Ruining your recruiting chances

Ruining your athletic recruiting chances

Factors that hurt athletic recruiting opportunities for high school athletes

As a prospective student-athlete, there are many ways to disrupt or ruin your athletic recruiting process and diminish your chances of having a meaningful college athletic career. While top football and basketball programs seem to recruit players of questionable character sometimes, most college coaches do not operate that way. Small private colleges that do not rely on athletic revenue or success, will have vastly different qualifications for high school athletes they are recruiting than some of the larger schools who are competing for national championships.

Bad grades & test scores.
This is the number one killer for student-athletes. You can be the greatest athlete in the world, but if your GPA & test scores are too low to get you accepted into college, what difference does it make. A coach really won’t care what your athletic skills are until they determine you can even get into the school, so what’s the point of working on your jump shot when you are not even eligible. If you have academic issues, you need to work those out right away or your college career will end after high school. The NCAA just raised the minimum GPA from 2.0 to 2.3 that you need to be eligible to play your freshman year

Lack of Goals.
Some student-athletes just are not focused on what they want to do, maybe they want to play college athletics, maybe they don’t. Some want to play two sports or even three sports in college. Its important that you express to college coaches that you are serious about playing the sport you may be getting recruited for. Any wavering on your part might mean a coach moves on to other recruits.

Bad attitude.
This is the second biggest factor that gets many student-athletes in trouble. While coaches like skilled athletes, it’s often how you compete and how you interact with your team and your opponents that is the determining factor in getting recruited. You can attend showcases and camps and show off all you want, but when a coach comes to your game and sees you not hustling or yelling at your teammates or complaining to the ref’s that can be the end of the line. Coaches don’t want players like that and it doesn’t take a lot for them to stop recruiting you based on one small incident they witnessed at a game. In most cases one on-field incident like that will send them home before you are finished making an ass of yourself. We heard from one coach who stopped recruiting an athlete when he showed up at a game to watch him play and 5 minutes before the game the player was hanging out with a few girls with his shirt off. Just like that an opportunity lost!

Slump in Academics.
Many high school seniors think once they sign on a dotted line or accept a scholarship it is time to party. There have been many revoked scholarships and acceptances to schools because students did no work senior year got bad grades and thought it would not hurt them. If you fail english or math your senior year, you may not be eligible to play college athletics your freshman year, even though you still graduated from high school.

Legal Problems.
Do we need to explain this? One hint of legal problems in your life and coaches from all over the country will stop recruiting you in a heartbeat. No matter how good you are, coaches are representing the schools they work for and no one wants an athlete who is going to give that school a negative impression. Word travels fast in this day and age.

Injury.
Many talented athletes in high school play multiple sports because that is what they always have done. Once you start a sport and are successful at it, it is often hard to stop. If you are serious about your recruiting process, you need to consider concentrating at one sport, or two sports that benefit eachother. If you are aiming for a basketball scholarship, playing football in the fall your senior year may not be the best option for you. There are some sports that are mutually beneficial. If you are a football player, running track in the spring is a great way to stay in shape, gain speed and flexibility, and the risk for injury is not as high.

Poor performance at a showcase.
Many families are so worried that they have to attend as many showcases as possible that they start to loose focus on each particular showcase. Quantity is not better than Quality and performing well at 2 showcases will help you more than performing poorly at 8 showcases. You also need to evaluate when the showcase takes place and what type of game shape you are in. Many baseball showcases take place indoors in the winter and most players are not in baseball shape at all. Their running times are slow, their bat is slow, their fastball is not as fast. Not only do they end up looking worse, but they open themselves to the risk of injury because they are trying to get their body to do things they may not have done in a few months. Its important to evaluate each showcase individually and evaluate how you might perform and how ready you are to perform.

Social Media Stupidity.
Tweeting out questionable stuff. Posting pictures to Facebook and Instagram showing you partying. College coaches are watching and many recruits have had offers pulled because of content they posted online. As Jim Rome says “the Internet is in ink.”

