Recruiting Tip: The countdown to September 1st! Are you prepared?
If you are a parent of a junior in high school, September 1st marks an important day in your recruiting calendar. It’s the first day when college coaches may now actually email your student athlete directly. Scheduling phone calls and visits become much easier now that the coach can finally respond to you. This does not mean that the recruiting process begins on September 1st of your junior year, after all, some are already committed by their junior year. It just makes the recruiting process a bit easier. It’s imperative that as coaches begin emailing your student athlete, you respond very quickly. Take the time to complete the online recruiting questionnaire to the best of your ability, and do some initial research on the schools that are showing interest. YouTube is an incredible resource to do campus tours, and hear from students who actually attend the college or university.
If you do not hear from college coaches on September 1st, this does not mean you will not be recruited. You need to be proactive through the recruiting process. It’s amazing how many athletes I hear are emailing coaches, but are lost when it comes to the process. One email is no where near enough to make this happen. There is potentially $250,000 on the line, so creating a strategy for success is hugely important. Do not limit your opportunities by waiting for college coaches to contact you. There are over 400,000 girls who play volleyball in the United States alone. That’s a big pool for college coaches to choose from. So what is going to set you apart? You’ve got to put yourself in the coaches position here and ask yourself, what would you be looking for from a student athlete if you are receiving hundreds, if not thousands of emails in a week.
The recruiting process is about building relationships with college coaches to learn about their program, coaching style, and whether you feel it could be a potential fit. Do not underestimate the importance of getting to know your future coach. This is a person who is very involved in your life for the next 4 years. Consider whether you have ever had a coach you didn’t particularly care for? Could you imagine playing for this coach for 4 years? Likely it would not be a positive experience.
Below is a sample checklist for juniors to complete:
- Register for the Eligibility Center
- Take the SAT/ACT in October, and December (some colleges super score, which means they will combine your best test scores from each area of the test to get the highest score possible)
- Use the code “9999” to ensure your final scores on the SAT are sent to the NCAA Eligibility Center (requirement)
- Obtain a copy of your high school transcripts, and keep electronic copy up to date on your desktop (college coaches while request to review your transcripts as you go through the recruiting process)
- Review the NCAA Recruiting Calendar, and come up with some potential dates that will work for your family to travel to visit colleges
- Meet with your high school counselor and review your core courses to ensure you meet eligibility requirements to play volleyball in college (you need 16 core courses to be eligible)
It’s not too late for seniors to begin the recruiting process, but we are running out of time. This is a decision that affects your life for the next 40 years, and the process should not be taken for granted. Do your homework! As a college volleyball recruiting expert, I work with student athletes and their families to identify the goals for the future and create a game plan for success. Schedule a free consultation by emailing [email protected] and we can meet online via Skype or FaceTime.