Archive for June, 2012

Stand Out in a Crowd

By: Natalie Pedersen

Only a small percentage of high school student-athletes go on to play collegiate sports. Less than 1% go on to play Division I athletics. So, what are you doing to help yourself become part of that small percentage of athletes?

Here are a few ways that you can differentiate yourself from other student-athletes fighting for the same rosters spots and make a college coach notice you.

At Camps or Combines

  • Carry your own equipment, never let mom or dad carry it for you
  • Shake the hands of the coaches and introduce yourself

On College Visits

  • Show up on campus with film and transcripts!
  • Don’t let mom or dad take the lead; make sure you do all the talking

Communication

  • Find coaches on Facebook and send them a message
  • Don’t tell the coach how good you are
  1. Talk about why you are interested in a school and why you would be a good fit. Let the coach evaluate you via video and transcript
  • Call rather than email a coach
  1. Coaches are getting hundreds of emails from recruits interested in their program. Stand out by having a conversation with them.

During Competition

  • Go above and beyond on the court. Coaches are watching, so do something to make them want you
  1. Shake the opposing team’s coaches’ hands
  2. If you’re taken out of the game, cheer on your teammates and take a coach/captain’s role even if you’re not a captain – show your teammates you’re still there for them

Social Media

  • Be professional and appropriate – don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your grandma to see
  • Show school spirit by sending shout outs to other teams or athletes when they do a good job

Always

  • Be prepared
  1. To answer questions, ask questions, etc.
  2. Anticipate anything you could need or want to bring to camps or on college visits
  • Do your research
  1. Research the college program you are interested in so you can tell a coach why you want to attend their college
  2. Make sure you know something about his/her team, such as their record, their star player’s name, etc.
  • Be creative

 

Why Lower Divisions Levels Are a Good Fit

Fact: less than 1% of high school athletes move on to play at the Division I level in college.

So, what does that mean for you? It means, keep your options open! Don’t count out the lower level programs because those are where your best chances are to be recruited. Especially if you’re looking for scholarship money, you need to be realistic and reach out to programs that are good athletic fits for you. Just think, the more programs you reach out to, the more offers you’ll receive and the more scholarship money could be offered to you.

 

Fact: 450 colleges and universities compete at the DIII level, making it the largest of the three NCAA Division levels. (DI 350 and DII 290)

 

Fact: Some high level DIII schools are more competitive than lower level DI programs.

Now, this is only true for baseball and the smaller sports such as swimming. These athletes especially should not be limiting their options to only DI because there are a limited number of college programs in the U.S. who offer their sport. DII, DIII and NAIA schools are great options for finding an athletic and academic fit, as well as receiving offers and scholarship money to play at the collegiate level.

For example, in swimming, top DIII schools often have better and faster swimming programs than some DI and DII college swim teams. DIII can also give out substantial academic scholarships, so don’t count anyone out of the race just yet!

In sports like ice hockey, many opportunities for college athletics are at the club level. Club hockey is also a good alternative for players who are looking for that perfect academic and athletic fit.

 

Fact: Many NAIA programs are highly competitive with NCAA teams and are academically excellent. They can be less-restrictive and generally less expensive than NCAA colleges as well.

 

Fact: Most student-athletes go “Pro” in something other than athletics.

Smaller colleges and universities often prove to be right fit for athletes academically and athletically. Remember, most athletes will “go pro” in something other than athletics, so getting a good education will set you up for the next forty years of your life. Smaller schools often demand a higher level of academic excellence from their athletes and provide more educational assistance and emphasis in order to ensure the future success of their athletes.

If academics are holding you back from pursuing your dreams of playing college athletics, remember that you still have some options. Try attending a Junior College or a Prep school in order to improve your academic standings. These colleges also provide an opportunity to improve your athletic skills as well, so use this opportunity to focus hard and get better athletically and academically before transferring to a NCAA or NAIA school.

 

Do you need more help in the recruiting process?

Call 866-577-6272 or get started at http://bit.ly/GetRecruitedNow

Learn more at http://www.ncsasports.org/

 

How Early Is Recruiting Really Happening?

By: Natalie Pedersen

Every month you can read at least one new article about a young kid around 14 years old getting scholarship offers, proving that the recruiting process starts early.

In April, I found this article about Eron Gordon, age 14:

http://www.indystar.com/article/20120423/LOCAL1802/204230316/Eron-Gordon-14-shows-early-college-recruiting-starts-well-early

In May, I read about Chris Lewis, an eighth grader with two scholarship offers:

http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/n-fulton-8th-grader-offered-2-basketball-scholarsh/nNWcp/

And now, just this past week, I read an article about a freshman football player getting interest and offers!

http://recruiting.scout.com/2/1188950.html

If three articles aren’t enough to prove that the recruiting process starts early, then reading the rest of this blog surely isn’t going to change your mind.

For some families, they realize the recruiting process starts early, yet, they choose to do nothing. Just the other day I talked to a dad of a H.S. softball athlete and I was telling him about my experience working at NCSA Athletic Recruiting. We talked a bit about his daughter, a rising junior, and he mentioned that they still haven’t made any proactive moves towards getting her recruited. I even told him that softball recruiting starts earlier than many other sports, and he said he knew. Now, he could have been lying. But, even if he wasn’t lying, if still reflects poorly on him for not making any efforts to help his daughter play softball in college, potentially gain scholarship offers, and change the rest of her life.

While I know it’s not up to the parents to start the recruiting process, I think it shows support and sets a good example to the student-athletes if parents encourage their sons/daughters to get proactive in recruiting. Parents can even help research colleges and reach out to companies like NCSA Athletic Recruiting or BeRecruited to look for assistance and education on the recruiting process.

Student-athletes who start the recruiting process early have the advantage. Just look at the three athletes in the above articles. Starting early will help get your name out there and put you on college coaches’ radar. Start building relationships early and you will set yourself up to get roster spots and potential scholarship offers.

Starting early also puts you in a good position to start college. If you learn time management skills and learn how to set goals for yourself, the transition to college will be a lot easier.