Do’s and Don’ts of Becoming A College Athlete
Athletic recruitment can be daunting, overwhelming, and just plain confusing. There is a lot of advice floating around on what you MUST do to become a college athlete and not all of it is correct. We are here to lay out some guidelines for getting noticed by coaches!
- Make contact with coaches. If coaches aren’t coming to you, don’t be afraid to reach out to them! There are thousands of athletes trying to get recruited each year. Coaches won’t always be able to find you in the sea of people, so it’s okay to contact them.
- Go to camps and combines. Most universities host sports camps for high school athletes. Here, you’ll be able to show off your talents and get in contact with college coaches. You’ll also be able to see how you measure up to other athletes in your sport.
- Ask your coach to help you out. Your current coach probably has more connections than you think—ask them to contact a few college coaches for you. Your coach watches you play every day, so they know your strengths and weaknesses better than anyone. Use them as an advocate!
- Use social media to your advantage. You probably already have a Twitter or Instagram account, so you might as well use them to your advantage! Follow college coaches and schools that you’re interested in. Tag them in videos and articles about you or your high school team, and use hashtags! Hashtags are great for promoting yourself to a larger audience and helping you get noticed.
- Have a good attitude. Coaches are always looking for athletes who have good attitudes and are coachable. If a coach is recruiting you and sees that you’re disrespectful towards your teammates and coaches, they just might scratch you off their list. If a coach asks you to try out another position or do something you’re not extremely confident in, give it a try and have a good attitude about it. Talent alone won’t get you far if you aren’t coachable!
What happens if I don’t get recruited???
Coaches leave extra spots open each year for walk-ons. If you don’t get recruited, that doesn’t mean you won’t play college sports. It just means you might not get a scholarship. Contact coaches and ask about trying out as a walk-on. If you make the team and perform well, this could lead to you getting a scholarship later on. Walk-ons are treated just like everyone else on the team, so you’ll still get all the perks of being a college athlete.
DOS & DON’TS
DO reach out to coaches.
DO try your hardest to get recruited by your favorite schools, but keep your options open.
DO have a good attitude and stay flexible.
DON’T continue to contact coaches once they’ve made it known they’re not interested.
DON’T post anything on the internet you know you shouldn’t. Once it’s out there, it’s out there for good, and you never know what a coach might see.
DON’T take rejection personally. College athletics is a highly competitive business, and they can’t accept everyone. Be honest with yourself about your level of talent.
4 Steps to Contacting College Coaches
- STEP 1: It’s all in the introduction—send an introductory email to let them know you are interested and provide them with your contact info.
- STEP 2: Don’t forget the follow up—call, and follow up with the coach if it is within the contact period for your sport (typically June 15th following sophomore year or September 1st of junior year)
- STEP 3: Don’t leave your recruiting letters/calls/emails without response—make sure you display your interest and commitment by always responding.
- STEP 4: Keep in touch with coaches—don’t let your contacts fall off the radar. Keep them interested!