Parents and Athletes

Steps to getting recruited for a scholarship

Know what you’re looking for.

Keeping in mind your athletic ability, grades, ACT, and particular schools you may be interested in.

Start with a broad range of schools that you may be interested in. You should research your schools keeping in mind what kind of degree you will be majoring in.

Start with a bigger list of universities in the beginning and narrow it down as more research and college coaching staff communication is established.

Communicating with college coaches

This is the most important part of obtaining a scholarship.

Be proactive when contacting college coaches, don’t wait for them to contact you. You never know how the recruiting process will go so keep your options open.

It is imperative to your scholarship recruiting efforts that you open the line of communication to all coaches regardless if they are not on your list of interested schools or not. Every coach that approaches you whether they want to make an offer, or just take a glimpse, you must show them respect by making sure any information they need gets to them ASAP. Coaches talk to each other, so don’t burn your bridges before you cross them.

If you like a school, make sure you show your level of interest by asking questions and taking notes for further conversations.

Always be prepared for a call or visit from a coach because first impressions are everything and in almost every case you wont get a second chance.

Remember establishing lines of communication is an extremely important step as are follow up conversations with college coaches.

Camps, combines, and showcases

Camps, combines, and showcases are good ways to get noticed, but they are not requirements to receive a scholarship.

The misconception with college camps and showcases is that most athletes attending them think that they will get national exposure from these events. Truly, the number of coaches and scouts at such events is miniscule at best. Also when they are in attendance they are usually there because of prior contact with an athlete and are simply there to see those athletes.

Combines are usually the best way to compare and rate yourself against other top athletes. Although, if you thought the miniscule amount of coaches at camps was unbelievable then you will be extremely surprised when you find out how few are at most combines.

Learn the academic requirements and regulations to be eligible to play in the NCAA or NAIA

This is an important part of the recruiting process and if it is overlooked it will be impossible to receive a scholarship period.

Register with the NCAA and NAIA Eligibility Centers to be cleared for athletic scholarships.

There are certain minimum requirements for test scores, core classes, and grades that must be met or exceeded to become eligible.

Research and read the NCAA and NAIA Guide for the College Bound Student-Athlete. Then create a plan to reach that goal and follow it.

Also read up on how and when coaches can contact you, and how you can contact them. They sound synonymous, but in fact are completely different.

Leveraging college coaches against coaches

If you have received multiple scholarship offers and none of them are quite what you are looking for then it might be possible to leverage coach against coach.

This was made apparent in the movie Blind Side portraying Michael Orr's football recruiting and scholarship journey. Depending on how bad a coach wants you it may be possible to squeeze out a few extra dollars towards a scholarship if you play your cards right. Telling Coach A that Coach B has offered X-amount of dollars and that you’re leaning towards Coach B because he offered more money sometimes will make Coach A put more money on the table for you. (Be careful because if a coach gets upset he may drop you completely)

Don’t get discouraged, as a recruit.

If you have tried to contact a coach and have failed to setup that valued line of communication don’t give up.

College coaches are juggling many athletes at once and it can be a daunting task for them. Trying to get the best fit for their program can take lots of time and effort.

It may not be immediate but they will eventually get to you. Keep following up with them be persistent.