A Guide for the College Bound Athlete

While recruitment for collegiate athletics gets much media attention, only a small percentage of high school athletes actually participate in collegiate athletics, and even fewer receive any financial aid. The key to success is a great game plan between you as the student-athlete, your family, your high school guidance counselor and your coaches. While financial decisions always rest with the athlete and family members, all must work together to insure a successful experience.

Regardless of the sport that you participate in, the offers being made or the people that talk with you and your family, never fail to keep one thing first in your mind. You are going to college to receive a great education. Your final decision should be based upon what the school would offer to you for academic success and long-term professional growth. Your final choice should be one that if you were unable to continue your athletic participation, you would still wish to remain at that school through your graduation.

Here are the Nine Recruiting Pitfalls That May Keep You from Playing Collegiate Sports

  1. Understanding the importance of academics throughout high school.
  2. Unrealistic expectations of your own ability.
  3. Parental over involvement.
  4. Burning bridges by bad mouthing schools and/or coaches.
  5. Under valuing assistant coaches.
  6. Talking money or aid too soon.
  7. An over confident demeanor.
  8. Waiting to be contacted by a school.
  9. Limiting your options to only a few schools.

Timeline for the Collegiate Recruiting Experience

Here are several suggestions, by school year, that will insure your eligibility and enhance your ability to be recruited for collegiate athletics. Remember, the eligibility standards for recruitment are different between Division I, II and III schools. Check eligibility standards with your guidance counselor.
These are very brief guidelines. Your high school guidance counselors have more detailed information.

Do not make the mistake of focusing only on the biggest and most prominent schools. It is very easy to get caught up in the glamour of NCAA Division I athletics at the expense of a wider range of opportunities and playing time on the Division II or III levels. You must make and accept an honest appraisal of your skills and abilities.

Freshman Year

  1. Now is the time to commit yourself to the best grades you can achieve.
  2. As an incoming freshman, make sure your freshman counselor has reviewed your schedule.
  3. Meet with your counselor to insure you are enrolled in proper classes for NCAA eligibility.
  4. Make sure your counselor knows that you hope to pursue collegiate athletics.
  5. Develop a sports resume of accomplishments.
  6. Attend a variety of sports camps.
  7. Participate in a variety of sports the year around.

Sophomore Year

  1. Meet with your counselor to insure you are enrolled in proper classes for NCAA eligibility.
  2. Take the PSAT in the fall or the first time it is offered.
  3. Make sure your varsity head coach is aware of your desire to compete in collegiate athletics.
  4. Continue to develop an athletic resume.
  5. Continue to attend sports camps and participate in a variety of sports.
  6. Begin a college and career search.
  7. Decide which part of the county is best for your college experience.
  8. Determine you financial needs and what will be best financially for your family.
  9. Keep your focus on appropriate schools on the Division I, II and III levels.

Junior Year

  1. You must register with the NCAA Clearinghouse at the end of your junior year. These forms are
    available from your guidance counselors. The recruiting process will absolutely stop until this
    has been completed.
  2. Meet with your counselor to insure you are enrolled in proper classes for NCAA eligibility.
  3. Continue your athletic resume construction and sports camp participation.
  4. Take the PSAT in the fall or first time offered. Take ACT and ACT in spring or first time offered.
  5. Contact schools that may interest you and return all inquiry cards back to these schools.
  6. Respond back to any and all schools that contact you with their return post cards and/or letters.
  7. Make unofficial visits to those schools you may wish to attend.

Senior Year

  1. Review with your counselor classes all high school classes taken or to be taken that will be required for NCAA eligibility.
  2. Retake the SAT or ACT if necessary.
  3. Meet with high school coaches to determine your best level of collegiate participation.
  4. Mail your college applications.
  5. Narrow your choice of schools to five and make official visits.
  6. Research a variety of resources for financial aid.
  7. Remember, it is an education decision first and an athletic decision second.
  8. Check this Site for more Recruiting Information! www.ncaa.org

Recruiting Terminology You Should Know

  1. Contact - Any face-to-face meeting between a college coach, yourself or your parents.
  2. Core Courses - Recognized courses specified by the NCAA.
  3. Evaluation - Any off campus activity used to assess your academic or athletic abilities.
  4. Official Visit - College paid trip to a campus during your senior year. You may visit u to
    five different schools that have your application.
  5. Partial Qualifier - Eligible to practice during your freshman year but cannot play due to an
    academic deficiency.
  6. Qualifier - You have met all NCAA requirements for attendance and participation.
  7. Recruited Prospective Student Athlete - You become this when approached by a coach or school
    representative about enrolling and playing a sport.
  8. Redshirt - You may practice with the team but cannot participate in intercollegiate contests.

Guide to College Recruiting