This is one of the most asked questions by parents of student athletes. Parents wonder how other kids with similar skills rank higher than their student athlete. There is no magic when it comes to the “recruiting lists” college coaches are using during their recruiting efforts. The list is developed using a number of factors we will cover in this article.
Coaches put together a list every year of potential student athletes their staff will be pursuing for that year. The list is considered to be the top athletes within their recruiting area for scholarship consideration. The head coach will carve up the recruiting areas then assign them to his/her assistant coaches. If you have been contacted by the coach assigned to your area or school, then you have made the list.
How does the coaching staff determine who to recruit?
According to college coaches they have a number of methods for building this list. Below are some
- They speak to your child’s high school coach
- They speak with competing high school coaches to see who causes them grief
- Understand who competing colleges are pursuing
- Review highlight tapes of potential student athletes
- Review rank sites (USASwimming.org, ESPN, Rivals, etc)
- Camp Results
To make sure your student-athlete shows up on the list, below are some helpful steps:
- Meet with high school or club coach and have a discussion about playing in college. The discussion should also include an assessment of your child’s level of play, he or she can always improve towards the end of their high school career. Expectations should be set early, so the athlete know how much they need to improve to play at the highest level. You should also learn how much involvement their coach will have in the recruiting process, will they pick up the phone and make calls to college coaches?
- Attend summer camps – Camps can be costly, but they can also provide additional exposure for your child. Many of these camps have coaches from area colleges running the stations/drills, which gives them a first hand account of your child’s skills. Find out as much as possible before signing up, just because it’s a Notre Dame camp doesn’t mean ND’s head coach will be reviewing your child’s capabilities.
- Reach out to prospective colleges and universities, fill out the “Prospective Athlete” form on their web site. Following up with a personal email / letter to the head coach with your Student Athlete profile will let them know you are interested in their program.
- Join a club team, most sports (other than football) have club or travel programs. These can be expensive, so do your homework to find out the level of competition and opportunities for exposure.
I hear lots of parents say, “if he or she are good enough the college will find them”. This may be true for less that 1% of student athletes in your state. The other 99% work hard, connect with coaches and universities, attend camps and let everyone know they want to play at the next level.