The Dumb Recruit
Perhaps the best story we heard on our travels through the college recruiting process is about a basketball recruit who said the wrong thing at the wrong time. The following day, a recruit who had been on an official visit was in line at the airport to return home. During a conversation about his visit he turned to the person he was traveling with and said “Ya, I am only using basketball to get accepted to the school.” Unfortunately for this recruit, one of the assistant coaches of the school he just visited was also in line behind him (unbeknownst to the recruit) because he was flying to the same state where the recruit lived to meet with another player. The assistant coach proceeded to call the head coach and report what he had heard. The head coach informed the assistant to call the recruits father when he landed and to inform him that they were no longer recruiting his son and to not provide any explanation past that!

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Athletic scholarships by sports

NCAA Athletic Scholarships

Number of NCAA Athletic Scholarships by Sport

You have worked hard in the field and in the classroom. Your parents have sacrificed time and money to help further your athletic career. You want a college athletic scholarship or possibly need one to pay for college. These figures represent the maximum amount of scholarships the NCAA says an institution is allowed to offer, not what is actually available at every school. In most cases, very few schools will be able to offer the maximum amount of scholarships for all the sports they support and in some cases individual college teams may be lucky to have one or two scholarship for the entire team. The only 3 sports where the maximum amount of athletic scholarships is guaranteed are Division 1 football, and men’s and women’s Division 1 basketball. Those three programs are what we call “fully funded.” The best path to success is often trying to receive a partial athletic scholarship along with academic scholarships and grants. This is why it is important to be a strong academic student with high grades and to apply to a variety of schools that potentially might offer you aid to come to their school.

See: What are my odds for an athletic scholarship?

NOTES:

Max number scholarship players on a D1 baseball roster cannot exceed 27 and minimum athletic scholarship is 25% per player.

Max number scholarship players on a D1 hockey roster cannot exceed 30 and minimum athletic scholarship is 25% per player.

Division 3 and Ivy League Schools do not and cannot offer athletic scholarships.

Division 1
Division 2
Baseball
11.7
9
Basketball
13
10
Cross Country/Track
12.6
12.6
Fencing
4.5
4.5
Football 1-A
85**
36
Football 1-AA
63
Golf
4.5
3.6
Gymnastics
6.3
5.4
Hockey
18
13.5
Lacrosse
12.6
10.8
Rifle
3.6
3.6
Skiing
6.3
6.3
Soccer
9.9
9
Swimming
9.9
8.1
Tennis
4.5
4.5
Volleyball
4.5
4.5
Waterpolo
4.5
4.5
Wrestling
9.9
9

** (maximum of 25 to new students each year)

Women’s available athletic scholarships for NCAA D1 & D2 by sport.

Division 1
Division 2
Archery
5
5
Badminton
6
8
Basketball
15
10
Bowling
5
5
Cross Country/Track
20
12.6
Fencing
5
4.5
Field Hockey
12
6.3
Golf
6
5.4
Gymnastics
12
6
Ice Hockey
18
18
Lacrosse
12
9.9
Rowing
20
20
Rugby
12
Skiing
7
6.3
Soccer
14
9.9
Softball
12
7.2
Squash
12
9
Swimming
14
8.1
Synchronized Swim.
5
5
Team Handball
10
12
Tennis
8
6
Volleyball
12
8
Waterpolo
8
8

NAIA Athletic Scholarships (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics)

Division 1
Division 2
Baseball
12
Basketball
11
6
Cross Country/Track
5
Football
24
Golf
5
Soccer
12
Softball
10
Swimming & Diving
8
Tennis
5
Track/Field/Cross Country
12
Volleyball
8
Wrestling
8

National Junior College Athletic Association Athletic Scholarships

The NJCAA schools are divided into 24 regions based on geography. In some sports, schools are divided the following classification based on athletic aid

JC Division I – Division I can give a maximum of tuition, fees, room, board, books and fees, as well as transportation to and from the college by direct route one time per academic year.
JC Division II – Division II is limited to a maximum of tuition, fees and books.
JC Division III – Division III provides no athletic related financial assistance.

