It’s your freshman year in high school and you loving playing sports, you’d like to continue playing in college. So the question is, what should you be doing to position yourself for a playing at the next level?
Below is list of items you need to keep in mind to reach your goals:
- Register for the NCAA Clearinghouse – In an article we published a few years back, we shared heartbreaking story about one of his student-athletes. After committing to her top college, she was notified by the NCAA that (2) of her “Core” classes did not meet current standards. The college in this case pulled the scholarship and went with another athlete.
- Work with your guidance counselor to map out your classes. You need to understand the NCAA or NAIA academic requirements.
- Study hard, this is the time to build up your grade point average by concentrating on your studies and take courses that will build a college-prep curriculum foundation
- Visit some colleges, yes start your freshman year. This will be one of the biggest decisions you’ll make and the visits are a very important part of the recruiting process. You need to find the right place, the one that truly feels right to you.
- Begin to list your top colleges and consider these guidelines:
- Location – how far away are you willing to be away from home. If it’s more than a few hours, know your parents may not see as many games as you’d like.
- Do they have your field of study and are they known for this degree?
- Can you be competitive at this level? DI schools only select less than 1% of athletes. DII and DII programs offer very competitive programs, make sure you see a game during your visit. You made be surprised at the speed of their game.
- Understand the financial packages offered – NAIA offers both athletic and academic scholarships, while DII only offers academic scholarships
- Size of college, do you want the attention of a smaller school with 20 students per class, or does the larger institution get you excited?
- Create your student athlete profile. There are a number of free / low cost resources to get your skills online so college coaches can visit you virtually.
- Begin building your recruiting video, this should be short and showcase your athletic skills. Article on creating your video
- Understand the club organizations or leagues outside of high school that offer a competitive environment to develop your skills. One great travel program can open doors to more knowledgeable coaches and provide a platform for regional or national tournaments.
- Let your high school and club coaches know you’d like to play in college, so when they are talking with college coaches they can share your interest in play at the next level. Your coaches are there to help you both on and off the field, but don’t expect them to do all the work. They recruiting process is something you and your parents must own.
- Consider attending a local college camp or combine to see how compare to other athletes. These camps will also provide some exposure to college coaches, since they are often staffed by coaches from surrounding DII and DII schools.
Good example of a baseball camp: