I have received several questions about the recruiting process. Here are some of those questions and some quick answers.
The recruiting process is a very individualized process. It is difficult to put a timeframe on it because one recruit may begin when she is a freshman in high school and another may begin when she is a senior in high school.
One person may commit as a sophomore and another commit when she is a senior in high school.
In short, and backed by research, the sooner you begin in your high school career, the better chance you will find the right college fit for you and graduate from that college.
If you are committed to finding the right fit, then expect it to last as long as you need. You will ultimately decide.
In short, no, it is never too late.
I have seen recruits sign with colleges after their senior year ended, so it is hard to say what is too late. There are so many situations and circumstances that come into play.
A player leaves the team in the spring and coaches are scrambling to find replacements.
A new coach takes over a program and wants to recruit late in the summer for the next year.
An injury causes a coach to have to fill a position late in the game.
However, if you have not heard from a college coach and you are beginning your senior year in high school, you have to work very hard to get your name, and your game, out there.
Talk to your high school and/or travel coaches and come up with a plan of action on how to get a hold of college coaches to let them know you are interested.
College may sound scary and really far away if you are only a freshman, but it’s a great time to start thinking about the recruiting process. It doesn’t mean you have to commit tomorrow. It just means that you are aware that college sports could be in your future.
Here are some things you can do now:
It doesn’t have to be a scary thing. Enjoy learning and just keep working hard.
Take it one day at a time. Enjoy the sport or sports you play and continue to have fun.
Serve your teammates and stay humble. Keep working hard and control what you can control. There will be a lot that you can’t control; don’t worry about those things, including what other people think. It’s also important to have a release outside of your sport.
Get away from it once in a while and do something different.
It is up to you, but I would encourage you to include them in the process. Let them know what you are thinking.
The more serious you are about the process, the more you may want to talk to them about it. Their opinions are valid.
If and when it feels like it’s too much, then it probably is. Be honest with your parents, but also be grateful that they are interested in communicating with you about it.
Do your research. Get things confirmed through other people and ask questions at different times and in different ways.
Have your coaches and parents ask the same questions, at different times, to the coaches and others at the college. Find out if they are getting the same answers.
The more you ask and research, the more armed you will be when dealing with the recruiting process. This can’t be stressed enough. Honesty in the recruiting process is important.
Take a step back if you are overwhelmed. First of all, it is an honor to be recruited. Take breaks from it and then come back with a fresh mindset. You set your own timeline.
Find a trusted person in your circle to bounce things off of and to talk to when recruiting becomes too much.
Figure out what is causing you to be overwhelmed and break it down into smaller steps.
Remember, it is your process and should be done in your time frame. Take it one day at a time.
Do your research and find your answers. Take your time with it.
Rules are different for different levels of play. Take time to learn the basic rules for the levels you are interested in playing.
All the NCAA divisions (DI, DII, DIII) have different rules. And the NAIA and Junior College have different rules than the NCAA.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the rules. You can ask your high school and travel coaches. You can ask college coaches, too, even if you don’t plan on going to that college.
One size does not fit all in the recruiting process, but here are some basics.
Learn how comparing to others during the recruiting process can hurt you and what to do instead.