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Myths and realities of the college athletic recruiting process

Myths & Realities of the college athletic recruiting process

Dont let these common myths and mistakes lead to lost athletic recruiting opportunities

Success or failure in the athletic recruiting process often is determined by a family’s beliefs about how they think the process works. Some believe good high school athletes will be found or discovered because that’s what college coaches do. Others think their high school coach will handle the recruiting process for their son or daughter. A few are also chasing athletic scholarship money that might not ever appear because of the sport you play and the level have the ability to play at. Learn some of the common myths and realities below.

Myth: If you are good enough, college coaches will find you.
Reality: Recruiting is now a global process and despite your skills or success in high school, it is extremely easy to be overlooked by college coaches who have thousands of athletes to scout and hundreds of potential venue’s to scout them at. College coaches don’t read your local town paper and they probably don’t attend your high school games because their season is taking place at the exact same time as your season.

Myth: Division 1 programs have big recruiting budgets.
Reality: Some of the larger schools with top notch football and basketball programs do have large recruiting budgets but most do not. There are very few college coaches that have the ability to fly around the country to recruit players and have an endless coaching staff that they can send out to scout, especially when their team doesn’t generate any money for their school, which is just about every D1 team that doesn’t play football, basketball, or hockey. While Nick Saban probably has access to a private jet in Alabama to fly out to see recruits wherever they live, the women’s swimming coach at Alabama doesn’t quite have the same access.

Myth: Division 3 Schools are weaker athletically.
Reality: Many Division 3 programs have very talented athletic programs. This is often because these players are there to get an education first and play athletics second. But they are still talented and dedicated athletes who wanted to continue their athletic career in college, but wanted to do it on their own terms. If you think you can just stroll onto a D3 program you are in for a surprise. Go check out the golf teams at Methodist College (D3) or the swimming teams at Kenyon College (D3). In the last 25 years they have over 40 NCAA championships under their belt and they recruit top players from all over the country, many of whom could play at many division 1 programs had they chosen that route.

Myth: All colleges offer athletic scholarships.
Reality: Only Division 1 & 2 colleges can offer athletic scholarships (plus Junior Colleges and NAIA schools). Division 3 Programs can only offer financial aid and academic grant money for top students (not related to athletic skill or participation in any way). While D1 and D2 colleges can offer athletic scholarships, after football and basketball there are many programs that may only have 1 or 2 scholarships for their entire team and they will divide that money up to several players. See next myth. NOTE: Athletic scholarships are not offered at the Ivy League which also competes at the D1 level, although most Ivy programs have attractive financial aid and grant packages should you wish to attend one of the Ivy schools!

Myth: Most athletes get a full scholarship or no scholarship.
Reality: Full scholarships are very rare and most coaches divide scholarship money up between several players. The only guaranteed full scholarships are for D1 basketball and D1 football. Each program is fully funded and offers the maximum amount of scholarships allowed by the NCAA, 13 for men’s hoops, 85 for football, and 15 for women’s hoops. Every other sport and team divides money up to many players and no other team or program is guaranteed to be fully funded. Please note: There are several sports called head-count sports in which money can only be allotted to a specific number of players. For example – In D1 women’s tennis, a coach is allowed a maximum of 8 scholarships per team, but since tennis isn’t a revenue generating sport, rarely will you find all D1 programs offering 8 tennis scholarships (aside of the top schools with lots of money). If a D1 tennis coach has 2 scholarships for the entire team, they can divide that money up to a maximum of 8 players, but no more than 8 players, and some teams consist of 11 or 12 players and those players will get no athletic aid (or no aid until a player receiving aid graduates). In a non head-count sport like softball, the coach could divide 3 scholarships between 20 players if they so chose as there are no restrictions.

