Preparing for College Athletics: The Recruiting Process
By Whitney Liehr
Many high school athletes dream about playing
sports in college. The recruiting process is an incredibly exciting and fun
experience but at the same time can be daunting in many ways. Therefore, I’d
like to explain some the steps that parents and children likely take during college
recruitment and while also sharing my thoughts what I think are some of the
most important things to focus on.
The first step toward playing on a college
team is making contact with coaches and being seen. This can be through club
sports, high school games, and summer camps so try to get as much exposure in
front of coaches as possible. Be aware that if a college coach doesn’t reach
out to you and your child that doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t interested.
This is because they simply can’t see everyone. So, if you’re interested in a
specific school it’s up to you or your child to take initiative and contact the
coach. An email or phone call shows a coach you care and may get you one step
closer to getting your foot in the door.
Once you’ve established contact with a coach,
be ready to answers questions about yourself as well as ask your own set of questions
about their program. Understand that you are interviewing a coach about their
program just as much as they are interviewing you. Have specific reasons as to
why their school is appealing to you as well as what strengths you have to
bring to their team.
If a coach feels that you or your child may
be a good fit for their program, the next step in the process is an official
visit. If you are offered official visits from several schools go to as many as
you can. Take advantage of the opportunity to spend a weekend on campus, live
the life of a student athlete, and get a feel for the school, the program and
the team. This is an important step in the process because over the next four
years you will spend more time with your teammates and coaches then you can
possibly imagine. Be inquisitive and try
to learn as much as possible while out on your visits. Below, I’ve listed some
questions to consider asking coaches or athletes throughout the recruiting
process. By no means is this a comprehensive list but after asking some college
graduates these are some the questions they wished they had asked before
deciding on where commit.
Team Dynamics & Culture:
- How do you see me fitting into
- How would you describe the
culture of the team?
- What top three traits do your
best players exhibit?
College Life Questions:
is a typical “day in the life” like for a member of your team during the
is the housing situation like? Do teammates typically live together?
- Is it
possible to work part-time in addition to playing a sport and studying?
about during the off-season?
student-athletes stay on campus during the summer?
- What does the travel schedule
look like and how much class will I be missing?
- How do professors accommodate
athletes with regard to missing exams for travel and competition?
- What percentage of your athletes
graduate and how long does it take them to graduate?
- What sort of academic advising
and tutoring will I have available to me?
- What are your policies on
traveling abroad for a semester?
Admissions & Scholarship:
are the admission requirements for an athlete?
types of academic scholarships are available?
- What about other sorts of grants
- Am I
under consideration for a scholarship?
many scholarships do you have available for my class?
After all is said and done, have fun and
enjoy the process. Being a collegiate athlete is a unique opportunity and no
matter where you end up playing make the best of it!