1. Attitude over results
You may be the best athlete, but if you have a terrible attitude, a college coach won’t recruit you. Two of the most important attributes for a college coach is positivity and team unity. If your attitude is not aligning with these two important attributes, then you will struggle to be recruited.
2. People talk
If a coach wants to recruit you, they will ask anyone to find out more about yourself. So whether you are playing locally and internationally, make sure you are giving yourself the best chance to be recruited.
3. There are many various focuses on college coaches
Not all college coaches look to only compete within the college system. Many colleges do tailor their program to help athletes go professional. So make sure you understand what your college intentions are!
4. Make sure you do your homework
If a coach wants to recruit you, some coaches will oversell themselves. Some coaches will say “we live in the best-rated city in America”. Athletes response to this is general excitement, and most of the information is partly true or false. We have not had this happen, but we heard some stories where this is the case. Make sure you look at location, program, schedule, training staff and other factors!
5. Don’t rush into a program
Student-athletes sometimes rush into signing with a college as they do not think there is another college for them. Take your time! You are going to be at a college for four years, so make sure it is the right fit for you and your family.
6. Evaluate how much time you will be travelling with the team and how the college will help you manage your academics!
Some colleges are not located anywhere near other schools which results in them travelling hundreds of miles to compete. So make sure your potential college has a good study plan and make sure you are aware of how much travelling you will be doing. If you are not good with time management and need help, then make sure the university can assist you with academic help (tutors, study groups, extensions on assignments).
7. Don’t just base your college selection on NCAA/ NAIA rankings
Look at the overall college and ask yourself:
• “Will I enjoy the next four years?”
• “Will I develop as an athlete here?”
• “Will I get on with the coach?”
• “Will my degree look good on my future CV when applying to jobs?”
• “Is this college accessible from my home town or is it going to take four flights to get there?”
8. Don’t always choose Division 1 over Division 2
Colleges are placed into certain divisions by the size of the college, not by the sporting ability of the college. Do not start aiming for Division 1 schools right away.
Start focusing on the four crucial pillars of college recruitment:
- Location of the college
- Academics of the college
- Sporting program of the college
- Scholarship you will be getting
Many students jump into the mindset where they want to go Division 1 regardless of the location. However, many students would rather be in Division 2 on a beach than a Division 1 in the middle of nowhere. Be smart and keep your mind open!