Myth: Division 1 programs do not offer walk-on tryouts.
Reality: While walking onto the Kentucky basketball team may be difficult, many coaches rely on walk-on’s each year and will usually conduct tryouts to give as many players a chance as possible. It is better to find out what walk-on opportunities exist before you show up at tryouts. It certainly is not easy, but it is not impossible either. I did it and many others do to!

Myth: I shouldn’t go to a Division 3 School if I need scholarship money.
Reality: Many D3 schools offer attractive financial aid programs and you should not overlook any school, even if they do not offer athletic scholarships. We have met parents that are basically sending their kids to school for free because their sons and daughters had strong academic backgrounds and coupled that with athletics to make themselves an attractive student and recruit for a certain school. What would you rather have, $3,000 in scholarship money at a D1 school or $20,000 in academic money at a D3 school, while still getting the chance to play athletics at the college level? Also any academic money you receive at a D3 school is not tied to athletic participation, so after a year or two of playing in which you have a change of heart, you can walk away from your sport and keep your academic scholarship money.

Myth: College coaches will help me get into their school if I am on the bubble academically.
Reality: While being recruited by a college coach can be an advantage over applicants that are not athletes, you need to be very close academically to what the school seeks out in any student. Coaches can submit a list of names to the admissions department, but you need to be committed to the coach and express a strong interest in attending that institution. At the end of the day admissions make admission decisions, not coaches, and many students that thought they were a shoe-in for admissions will get rejected.

Myth: All Division 1 & 2 programs have scholarships available.
Reality: While the NCAA mandates how many scholarships a school can offer for a particular sport, it is up to the school whether or not they want to and can offer the number of scholarships allotted to them. Example: Division 1 baseball programs are allowed to offer 11.7 scholarships to their entire team, but many division 1 baseball schools may offer only 3 or 4 scholarships and that will be true for other sports as well.

Myth: If you receive a letter from a coach, you are being recruited.
Reality: Coaches send out thousands of letters to high school athletes they may or may not have heard of and there are probably 500 kids tearing open the same exact letter you received. Receiving a letter means a coach knows your name and knows you play the sport they coach. Respond to the letter and follow-up with the coach. Until the coach calls you, invites you to the school and makes you a formal offer to join their program, the letters don’t mean too much. In 2004 a D1 football program had a list of 4,000 prospects they were sending letters to on a regular basis. Ultimately they are trying to sign 25 players out of a pool of 4,000.

Myth: College coaches only recruit top players.
Reality: College coaches recruit anyone they think can play at their program and recruit anyone who shows an interest in their program. Just because you are not the star of your team does not mean you cannot play in college. There are many players that do not start because there are other talented players at their position(s), but many of those players have the skills to play in college as well. I even get emails from new coaches who are at less well-known schools in less well-known places who are dying to find college recruits just to field a team. One email even said “Dave, I am looking for female golfers, they simply need to know what side of the tee box to tee the ball up on at this point!”

Myth: High school coaches are qualified to determine if I am college athletic material.
Reality: While many coaches are, some are not and some have never played their sport in college. Their are many factors that determine if you can play in college and your high school coach may not know what your potential may be at the next level. If they have that knowledge, find out how they can help your recruiting process. If they do not, you need to find another source of information and/or someone else that can endorse your skills for the next level. My high school baseball coach played hockey in college and his recruiting knowledge was pretty low. My summer coach however was a college baseball player, was drafted to play in the majors, and had been an active youth coach for 20+ years who had helped many players get recruited with his connections.

Myth: College coaches can contact me anytime they want.
Reality: There are strict rules as to when a coach can send you literature and how often they can contact you at the NCAA level and the rules are less stringent at the Junior College and NAIA level. The good news is that you can contact college coaches at any time so long as you make the phone call. Please see the NCAA website for more specific rules information and search for the NCAA guide for the college bound student-athlete, which is a free download.

