The recruiting process for collegiate athletes can be an intimidating prospect. High school athletes and their parents may be confused by the process. High school and collegiate athletics are very different worlds. In high school, athletes receive support from their parents when it comes to getting to practices on time, eating properly, and getting enough sleep. Collegiate athletes are on their own when it comes to these basic tasks, and some athletes are not able to handle the pressure.
High school students will benefit from the advice given by professionals like Mike Kotch, a coach with several years of experience in collegiate swimming and diving.
Having a personal tour of the campus is a must for high school athletes. Athletes need to put in face time with the coaches and stop relying only on virtual tours. It is important to truly get a feel for your next home away from home and most importantly, is it a campus you want to be a part of if sports opportunities didn’t exist. Being on campus also shows the coach you are naturally interested.
High school athletes also need to get a sense of the dynamic between the coach and his or her athletes. They need to meet other members of the team and share their experiences. Seeing the facilities is another important part of the tour. The high school athlete should be aware of the program’s successes and know why they want to attend the college in question.
Questions from Coaches
Athletes spend a significant amount of time on their chosen sport, but that is not the only focus of their college experience. High school athletes should be prepared to answer questions from coaches about topics that do not directly relate to their chosen sport. They will need to know about athletes’ academic aspirations and what is most important to them in terms of a campus community, team environment, or personal values.
Aspects of Student-Athletes that Coaches Find Attractive
Coaches are always looking for self-motivated athletes who need a minimum of hand-holding to perform at a high level. If student-athletes are not adequately dedicated to the program, they can take up too much of the coach’s time and effort. The coach needs to spend time with each athlete, not just the freshmen, so it is less likely that unmotivated student-athletes will be accepted by the program. Additionally, freshmen need to be willing to listen and learn from their older and experienced teammates. Remember, you are joining a team that you were excited to be a part of.
Student-athletes who do not ask any questions during the recruiting trip are viewed with suspicion. A lack of curiosity may mean that the student has little interest in actually joining the program. Coaches are also annoyed by student-athletes who are not responsive to attempts to communicate. It is best to return all emails and phone calls promptly. Recruiting for a team is competitive in nature, and there may be other athletes with comparable physical skills who are much better at the interpersonal aspect of the game.
Student-Athletes Need to Be Responsible
Student-athletes must recognize that the ultimate responsibility for their college sporting career lies with themselves. They are no longer able to lean on their parents for day-to-day support. A strong sense of commitment and follow through is a huge help in being recruited by a college sports program.
Care for Your Reputation
One of the areas that some student-athletes neglect is their public profile. Make sure that social media sites are cleaned up and those negative associations are removed. Remember that all of your profile and cover images and many of your posts are public. Associations with drugs, alcohol, and crime will seriously impact your ability to be recruited.
Student-Athletes and Recruiting
Student-athletes will find these tips from Mike Kotch useful as they navigate the college recruitment system. Overall, student-athletes need to realize that they are responsible for their own destiny. They can no longer rely on parents or high school coaches to manage their careers for them. When student-athletes take responsibility for their own path, they will find that they are better able to meet the challenges of life after high school, in college, and after college.