By Kalias Mernon - Cincinnati Country Day School - NextGenVest Global Ambassador - Cincinnati, Ohio
Want to be a student athlete in college? Stick to this five tips and the recruitment process will go a lot more smoothly.The college admissions process is complicated already, but add trying to get recruited to a college team and the whole thing can seem stressful and messy. If you're dream is to be a student athlete in school, learn from my own experience. Here are five tips that I discovered during my own recruitment that greatly helped.
Start the process early.
The recruitment process should start at least a year before the student’s graduation date. So for instance, if you are graduating June of 2015, it is ideal to start the process as early as late May or early June of 2015. The process of establishing relationships with college coaches is time-consuming and requires patience, so allowing more time can help reduce stress.
Keep an open mind.
There are no clear-cut rules when it comes to contacting college coaches. There are some who prefer email. There are some others who only use the telephone. I ran into a few who refused to reply emails or pick up the phone. However, when they saw me at sporting events, they treated me like an old friend. The key is to keep an open mind and to embrace each coach’s preferred style of communication without reading too much into it.
Seek advice from experts.
It is important to accept guidance from those who are experienced in the field. This could be a college counselor, a scout or a knowledgeable friend. No matter how sure you are about where you want to go, it is easy to be misled and to make crazy choices that can lead you in the wrong direction. I started my recruitment process focused on the idea of moving to California. However I began to find this process complex and disheartening because California schools are very selective. I am thankful that my counselor at school warned me about the challenges involved in getting recruited to a school in California early enough so I could avoid a lot of frustration and heartache.
The process of recruitment is filled with uncertainty. There are no guarantees anywhere along the way. There may be weeks on end when you will wait for a reply from a coach and hear nothing. You are constantly tempted to throw in the towel. The key is to continue communicating with the coach giving him/her regular updates on your progress both in academics and athletics, reaffirming your interest and commitment to being a part of their team.
Be courteous always.
Recruitment is an emotional rollercoaster. A letter of encouragement from a coach can make you exultant, while the lack thereof from another might leave you frustrated and demoralized. It is important to maintain your composure and be polite at all times. This means replying promptly to emails, and being friendly and concise when answering questions. It includes sending thank you notes after interviews and visits and refraining from passing judgment at any time during the process.