Can I Play? Student Athlete Recruitment

Many students are interested in playing a sport in college.  However, it’s often assumed that if a student is a strong enough athlete that college coaches will find them.  That’s not always true! Students often have to take the initiative to jump start their own recruitment process.

Prospective student athletes should first check the applicable sport organization website to learn about the rules related to their specific sport. These rules will include when college coaches can begin communicating with you and how official visits work. While you’re doing this research, register with the NCAA or NAIA.  You will be provided with an ID number to share with coaches – be sure to save this in a safe spot for future reference!

Most sport associations will detail academic requirements for their student athletes.  It’s important to take these the minimums into account when completing the your academic planning.

Potential early recruited athletes should also make sure to start studying for the SAT/ACT early, with the goal being to sit for your first test by the fall of junior year. Starting early helps assure coaches that their recruits have their testing under control.

While you’re waiting for the open communication period to begin, use the time to evaluate yourself. As it’s important to get a realistic assessment of your athletic skills, you may want to enlist a coach or private trainer.  

This is also a great time to create an athletic/academic resume.  The resume should list the following:

·      Personal statistics (age, height, weight, association ID, & DOB)

·      Your contact information

·      Parents’ contact information

·      Coaches’ contact information

·      Athletic statistics (rankings, awards, etc.)

·      Academic statistics (GPA, test scores, etc.)

When you’re ready, prepare an introductory email to coaches. Keep the email brief, while stating your interest in the school, expressing a desire to learn more about their programs, and attaching your resume to address your strengths.

Don’t be afraid to follow up with the coaches by phone!  Students often find it helpful to practice, or even write down, what they will say if they’re able to speak with a coach or in a voicemail. If you’re leaving a message make sure to include your name, phone number, interest in their team, and the best time to reach you.

As time goes by, be strategic about how you’re following up with the coaches.  While you don’t want to constantly be reaching out, you do want to trickle in communication to stay at the front of their mind.  Examples of good reasons to shoot coaches a quick follow up email would be new athletic or academic achievements, seeing the college’s admissions representative at a college fair, or visiting campus.

If you’re interested in learning more about how Simply Admissions can help student athletes please contact us for a complimentary consultation.