Here’s another great guest blog post from our friends over at NCSA Athletic Recruiting!
When we talk about finding the college that’s the right fit for you, we often discuss three important areas: the academic fit, the athletic fit, and the social fit. Conversely, we need to remember that coaches are also looking at whether you are an ideal recruit for their program. This is because at the same time that coaches are looking for student-athletes who will be the right fit — those who will say yes to an offer to join their roster — they’re also looking for recruits who say no, whether it’s explicitly, in an email or a phone call, or implicitly.
Here are some ways to be an ideal recruit, one who doesn’t unintentionally signal no to a coach.
An ideal recruit is honest about the right fit.
That “right fit” question is a two-way street. Are you the right kind of player for the program? Are you the right size for your position? Do you race at the speeds that the team requires?
At the same time, is the college/university right for you? Are you going to benefit from the school’s academics? Is the campus social scene a place where you can see yourself fitting in? Furthermore, if you’re from Wisconsin and you know that you don’t want to have to fly back and forth from home to college, talking to coaches on one of the coasts probably won’t serve you well in terms “best fit”, no matter how great a program the coach offers.
An ideal recruit is respectful in his/her communication with college coaches.
Depending on where you are in the recruiting process, you might be receiving questionnaires, form letters, e-mails, or even phone calls from coaches. Often there are strict rules that govern when a college coach is able to communicate with student-athletes.
The important thing for you to know is that no matter how far along you are in the recruiting process, being respectful to college coaches, and replying in a timely fashion to any type of communication you receive, is paramount.
Again, some coaches are searching for the “no”. Many student-athletes are intimidated by the prospect of saying no to a college coach, which makes a lot of sense given that a coach is someone who student-athletes, in general, deeply respect and want to impress. You should remember, however, that if a college coach has to hunt you down because you’re not being respectful in your communication or being proactive in reaching out to him/her, then your chances of being recruited by that coach are slim. In all likelihood, there are more ideal recruits who are signalling a deeper interest in that program than you are!
So, if you want to keep a door open (and we recommend that you never burn bridges with any college coaches!) then communicate clearly with coaches and behave in a manner that is respectful.
An ideal recruit is courageous and is a leader.
Coach Sue Enquist tells us that the number one trait coaches want to see in their athletes is courage: the courage to get to practice early, to work harder than your teammates while you’re there, and to stay late when you need to.
The courageous student-athlete is one who knows what the right thing to do is for him/herself, but is also able to convince/show peers what the right thing to do is:
“If you want to separate yourself in the recruiting process, start right now practicing your courage. It’s not easy. It’s so much easier in high school to go with the flow, fit right in. Just take little baby steps to work on your courage. Step out, step up, and be the one that others will follow.”
Be honest, be respectful, be courageous — and you’ll be more like the ideal recruit than ever before.
We’d love to chat with you about what kind of schools will think you’re the ideal recruit for their rosters. The best way to get started is with a recruiting profile!