Almost 7 million young men and women participate in high school athletics in the U.S. each year. Many of these student-athletes are trying to compete at the next level but in reality only about 5% of them will end up doing so. The most talented athletes will get recruited by simply performing on the field/court at a high level and the recruiters will actually come to them. These select few athletes usually receive full-ride scholarships to play at Division 1 athletic programs. For the rest of the athletes, it’s very difficult to play at the next level and these student-athletes need to put in the extra work to play in the college ranks.
This blog entry aims to help all the student-athletes trying to play at the next level who will not receive Division 1 scholarships. I have outlined, in my opinion, the top 5 ways to get recruited or to at least play at the next level while earning your college degree.
You have to market yourself and you need help from anyone that is willing to help. It varies depending on what state your school is in, how big your school is and what sport you are playing but here are a few great ways to play at the next level.
- The best way to get recruited is to market yourself. The best way to market yourself as an athlete is to showcase your body of work. This includes submitting your stats, highlight videos , GPA etc. to as many college coaches as possible. Start with the lowest hanging fruit. Ask your coaches to reach out to any connections he/she may have that are a good fit for your body of work. Send out emails and hand written letters to the coaches of your top five schools telling them basic information about you and your intentions to play for them. Here is a good example of a showcased profile http://www.winitoathletics.com/ClubPlayerData.aspx?userId=54326&clubId=48799
- Utilize one of the many recruiting consulting companies to open your eyes to the schools that you never would have found otherwise. There are several companies out there that have done extensive research on collegiate athletic programs and can help you find the school of your dreams. These companies will help you draft your intro letters to send to the coaches, build an online player profile with your stats and highlight videos etc. Check out Turn 2 Sports Consulting (www.turn2sportsconsulting.com) they educate future college athletes and have helped players such as Miles Austin (Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver) throughout his high school/college career. T2SC does a really great job educating players and their parents about what to expect in the recruiting process and they will find any aspiring athlete a place to play at the next level regardless of their skillset or GPA.
- There are several companies that provide online platforms for high schools, individual teams and individual players. Winito Athletics, we (www.winitoathletics.com) provides an online platform for institutions, teams and athletes to help showcase talent and keep everyone in the loop. It is the best way to showcase athletic talent for over 40 sports and can be utilized as a great recruiting tool for high school athletes. It lets coaches track stats and game scores for each player on their team and even creates automated leaderboards for sport specific statistics. It is unique because each player actually owns their own profile and they can send their link to hundreds of college coaches to maximize their reach. Winito Athletics is not limited to statistics either, coaches and players can add videos and news articles so that college coaches can see an athletes body of work from one link. Winito Athletics is free for the athletes so if your school is not using Winito Athletics to power their athletic website make sure your AD looks into it. Check out Granada Hills Charter High School (Granada Hills, CA) powered by Winito Athletics www.ghchsathletics.com
- There are a lot of informational websites and blogs that are very informative for athletes and their families when it comes to the recruiting process. Check out one of my favorite websites for information regarding college recruiting. www.recruit-me.com is an athletic scholarship system that helps athletes and their families with a step by step process on how to get recruited and optain an athletic scholarship. This website gives you the tools to run your own recruiting campaign. If you are an excellent athlete, have decent enough grades to be submitted and you follow the action plan that they lay out for you, you will have a great chance to turn your dreams into a reality. Make sure you check out their blog for useful dates, links and tid-bits of information. www.recruit-me.com/blog
- Another great way to get recruited or to play at the next level is to get some sort player profile online in an online database. In this new age of social media and technology it is crucial to get some sort of athletic resume (player profile) online. Having your profile in an online database will help you get in touch with a lot more coaches and gives coaches the ability to reach out to you. There are several services online that can help any student-athlete build a profile . Depending on what sport you are trying to play there are several niche websites to cater to your needs. I was a member of baseball factory (www.baseballfactory.com). Baseball Factory conducts a pro-style camp for baseball players and video tapes each athlete as they throw, hit, field etc. They also have scouts at the camps that write reviews and assesments about the athletes and where they stand i.e. Division 1, 2 NAIA etc. I actually ended up getting a partial scholarship to play baseball because a coach found my video and assessment on baseball factory and reached out to me via email.
Baseball factory worked for me but there are many more out there. Check out a few of these websites and see if they might interest you.
Whether you are a D1 player or have no idea where you stand, if you want to play ball at the next level there is a place for you. Get educated about what it takes to get recruited and play in the college ranks.
Please post your comments and add any websites that can help athletes get recruited.