Collegiate sports recruiting has changed significantly over the years. Things are done differently than they used to be…don’t believe me? If you have a parent who was lucky enough to play college sports, ask them how they got recruited. I’m certain that every one of them will admit that the way they were recruited then was much different than how recruiting is done now.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of out- dated ideas about recruiting. They may have worked 20 or more years ago, but they are not as effective today. Here are 10 of the most common recruiting myths and mistakes. Consequently, placing all your hope in these myths and making mistakes can be the difference between earning a scholarship and paying for your scholar-ship.
1. I am being recruited because I am receiving letters from colleges
Hate to break it to you but thousands of other kids are getting the same exact letter as you are. You are in their database which is cool, but that does not qualify as being recruited. When you get a real recruiting letter (not just an invite to their camp) you will know the difference.
2. I am the best player on my team so coaches will find me
As recruiting budgets continually get cut, college coaches have fewer staff and financial resources to find you, even more so if you are a little off of the beaten path. You need a way to stand out among the hundreds of thousands of best players!
3. I have got until my senior year to get the recruiting process started
False! Recruiting needs to start early! Colleges can start making offers day 1 of your Freshman year.
Wake up, look around! How many kids on your team the past three seasons that did not start the recruiting process early in their Freshman, Sophomoric, or early in their Junior year are now playing at the next level?
4. If I am not a top player, I can not get recruited
Not true. Lots of great players are affected by parent politics and pressure put on coaches to play upperclassman.
The key to getting recruited is setting realistic expectations on what level you can actually compete at athletically and academically then getting and staying on the staff radar by consistently providing them relevant information like highlights, grades, test scores and stats so they can keep evaluating your progress.
5. My coach has a bunch of connections so I am all set
That is great. You should leverage every opportunity you can to get additional exposure. That said, it would not be wise to put all of your eggs in this basket, or any basket for that matter. Ultimately, coaches are charged by schools and organizations to win ballgames and keep the program running smoothly. Truth is, your recruiting future is not necessarily one of their top priorities.
6. I am an awesome player so my bad grades are no big deal
Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! The first thing any college coach at any level looks at is your grades to see if you qualify academically before they invest time any amount of time evaluating your athletic ability. You would never invest in a car that couldn’t get you from point A to point B. It would only be a waste of money! Simply put, schools want to invest in students who will finish their degrees, not finish games.
7. I do not need a highlight video, my stats are enough
After coaches look at your grades and test scores to see if you qualify academically, your highlight video is the single most important thing a coach needs to see in order to evaluate whether or not you are a potential fit for their program – and the highlight film needs to be short and sweet and create instant WOWs – or they are off to the next kid.
8. Coaches look at the highlight CDs my dad mails out
Back in the pre-Internet days this was absolutely true because there was no other way, besides going to a game, to get a look at an athlete. Sorry dad but time and convenience are the niche now. The Internet has changed the recruiting playing field forever and technology has made it so simple (a click of a mouse) to evaluate 10 times the number of kids in the same amount of time it took to view one.
9. I am doing combines, camps and showcases which is getting me plenty of exposure
This is in fact true if you are placing in the 95th percentile. You will absolutely get additional exposure which will help you get on the radar of more schools. These special opportunities also cost lots of cash $.
That said, the truth is that the majority of student athletes competing at these types of events gain little to no benefit in the recruiting process, in fact, if you do poorly, your times and performance are non-erasable from the Internet.
10. My team plays in a tough division so scouts will discover me
This does not exactly sound like a recruiting plan. Yes, you may in fact get lucky, but the law of averages is not on your side. Too many athletes from top teams in their STATE fall under the radar so why would you wait and hope to happen to be the lucky one who gets discovered and lands the scholarship?
If you’re serious about playing the sport you love in college you will need a recruiting strategy with a number of ways to maximize exposure and get you noticed by colleges. I can help you put together that strategy! Contact me to get started!
Finally, let’s help one another out by keeping the conversation going. Use the comments section to share other recruiting myths or mistakes.