College

Athletic Recruitment: Getting Noticed by Coaches

Athletic recruitment can be daunting, overwhelming, and just plain confusing. This is the final part of our official “Road to Recruitment” series— straight from a college athlete who’s been through it all. Here are some guidelines for getting noticed by coaches!

BY: Katie Goodson

Athletic recruitment can be daunting, overwhelming, and just plain confusing. This is the final part of our official “Road to Recruitment” series— straight from a college athlete who’s been through it all. Here are some guidelines for getting noticed by coaches!

MAKE CONTACT WITH COACHES.

If coaches aren’t coming to you, don’t be afraid to reach out to them! There are thousands of athletes trying to get recruited each year. Coaches won’t always be able to find you in the sea of people, so it’s okay to contact them.

How do I contact a coach? Typically, the best way to reach out is through email— you can usually find the coach’s email on their school’s website. In your email, express your interest in the school and its athletic program, and include important information about your academic and athletic accomplishments. You should also attach a short highlight video showcasing your talents.

When can a coach contact me? The rules vary by division and sport, but the general rule is that a college coach cannot directly contact you until the end of your junior year. However, the school can send you information before then about their programs to let you know they’re interested in you. July 1st before your senior year is the official date college coaches are allowed to contact you for most Division I sports. When you start your senior year, check the NCAA’s recruiting calendar to find out when each communication period is. (ncaa.org)

GO TO CAMPS AND COMBINES.

Most universities host sports camps for high school athletes. Here, you’ll be able to show off your talents and get in contact with college coaches. You’ll also be able to see how you measure up to other athletes in your sport.

ASK YOUR COACH FOR HELP. Your current coach probably has more connections than you think— ask them to contact a few college coaches for you. Your coach watches you play every day, so they know your strengths and weaknesses better than anyone. Use them as an advocate!

USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO YOUR ADVANTAGE. You probably already have a Twitter or Instagram account, so you might as well use it to your advantage! Follow college coaches and schools that you’re interested in. Tag them in videos and articles about you or your high school team, and use hashtags! Hashtags are great for promoting yourself to a larger audience and helping you get noticed.

HAVE A GOOD ATTITUDE. Coaches are always looking for athletes who have good attitudes and are coachable. If a coach is recruiting you and sees that you’re disrespectful towards your teammates and coaches, they just might scratch you off their list. If a coach asks you to try out another position, give it a try and have a good attitude about it. Talent alone won’t get you far if you aren’t coachable!

DOS AND DON’TS OF RECRUITMENT:

  • DO reach out to coaches.
  • DO try your hardest to get recruited by your favorite schools, but keep your options open.
  • DO have a good attitude and stay flexible.
  • DON’T continue to contact coaches once they’ve made it known they’re not interested.
  • DON’T post anything on the internet you know you shouldn’t. Once it’s out there, it’s out there for good, and you never know what a coach might see.
  • DON’T take rejection personally. College athletics is a highly competitive business, and they can’t accept everyone. Be honest with yourself about your level of talent.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON’T GET RECRUITED? Coaches leave extra spots open each year for walk-ons. If you don’t get recruited, that doesn’t mean you won’t play college sports. It just means you might not get a scholarship. Contact coaches and ask about trying out as a walk-on. If you make the team and perform well, this could lead to you getting a scholarship later on. Walk-ons are treated just like everyone else on the team, so you’ll still get all the perks of being a college athlete.

 

Katie Goodson recently graduated from Faulkner University with a degree in English literature. She played softball for the Lady Eagles from 2013-2017, and served as a student assistant for the team while she finished her degree.

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