Myth: Playing college athletics will not be much different than high school, aside of the skill level.
Reality: Playing college athletics is an unbelievable commitment in time and in dedication and will be nowhere close to your high school experience. In college you will play or practice for 3 seasons, in the fall, winter and in the spring, and be required to do lifting and running programs as well. You may also be practicing at 6AM or Midnight or twice a day depending what facilities are available at your school.

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College Athletic Recruiting Process

College Athletic Recruiting Process

How to succeed in the college athletic recruiting process

The college athletic recruiting process can be a challenging time for parents and high school athletes. With over 1,100 NCAA schools and several hundred NAIA and Junior Colleges to choose from, researching and selecting programs to target can be daunting. There are many factors to consider such as what you want to study in college, what level you can potentially play at, what region of the country you want to be in, and how much you ultimately pay for college. Perhaps the most challenging aspect of recruiting is finding a way to display your skills in some capacity to college coaches so they can evaluate you. College coaches evaluate thousands of athletes each year. Some families achieve success through a strong high school athletic record, others turn to camps and showcases and other yet, use AAU and club/travel teams for exposure. There is no one way to be recruited. The process is different for every family and high school athlete.

The most important aspect of the recruiting process, we believe, is being able to match your skills and desires with a given program. While it would be amazing to run out of the tunnel of Notre Dame Stadium or play basketball for Kentucky, only a few elite athletes throughout the world will have that opportunity. Through no fault of their own, many high school athletes and families do not understand how recruiting really works and they often over-estimate their skills and abilities as it applies to college. This often leads to applying to colleges that are not a good fit for your skills and abilities. Your goal should be to identify colleges that will be a good fit for your skills and desires and then to reach out to those coaches personally by expressing interest in their program. The recruiting process does not happen overnight, it takes time, patience and persistence. While you may be extremely interested in certain schools, the coaching staff of those schools may be actively recruiting other high school athletes. You are a part of the process, and by aligning your skills with programs that will be a better match, you will increase your ability to be recruited.

MYTHS AND REALITIES OF COLLEGE ATHLETICS & RECRUITING

Basic myths and facts regarding the athletic recruiting process and college athletics. Myths and realities about the college athletic recruiting process

MISTAKES IN THE COLLEGE ATHLETIC RECRUITING PROCESS

The college recruiting process is often paved with a myriad of mistakes by parents, students, and high school coaches. Some mistakes are fairly obvious, others are not. Mistakes in the college athletic recruiting process

ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIPS

Number of Athletic Scholarships by Sport & Division for both men and women. Number of Athletic Scholarships

SPECIALIZATION & THE ATHLETIC RECRUITING PROCESS

Specialization in one sport is a controversial topic in the world of college recruiting. Do I need to specialize in one sport to get recruited?

ATHLETIC RECRUITING AT THE IVY LEAGUE

The Ivy League is a conference consisting of some of the nation’s most competitive, elite, and historic schools in the United States. How does recruiting work at the Ivy League

ATHLETIC RESUME WRITING

The athletic resume still has a place in the athletic recruiting process. Learn what to include, what not to include and where you can use these resumes. How do I create an athletic resume for college coaches?

RUINING YOUR RECRUITING CHANCES

There are several ways to ruin your college recruiting chances. GO

SAMPLE ATHLETIC RECRUITING RESUME’S

Looking for a resume that will show off your skill, desire, and work ethic and catch the eyes of college coaches.

Sample College Baseball Recruiting Resume

Sample College Golf Recruiting Resume

Advice on Athletic Recruiting Services

Don’t believe everything you hear about the athletic recruiting process, even from experts! GO

NCAA LINKS

Links to NCAA conference web sites for Division 1, D2, & D3 institutions. Links to NCAA conferences

NCAA SCHOOLS OFFERING YOUR SPORT

Searchable Database of NCAA schools by sport and division. What colleges offer my sport

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