I’m a big Ohio State fan. No matter where I’ve lived across the country my Buckeye allegiance has always run true. So, obviously winning the National Championship this season is a great accomplishment, especially considering the tremendous amount of unexpected events that this team had to overcome to achieve their goal; injuries, expulsions, even death to name a few!
I see a lot of similarities between the recruiting process and the recent Ohio State season. There are lots of unexpected events that can happen to throw you off track. But with the right preparation, teamwork, and a little luck, the unexpected can be overcome to reach your ultimate goal of playing sports at the collegiate level.
Anticipate the unexpected
Let me give you an example of what’s happening now for seniors who didn’t anticipate the unexpected. Right now, many senior athletes are scrambling to sign with a college. Many of them didn’t have a recruiting strategy going to start the process so now they are panicking to find an available roster spot. Last minute panic for athletes is never good. Here are a few reasons why.
- Last minute panic doesn’t always assure the right fit.
- Many athletes settle for a college because they need both athletic and academic scholarships to afford colleges. As a result, a student -athlete signs with a college without doing adequate research on the available positions he/she can compete for or looking into the quality of academic programs offered. (Athletes- never compromise and sign with a college that doesn’t have the major you want to study! Always seek academics first and athletics second!)
- Last minute panic doesn’t always get you adequate scholarship money.
- Be aware colleges will take advantages of desperate athletes. There’s only so many scholarships and only so much scholarship money to go around, so schools will do what they to get the best deal possible.
- Last minute panic may result in not getting a scholarship.
- Athletes know that every play ends, every game times out, and every season concludes. The same is true with every recruiting period. Time will eventually run out.
Poise, not panic
We all know that its nearly impossible to avoid the unexpected, it is possible however to avoid panic. In fact, the opposite of panic is poise. Athletes that have poise are able to perform under pressure and adversity.
So, how can you avoid the last minute panic? Simple. Be prepared, work with a team, and hope for a little luck. Follow these simple tips and you’ll be poised for success.
- Be prepared for recruiting by designing a game plan.
- Like all good coaches, develop a winning strategy before the game begins and make adjustments accordingly.
- Teamwork is necessary for recruiting.
- Games are not won by individuals; teamwork in games! This team may include parents, coaches, school administrators, counselors and recruiting coaches. Please, don’t fool yourself by thinking that you can get a scholarship all by yourself. Every one of your recruiting teammates will have a crucial role in helping you get to the next level.
- Luck is defined as success or failure brought on by chance rather than one’s actions.
- Like unexpected events, luck sometimes luck brings you unexpected opportunities. From time to time athletes need a little luck.
A Great Plan Makes for a Great Celebration
To wrap up, look at recruiting like this. Ohio State didn’t win the championship because they had a great player. No, they won because they had a great plan, great team of players and a little luck to help them along the way.
Finally, the recruiting process is supposed to be an enjoyable experience. It isn’t supposed to be stress-filled panic. And most definitely the final months of recruiting shouldn’t be a scramble, but a celebration.
Coach Mike Woosley is a National Scouting Director at CSA-PrepStar. As a professional collegiate sports scout Mike works with qualified next level student-athletes to find the right college athletic and academic fit.