Before you begin to take a look at creating a plan for your recruiting journey, it helps to take a step back and really appreciate what you have accomplished so far and how you are setting yourself up to accomplish even more in college. You must also understand that every recruiting journey is a personal journey. This journey is not a “one-size-fits-all” trip. It is very personal, and it takes an extensive effort on your part to reach the final destination. However, with the proper guidance and the right amount of work, the outcome is unimaginably fun, challenging, exciting, and worth every minute you spend preparing.
The earlier you begin your recruiting process in high school and the later you decide where to go, the better chance you have of choosing a college that fits your individual needs (and graduating from your first choice).
So, no matter what year you are in high school, it’s time to get to work. You may be just starting the process, or you may be well into the process. You may not know how to begin, or you might be stuck on one aspect of the process. Maybe you’re struggling with what level of college you should play or how best to communicate with college coaches.
Find My Team can help you no matter where you are in the process or what you are dealing with at the current moment.
But, let’s begin with the basics.
Below are some basic steps to jump-start your recruiting plan and/or to check on your progress.
Get to know yourself as well as you can. Sure, everyone thinks they know themselves, but challenge yourself to go deeper. Most of you do not know enough about yourself to answer the tough recruiting questions. Find out everything you can about your likes, dislikes, and who you are.
One way to do this is to take the Find My Team PCM6+ Assessment and, if you can, go over the results with a coach.
Find creative ways to get to know yourself. It makes a big difference down the road when you have to make important decisions about what you want in a college experience.
Your recruiting process will look different than any other athlete’s recruiting process. Every person has different interests, values, needs, and dreams. It is crucially important to keep your vision in front of you as opposed to someone else’s.
This is the most important piece of advice you can get from anyone that knows how the process works.
Some student-athletes are better at making pressure decisions, and others need more time. Some want more people involved, and others want fewer. Some want to get the recruiting process over earlier, and others want to take more time.
None of these routes is better or worse than another, but the route you take should be your own: the journey you own from the beginning.
Many people think the recruiting process begins with exposure. This is an important component of the recruiting process, no doubt, but it should not be what drives the process.
If exposure is driving your recruiting journey, I advise you to rethink the path you are on, because if exposure is driving your process, you are waiting for the exposure to do the work. The more time you wait, the more time you waste. Your recruiting process should be in full force before, during, and after the exposure takes place.
Exposure is meant to help you get in front of college coaches, give you an opportunity to continue to play outside the high school season against good competition and to help you determine level of play. All of these are very important pieces to your recruiting puzzle.
You must learn all you can about how to communicate with college coaches, college administrators and support people, your parents, high school advisors, and coaches.
You must learn how to carry your own conversations and have your own voice. It is critical to you finding the right fit.
You must also be a good listener throughout your process. Listening intently will help you formulate questions and bring you the answers you need to continue your path forward.
This is one of the most important factors in the recruiting process, but it is also one of the most rushed and least completed. Think about it: You wouldn’t buy a new car just by looking at the paint color or the shape of the shiny hubcaps. No, you would check under that hood and drive it around to see if it fits what you are looking for.
The same is true for finding colleges. Many have curb appeal. Many have bells, whistles, trophies, and All-Americans. That does not mean it is the right fit for you. There are so many other important factors to look into.
From the self-awareness stage to the research stage, you are learning what those important factors are for you.
If you want to do a good job with your recruiting process, you should begin early and work at it like you work on your academics (or should be working on your academics) and athletic ability.
Trust me when I say, it will make all the difference. Don’t skimp on your process, and don’t let someone else have control over it. It is yours, and, therefore, it is your responsibility.
Learn how comparing to others during the recruiting process can hurt you and what to do instead.
Are you late to the recruiting process? There is still time, but you have to act fast.