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.

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!