Many students are getting ready to begin the athletic recruitment process. Whether or not you’re a sports fan, you’ve probably seen at least one hit film where a talented young athlete is recruited by their dream school after they score the final point or goal at their last high school game. Everyone cheers, the recruiter approaches the athlete and offers them a full ride scholarship, a dance number starts, then the final shot fades to black. Unfortunately, as we all know and hate to admit, real life is a far cry from the movies. But fear not, hard work and perseverance can give you the leg up you need to help you get recruited. As with all things in higher academia, you’ll not only be competing against your peers but also yourself.
The daily practices on top of academic assignments and not to mention the games, are exhausting and time consuming, but it doesn’t end there. Being recruited is more than playing your best and hoping to catch the eye of an athletic recruiter. In this post, we cover several important tips to help you get noticed by top school athletic recruiters. We also have a consultant on our team who is an NCAA Athletic Recruitment specialist. If you are interested in guidance on the athletic recruitment process, please reach out to us! We also have a list of every college coach for just about every sport at every school. These resources are essential in the recruitment process.
Take charge of your future and make it easier to get recruited by following these following important tips:
- Lay the Foundation
- Create an NCAA Eligibility Center Account
- Make Your List and Check it Twice
Lay the Foundation for Your Success
When you think about it, every action is started by an idea. As with all sports, you need a plan to reach your goal. Getting recruited is no different. It’s possible that when you started your grade school athletic career, catching the eye of a top school was not yet on the forefront of your mind. However, recently you may have decided that you want to continue your sport of choice into your college career. What a wonderful and exciting decision! This first step will open up a series of opinions for your next steps.
First, you’ll need to ask yourself how you want to pursue a career as a collegiate athlete. Of course, should you decide to enjoy your sport outside of collegiate divisions, there are always options for non-division teams or teams not associated with your school. However, if you want to play in a division league, you’ll need to jump through a few more hoops to get there.
While you start the process, we urge you to keep up with your academic responsibilities. We know, you’re looking for an athletic scholarship not an academic scholarship. However, these scholarships are not one sided and schools will want to see a student who is as driven academically as they are athletically. This is challenging as, like we mentioned earlier, you’ve been working hard at daily practices and doing your best at each game. But trust us, your perseverance will pay off!
Create an NCAA Eligibility Center Account
In order to engage in the athletic recruitment process at all, you need to create an NCAA Eligibility Center account. There are two types of accounts you can make…
From the NCAA Eligibility Center:
“Certification Account: You need to be certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center to compete at an NCAA Division I or II school. You also need to be registered with a Certification Account before you can make official visits or sign a National Letter of Intent in Division I or II.
Profile Page: If you plan to compete at a Division III school or are currently unsure in which division you want to compete, create a Profile Page. If at any time you wish to pursue a Division I or II path, you will be able to transition to a Certification Account.”
To build a successful account, be ready with the following things:
- A valid student email
- Basic student personal information
- Basic student education history
- Student sports participation history
Make your List and Check it Twice
Not just a catchy saying associated with one famously jolly man clad in red, this is something you should be repeating to yourself as you take the next step in your college journey. As with college applications, you should be making a list of your top schools. With each school you add to your list, you should be researching not only their academics but their extracurriculars as well. Where does your school of choice stack up against its competitors? Do they have a strong engineering/business/art program that will set you up for post graduate success? What athletic division is their team competing in?
Beyond looking at academic programs, you’ll want to assess what division league you’d like to play in. There are 3 divisions, with Division I being the most competitive and Division III being the least competitive. Beyond being competitive, these divisions will have different department budgets. A Division III school may not be able to offer a full athletic scholarship, but they may instead have grants or other financial aid available. As you’ve most likely guessed, Division II schools will fall somewhere in the middle of Division I and II in regards to competition and financial aid budgets. Are you willing to be less competitive for your dream academic program? Do you need a full scholarship or will a grant be enough? Write down these questions as they come to mind and assess how the answers affect your future.
This is a tough step for many students, the factors to consider in this step are significant and it can be overwhelming. This is a great time to give Opus College Prep a call as our skilled professionals are adept at guiding students as they decide which schools to add to their list. Allow us to not only help you narrow your list, but maybe grow it as our professionals suggest possible universities and programs you didn’t previously know may be a good fit for you.
Please Reach Out!
Opus College Prep has consultants who specialize in athletic recruitment and we are ready to support you in the process. Give us a call, send in a request for information, or shoot us an email and allow us to help you as you take the next step in your educational career.