April 14, 2024

Chapter Four – If You Want To Play Sports in College – Recruit The Coach!

Don’t Wait To Be Contacted

Start checking out colleges and universities early. You need to be sure you are searching for the right school for you, not your parents, not your high school coach, your friends, etc.

You will be the one getting up, going to class, and going to practice. So, remember to choose a school because it is the school YOU want.

Via the Internet, some prospective colleges and universities offer virtual tours that give all kinds of information about the school and campus life.

Keep in mind that these virtual tours are created specifically as a marketing tool and will always promote only the positives. The first and most important thing you should be investigating at any prospective school is the academic program.

Why, because, overwhelmingly, statistics indicate that most college athletes do not become professional athletes.

Therefore, you will more than likely be depending on your college education to help you provide a good life for you and your family. Even if you are one of the rare “blue chip” players, you must still carefully consider the academic program.

When you are participating at the college level, there is a real possibility that you could receive a career ending injury.

If you were attending the school only for the athletic program, would you be miserable if you could no longer play? Force yourself to think about the answers to these questions, and honestly consider which school will provide you with the best education. After you are comfortable with the academic program, then look into the athletic programs.

When you are satisfied with the academic and athletic programs, then research any other pertinent information concerning the school that might be of importance to you when it does come time to make your final decision. You might be interested in the location of the school, or the size of the school, or the size of the city the school is located, etc.

How would you feel if the coach who recruited you left the program while you were still playing?

There will be advantages and disadvantages to each bit of information concerning the school. Your senior year of high school will quite naturally be exciting. Not only will you be taking finals and thinking about graduation, but you will also probably still be playing on your varsity team, going to parties, proms, and other school events.

Set aside time during this hectic last year of high school to carefully evaluate and choose a college or university. Do your homework on each prospective school so you can make the very best decision for you. Crucial to receiving a scholarship at your school of choice is that your athletic and academic skills fit the school.

Look at the following guidelines for the different divisions. The more criteria that you meet in a particular division, the more likely you are to be qualified to compete successfully in that division.

To Compete at the NCAA Division I Level:

**Been actively recruited

**Been All-State, All Conference, or All-League Champion

**Qualified to compete at a junior or senior national meet

**Train, cross-train, or compete year round including weight/fitness training as part of your season and off-season program

**Participate in summer camps and tournaments that are known to have recruiters present.

To Compete at the NCAA Division II Level:

**Been a participant with a successful team program

**Competed at the regional level

**Trained in your sport seasonally, but have never gone beyond state competition

To Compete in NAIA:

**Been a participant with a successful team program

**Competed at the regional level

**Trained in your sport seasonally, but have never gone beyond state competition

**Usually looking for a smaller college or university with more emphasis on academics

To Compete at the NCAA Division III Level:

**Compete only during season at your high school

**Never qualified for state competition

To Compete at the NJCAA Level:

**Need more time to mature to the NCAA levels athletically?

**Need more time to improve academically

**Need more time to improve SAT & ACT scores

**Need more time to increase size, weight, height, etc

If you are still not sure what division you should compete in, then you should check out schools from the different divisions.

You will get some feedback from the coaches that will help you to know where you fit athletically. If no coaches from Division I schools respond, then you will know that you are probably not a good athletic match for that division.

So, be sure to recruit different divisions since it will not only give you more opportunities, but it will also give you something to fall back on in case you don’t get at scholarship at one of the Division I schools.


What if I didn’t play a particular sport in high school, but I want to play that sport at the college level? Check to see if the coaching staff will allow you to tryout to see if your level of ability is comparable to the existing athletes. Some schools will offer open tryouts to those students wanting to walk-on.

Questions Concerning the Academic Program

*What are the requirements for admission?

*Is there on campus housing?

*Is the major you are interested in offered?

*Is there a tutoring program?

*Is the school known more for its athletic or its academic programs?

*What size are the classes?

*What is the population of the city where the school is located?

*What is the cost of the school without a scholarship?

*How good is the department in your major?

*Are there career opportunities with this major/school?

*Is the school known as a party school?

*What percentage of players on scholarship graduate in four years?

*What type of academic support is offered through the institution?

*What is the average GPA of the teams?

Questions Concerning College Life and Location

*Is it close to home or far away?

*Would making visits home be a problem?

*Is the school in a nice area or is it in a high crime area?

*Do you like schools with a lot of tradition, or would you prefer one where you were able to be one of the people starting a new tradition?

*What is the weather like?

*What additional activities are available on and off campus?

*What kinds of employment opportunities are available?

*What condition and style are the residence halls? Coed dorms, suites or standard?

*Am I required to live on campus?

Questions Concerning the Athletic Program

*Do you like the coach? He/She will be a big part of your life

*Do you like the facilities where the team practices and plays? Are they new and impressive or do they look like something from a nightmare?

*Do you know any of the players on the team or know anything about them?

*Does the program have a scholarship available for your position?

*Does this school have an opening for your position? Are they looking for someone with your specific talents?

*Are you the approximate size, weight, strength and speed as other athletes that play your sport/position at that school?

*What would my physical requirements be? Gain weight, lose weight, etc.

*Are you a standout on your local team, conference, state or region?

*What is your level of skill versus the other players on the team?

*Does this program play the division level you should be in?

*What is the competition for your position like?

*Are any freshman, sophomore, junior or seniors already in line for the position you want?

*What does your future look like on the team?

*Are you competing with an All-American for playing time?

*How much playing time do you want?

*Would you rather play for a larger school and perhaps not have the opportunity to play often or play more frequently for a smaller school?

*Would you start immediately or be red-shirted?

*At your very best, would you be more of a support player than a star?

*Would you rather be a small fish in a big pond or a big fish in a small pond?

*When does the coach’s contract end?

*Have the coach describe a typical day for a student-athlete.

*What are my opportunities for employment while I’m a student-athlete?

*Is financial aid available for summer school?
Chapter 1|Chapter 2|Chapter 3

Chapter 4|Chapter 5|Chapter 6

Chapter 7|Chapter 8|Chapter 9

Chapter 10|College Sports Recruiting



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