I recently saw a piece that discussed the importance of trusting your gut when making major life decisions like job selection or your relationships. Basically, the article said, if your gut says "Heck Yes," go for it; if your gut says "Heck No," then pull back.
This "go with your gut" approach can also help student-athletes in their college selection, but there are few things to keep in mind.
Consider the Big Picture
Apply this strategy to all aspects of your recruiting checklist. Don't let one great thing about a college seal the deal.
For example, avoid getting caught up in a Midnight Madness event or spring game experience during a college visit. Perform your due diligence on all important areas—academics, campus life, other players, potential coaches, playing time, etc. Keep a checklist and make a list of pros and cons at the end of your visit.
Gauge the School's Excitement About You
Be sure the school believes you're a good fit for it, just as you believe the school is a good fit for you! What this means is that you need to gauge the coach's interest in you when you meet with him or her and tour the facilities. If the academics, campus life and other players blow you away, but your prospective coach seems more interested in his cell phone than you, that's a red flag.
You may not be one of the school's top priorities, or you may not fit in to their long-term plans. This could result in limited playing time or your being recruited the following year. The coach should show enthusiasm and be attentive as you go through your visit.
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You should not apply the "Heck Yes/Heck No" approach to every school that shows interest in you. Instead, narrow your list to the programs you are actually considering, then apply the strategy to those schools. If you don't narrow your list, the Heck, Yes/Heck No approach can be overwhelming, stressful and confusing.
If you're having trouble determining the schools that best fit your athletic and academic profile, check out the RecruitU app.
Done right, going with your gut can be a valuable way to ensure that you find the right situation both academically and athletically.
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