In the increasingly competitive chase for college athletic scholarships, there is no such thing as preparing too early or too much. For better or worse, the recruiting process now begins as soon as a student-athlete begins high school – and occasionally earlier - and awaiting a call from a coach during one’s junior or senior year will now leave a recruit behind the curve. As the demand for scholarships continues to grow, even the most talented athletes must proactively reach out to coaches and programs to express interest and cultivate relationships. Contrary to popular belief, one's high school coach typically plays only a minor role in the pursuit of a scholarship; the bulk of this responsibility rests with a student-athlete and his or her family.
Another common misconception about recruiting is that coaches scout and identify talent by attending games, tournaments, combines and camps around the country, or by watching highlight videos produced and distributed by athletes themselves. The reality, though, is that most coaches lack the time and resources necessary to do this sort of preliminary legwork, and instead much prefer to rely on comprehensive and verified information provided to them by third-parties with whom the coaches have worked successfully in the past. As such, it’s important that reliable sources be made aware of student-athletes’ athletic and academic abilities, to ensure that this information ends up in the hands of college coaches.
Although coaches do attend tournaments and camps, it is not to discover new talent, but is rather to follow-up on leads from recruiting services and other sources. Likewise, a coach is far more likely to view a video if it is delivered to them, by request or suggestion, from a trustworthy third-party. It’s very important that an edited video be available online, so that a coach can quickly and easily access it to determine whether a student-athlete deserves an in-person evaluation.
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Successfully navigating the recruiting process can be complicated, frustrating and time-consuming, but given the degree to which a college scholarship can impact the rest of one’s life, few things seem more worth the energy and preparation.
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