Getting a Leg Up on Your Student’s College Sports Recruitment: Part 2 – “Getting Noticed”

Dear College Made Simple reader,

In an earlier installment I offered up some basic but critical facts about college athletics and recruiting.

In today’s piece, I’ll give you some quick tips you should know before entering into what can be a confusing and stressful process… including how to “get noticed”… and how to get a handle on the business of college athletics.

– Scott

Getting a Leg Up on Your Student’s College Sports Recruitment: Part 2 – “Getting Noticed”

  • Even the most talented athlete can see their career derailed by bad grades. Don’t allow your student to assume that just because they’re a superstar and have list of schools a mile long recruiting them that they can coast by with terrible grades and still make it onto the field. The NCAA is more stringent than ever on teams maintaining their academic requirements. Coaches simply won’t waste a roster spot on an athlete who’ll never see the field because of failing grades. Hitting the gym AND the books need to hold equal weight if your student wants to play.
  • Don’t wait for schools to contact you. There are roughly 570,000 high schoolers playing football and men’s/women’s basketball alone. Out of just that pool, only around 25,000 spots are available for college freshmen. So imagine how many fewer spots are available for even smaller sports! Don’t expect coaches to just magically find your student in this mass of athletes. Put together a sports “resume” of newspaper clippings and articles, stats and video that you can use to market your student to different schools. No athlete is above making the first contact with a school. It may make all the difference in getting your student noticed.
  • Recruiting services can help in getting your student noticed. But these services can be pricey – and can quickly become a money pit… and are often only worth it for getting your student maximum exposure to top schools in crowded revenue sports like football and basketball. You may be better served saving your money and handling the marketing efforts yourself unless you’re really going for the big time.

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  • Start early! If you’re serious about trying to get your student an athletic scholarship the prep should begin in their sophomore year. Put together the resume, begin to contact schools and develop a dialogue with coaches. Also, if the schools you’re looking at require SAT/ACT scores, have your student take the test in their junior year. Many coaches will offer scholarships in the fall of senior year. If your student is already squared away with passing grades and test scores it’ll make it that much easier for the coach to decide on whether or not to offer them a spot and in some cases give them a deciding edge.
  • Don’t assume just because your student isn’t a superstar in a spotlight sport like football or basketball that there isn’t an opportunity for an athletic scholarship for them. There are a whole host of grants available at schools for sports as diverse as track, tennis, rowing, gymnastics, swimming, volleyball, field or ice hockey, wrestling and more. And your student doesn’t even need to be the best on their team to warrant consideration. But in order to find those schools who are willing to offer grants to athletes like yours it’s vital to research and plan ahead. These schools will almost certainly not be coming to you. If you want them, you’ll have to locate them yourself.
  • Make sure that the school you choose for your student athlete is a fit for them in all regards… not just athletics. For 99% of these students, their sports career will end at graduation and it’ll be their academics, not their batting average or win/loss record that carries them into the real world. Consider all aspects of each school – athletic, social and most importantly academic. The best fit will fulfill each factor with flying colors.

College sports recruiting gets a bad rap in the media these days for being dirty and underhanded. But the vast majority of schools are above board and will hold your student to just as high of standards as any academic endeavor. Coaches want athletes who will excel in the classroom just as much as they do on the field.

Take the process seriously and you’ll find that the opportunity for additional financial help is most certainly there. Game on!

Kind regards,

Scott Weingold

Co-Founder, College Planning Network LLC

Publisher, CollegeMadeSimple.com – The free educational resource of College Planning Network

Here’s part 1 of our story on the student athlete and college sports recruiting.

 

Related Articles:

The College Video Essay

The Top 10 Myths about College Athletic Scholarships

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Editor's Note: Scott Weingold has been ranked the #1 “College Financial Aid Expert Worth Knowing About” in the entire country by CollegeStats.org.  He has co-authored the book, “The Real Secret To Paying For College. The Insider’s Guide To Sending Your Child To College – Without Spending Your Life’s Savings.” Scott also publishes a popular free online newsletter, “College Funding Made Simple" which reveals insider’s tips, methods, and strategies for beating the high cost of college.

Scott is the co-founder and a principal of the widely renown College Planning Network, LLC – the nation’s largest and most reputable college admissions and financial aid planning firm. CPN is a proud member of the Better Business Bureau, the National Association of College Funding Advisors, the National Association for College Admission Counseling, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

Scott, along with his college funding advisory team, helps thousands of families throughout the country with their college planning needs and offers a series of free educational webinars and workshops on “How To Pay For College Without Going Broke In The Process!” He's been featured or mentioned in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Yahoo News, TheStreet.com, Voice America with Ron Adams, Crains Cleveland Business, and on Cleveland Connection with James McIntyre.  Scott has published numerous articles and is a professional speaker who has addressed thousands of audiences online and offline throughout the United States.  His actionable insights and candid, open approach have earned him & his team numerous media interviews, citations, and speaking opportunities, and his free online video workshop is one of the Internet’s most widely viewed pieces in the college funding space.