Oftentimes, the recruiting process can be incredibly daunting. It may seem like everyone else is being actively contacted by college coaches, however, it is just as important for the player to be proactive in reaching out to coaches first. Think about how many players there are in the country for coaches to see; a lot of times it is an outreach on the player’s end that sparks interest.

Here are 13 tips to consider (in order) during the process:

  1. Develop a realistic view of what level you want to play at and what level you are capable of. Use help from your coaches, parents, or self-assessment.
  2. Research schools. Do your homework to know what kind of schools are out there and don’t be too narrowly focused at first.
  3. Ask club or high school coaches within their network for advice or connections to certain schools.
  4. Keep your grades up in school. Although not directly related to your play on the court or field, good grades speak to your ability to handle many things at once. There can also be academic scholarship opportunities or qualifications required for admission.
  5. Clean up your social media. Coaches undoubtedly look up your social media accounts. Rule of thumb, don’t have anything you wouldn’t want your grandparents to see!
  6. Go to camps or clinics hosted at a particular school you might be interested in. Essentially these serve as a tryout.
  7. Write emails/ make phone calls. A coach’s contact information is generally on the athletic department’s website. Tell them about your interest in their team and inquire about more information and what events they’ll be recruiting at. Do you research and know basic information about their school but it’s okay to brag about yourself here!
  8. Create a highlight video/athletic resume of stats or times. Depending on your sport this will be key to showcase your ability when a coach sees it.
  9. Put together a season or tournament schedule you will be competing in. (Include field numbers, event times, etc. to make it as easy as possible for them!)
  10. Schedule visits for schools when you are in an area to get a feel for each campus, even ones you don’t like or don’t think you’ll like. Contact the coach and see if he/she is available to meet. Taking a general tour can be a great way to see the school as a whole.
  11. Keep in touch. Follow up with coaches and keep regular contact. Always say thank you after they make time to watch you compete.
  12. Be conscience at games or tournaments where college scouts are present. Your actions, reactions, attitude, and language are ALL being evaluated in the recruiting process.
  13. BE YOURSELF! Personality shows in all circumstances on the field show you can be a positive influence on your teammates as well.

Remember that choosing a school is a two-way relationship that requires finding the right fit for you, the school, and the team or program.