For most athletes, Athletic Scholarship offers don’t just fall into your lap, it’s a process. College coaches put a lot of time and money into recruiting, they watch athletes compete in person, contact high school coaches, create personal evaluations and source a number of other avenues to find out more about you as a person AND as an athlete. There is a big difference between an ‘interest’ and an ‘offer’. Here are a few recruiting tips that can take you from ‘interest’ to ‘offer’.
“Interest” means that a college coach has seen you play or heard something good about you from a trusted source. Once this happens a college coach will add you to their ‘Watch List’. A ‘Watch List’ is a list that a coach creates of the players they feel have potential and who they can see fitting best into their system, and team. The ‘Watch List’ is usually broken down into position and class year. Once you’re on a coaches ‘Watch List’, more than likely you will start receiving mail, questionnaires, emails, visit invites, etc.
Note: College coaches have different levels within their ‘Watch Lists’, and the level they have you on will determine what type of communication and invites you receive.
A few ways to turn the signs of ‘interest’ into ‘offers’.
1. Coaches always have their evaluating hat on, they evaluate players on academics, skill, strength, leadership, attitude, values and other intangibles. Are you really good at a certain skill? Are you a great defender, blocker or rebounder? Can you force turnovers? Yes, college coaches are looking at how many points you can put up, but they’re also looking at the little things that can help them win games. Take some time to analyse your own skill set and figure out what you’re really good at, then develop those good skills into great skills. You want to stand out from the rest of players in your position – elite players usually have a specific skill they have mastered.
2. Don’t worry about anyone else, focus on you and your position. Take a look at the schools you have an interest in and see how many athletes they have in your position they are looking to replace. If a school is looking at signing 2-3 running backs, and you play running back—you have a better shot than a team looking for just 1. Continue to develop and work on your position specific skill in the meantime because they better you get at it, the better your shot at receiving an offer.
3. Master the A’s ( Attitude & Academics ) – How are your academics? How is your attitude? A bad attitude or bad academics can cause coaches to raise an eye, and hold off on offers. College coaches do extensive research on players, they not only communicate with you, they will ask a number of sources about you – high school coaches, AAU coaches, high school janitors, you name it and they are asking – college coaches will go to all levels to get the truth.
4. If you’re mostly getting mail and emails from a coach, and no or few phone calls, it basically means that the coach is not sold on you yet. If this is the case, just ask the coach straight up where you stand on their list, you don’t want to waste your time on schools that don’t see you high on their list. Move on to the schools who are making those calls and of course keep working on your skills in the meantime.
5. If you’re getting a lot of interest from a school, but no offer, think about attending their summer camp. Summer camps give you the opportunity to workout first hand with the coaching staff and it lets them see you play, day in and day out for that week, it’s like your own personal combine.
Do you have any more tips? If so I would love to hear them, please comment below.