Advice to High School Recruits

One of the agonizing decisions a high school student has to make is determining what college or university to attend after graduation. The prized high school superstar can have another element that increase the stress and that is having college coaches try to persuade him/her to attend a select academic institution for the purpose of playing an intercollegiate sport. After conversing with several former college athletes and coaches in baseball, basketball, and lacrosse there are certain recommendations to the recruited high school athlete.

How are Players Evaluated?

Recruits need to understand how a college coach evaluates talent. When it comes to the selected players the respected college coach has significant knowledge in the individual sport. To place it in perspective most if not all college coaches have more experience in the selected sport than the high school athlete has been alive. That allows coaches to correctly determine the skills and abilities of the prospect. Good coaches do not use solely use performances in games to determine if they should pursue coveted talents. College coaches will try to find out the personality of the teenager mainly how does he/she respond to adversity. A common questions asked about a potential player is how does he/she respond when the coach yells at the player. Will the player pout, quite, yell back, or hang their head is valuable information for coaches during the recruiting process.

Academic progress in high school is a factor that influences college recruiting. The primary function of universities is they are academic institutions and there are academic responsibilities for student athletes. The NCAA establishes a minimal goal for incoming student athletes but many universities have an even higher requirement of high school GPAs and SAT scores than the NCAA. Potential high school athletes will have to demonstrate potential in the classroom and playing arena to be wanted by college programs.

The character of the high school superstar which entails how he/she acts in the game and off the field of play is also investigated. Players with a reputation of fighting with teammates, coaches, or opposing fans are not a hot commodity at the college level. Also students that post inappropriate or offensive comments on social media are also not desired by coaching staffs. Remember if a student from another school knows what you are saying on the internet so do the college coaches that are recruiting you,

What Should Influence a Recruits Decision?

When it comes to selecting a college many people will try to advise athletes but there was one resounding answer on who should the athletes rely on when making this choice. Family should be the primary advisers when a high school athlete selects a college. This parameter can change if there is a coach either high school or travel to provide input or advice on the college choice. The important factor is that the individual providing his/her input has nothing to gain from your college choice and wants what is best for the athlete.

There are many factors that influence the decision rendered by the superior high school athlete when choosing where to matriculate. The best advice is for each individual teenager is to have their own list of priorities in what they want from a university. For example if an incoming freshman values playing time he/she should select a program that will have an opening in the position he/she plays or go below their highest offer. Going below their highest offer means if you received a smorgasbord of offers from division 1 or 2 schools you should select a division 2 school because there is an increased chance of playing time.

If finances are a concern adolescents should know how much of an athletic scholarship the student could receive from the academic institution. The two major factors that influence financial support is the division of the school and the individual sport. Division 3 universities are not allowed to offer any athletic scholarships. Division 2 universities give partial scholarships to student athletes. Division 1 universities are allowed to give out athletic scholarships but that varies with the sport. For example basketball and football do give out full scholarships but other sports such as baseball only provide limited scholarships.

What Happens When on Campus?

The final piece to the puzzle is what happens when the recruit arrives on campus and the challenges that novice student athletes face freshman year. There are three major challenges the freshman athlete will endure and the first one is intensity. When it comes to team practices or individual workouts all the athletes on your team are just as talented if not more so than you. The goal of practice is to make every player better and the college athlete will be pushed to their own limits and sometimes beyond their limits by coaching staffs.

Second is time management because every college coach meticulously plans study halls, team practices, workouts, video sessions, lifting sessions, on top of taking 12 credits to be eligible to play according to the NCAA. While many of the team functions are called voluntarily they are not. An easy way to fall out of the good graces of your coach is to miss voluntary activities.

The third adjustment is the change in the player-coach dynamic. The coach a few months previously doing everything to get a player, when they are on campus the relationship will change. Issues could arise from academics, playing time, or violation of team rules and this could negatively affect the player-coach relationship. There could be a situation where the relationship deteriorates between player and coach and a decision is made that the athlete should leave the program. On the other end of the spectrum a strong bond could be formed between the player and coach that last beyond intercollegiate athletics.

The college choice is a major decision in any individual life and can greatly influence the success of a person when he/she is in college and after. Hopefully the high school all-star chooses the college that best fits them on and off the field and are successful. Every prized recruit should know there are plenty of options and rely on people who want was is best for them.

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