder.
Keep your options open. The recruiting process can be unstable so don’t close the door on a school you’re interested in because another school is showing interest. It doesn’t hurt to have a fallback option.
Develop a relationship with the head coach, coordinator and your position coach during the recruitment process to give yourself the best shot of getting on the field once you’re at the school. If you don’t make the effort to get to know each one, another freshman who has made the effort may get the nod before you.
RECRUITING TRIP TIPS…
Find current players who were recruited by some of the same schools that are pursuing you. Ask them why they chose their school over others.
Find out how many players on average quit each year and why. Is it the coaches, time commitment or a loss of passion for the game?
Pay attention to the vibe you get from each college’s atmosphere. Feeling comfortable at a school tells you a lot about how well you’ll fit in.
Keep a log of each trip. Include pros and cons, likes and dislikes. After you finish your visits, use your notes to help you determine which school will offer you the most.
Play it straight. Don’t exaggerate your numbers. You’ll lose a coach’s respect by lying. Running a 4.8 when you said 4.5 might keep you on the pine.
Use a firm handshake when you meet the coach. Look the coach in the eye, hold your head high and project confidence.
Be confident but never arrogant. A bad attitude says as much as a good one. Coaches won’t put up with a punk.
Always thank a coach when he has taken the time to call or visit. Time spent with you is time not spent with another player. Thanking him acknowledges his commitment to you.
IF SCHOOLS AREN’T PURSUING YOU…
Market yourself to the schools you like. Send game films, attend camps and contact the recruiting coordinators to put yourself on their radar screens.
Research programs with players comparable to you in reputation, numbers, height, weight, strength and speed. Then you’ll know if you have what it takes to make the lineup.
Find colleges that run offensive or defensive schemes similar to those used at your high school. Knowing the system puts you at an advantage over other incoming freshmen who don’t. College coaches recognize mental edges like this. So, put these schools high on your list.
Don’t get discouraged if you aren’t being recruited at all or by the schools of your choice. If you want to play college ball, make it your job to gain a school’s attention. Just because they don’t come to you doesn’t mean you can’t go to them.
College Interest Rating Scale
College’s Contact………Interest Rating
Form letter …………………minimal
Phone call ………………….mild
In-school visit ……………..true
Official visit to college …..serious
Home visit……………………scholarship likely
Head coach involvement…top recruit