Your First Stop For Video
Many high school and club coaches record video of games to analyze positioning and pinpoint areas that need improvement. If your athletes coach takes video or arranges for someone else to film games, ask for a copy. Keep in mindyoull still need to find a way to edit the raw footage into a highlight video before sending it to college coaches.
Decide Which Division Youre Likely To Play For
Learn about the differences between athletic divisions to figure out which one is the best fit for you. Check out both the NCAA and NAIA. Just because you arent the clear MVP doesnt mean you cant be recruited to play at the next level. You also want to make sure your academic interests and accomplishments are in line with the colleges.
Additional Tips For Effective Coach Communication
In addition to the list above, here are four ways that student-athletes can better prepare for coach contact:
- Narrow down the college list. Research the schools that the recruit is interested in or received mail from to see which programs best meet their needs athletically, academically, financially, and socially. Then, create a realistic list of schools that the recruit can begin contacting.
- Send an introductory email to college coaches. Every introductory email should demonstrate that the recruit has researched the program and explain why, specifically, they would make a great addition to the team. Learn how to make an introductory email personalized and memorable.
- Use social media to get recruited. College coaches are using social media more and more to connect with recruits. A great way to get the attention of a college coach is by sending a direct message to their or account. Learn more about how athletes use social media for recruiting.
- Pick up the phone. This is generally the most effective way to connect with college coaches who have busy schedules. Before picking up the phone, recruits should prepare questions for the coach and practice with a friend or family member.
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How To Contact College Coaches
If you want to play college sports and find an athletic scholarship you will have to reach out and contact coaches proactively. Coaches cannot call or email you until July 1st after your junior year of high school and the likelihood of getting discovered at a camp or combine before that is not very high. Most coaches find out about potential college recruits when athletes contact them directly or through online profiles and recruiting services. In addition, before they can contact the athlete or family directly, they establish contact with a recruit through their coaches.
When Should You Start The Recruiting Process
As mentioned previously, different sports and different division levels recruit the majority of their athletes in different periods. Top D1 prospects for womens gymnastics or womens volleyball will likely receive recruiting interest freshman year of high school or even earlier. Track and field athletes and swimmers will mostly be recruited closer to senior year. The important thing to know about starting the process is that the earlier you plan, the better prepared you will be to get recruited for college sports. Athletes can build their target list, research schools, attend camps, edit their recruiting video and use NCSA to get noticed before having contact with a college coach. In college recruiting, it is better to be ahead of the pack in order to receive recruiting interest while a coach still has open roster spots. Its never too early to start.
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Questions About Scholarships And Costs
- Do you typically increase scholarship amounts after freshman year?
- What medical expenses are covered by the college?
- What equipment costs are covered and what will I be required to provide?
Are you a talented athlete in the UK and want to study in America? Fill out the free application form to see if you could get a USA sports scholarship.
College Recruiting Timeline For Sophomores
By sophomore year of high school, recruits should be spending a few hours a week on their recruiting. This includes taking time to build out their recruiting profiles, create a target list of 30-40 schools theyre interested in, finalize and start sharing their recruiting videos and get comfortable with reaching out to college coaches on a regular basis.
Sophomore athletes who are serious about landing a roster spot should also complete recruiting questionnaires for schools theyre interested in and write strong, personalized emails to college coaches to showcase not only their athletic and academic skills, but also that theyve done their research and are interested in learning more about the program to see if its the right fit for them.
In the video below, former D1 and D3 college coach Danny Koenig shares his tips for what student-athletes should be doing during their sophomore yearand how some college coaches are looking ahead and adding current high school sophomores to their list of prospective recruits.
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College Recruiting Timeline For Freshmen
To set themselves up for a successful recruiting process, freshmen recruits should research different college programs and division levels, gather clips for their recruiting video and create an online recruiting profile to make it easier for college coaches to discover and evaluate their athletic and academic skills.
Watch former D1 University of South Dakota football player Phill Wells break down what freshmen student-athletes should be doing to get a head start in their college recruiting in the video below.
Which Coaches Should You Contact
Being proactive in your recruiting is essential to connecting with college coaches. And like everything else in the recruiting process, student-athletes should go into it with a set strategy. For example, when there are multiple coaches in a program, who do you reach out to first? Should you email the head coach or assistant coach? Your plan of attack for coach communication will depend on the college, size of the program and sport.
Consider this your go-to guide when searching for the right coach to contact:
At times, you will find the head coach is the best person to email after exhausting other options. Just keep in mind that head coaches are very busy, and depending on the division level, they can be a little more difficult to get ahold of initially.
Insider tip: Always go down the list, not up. Lets say you email the recruiting coordinator at a school youre interested in, but you havent heard back. Now, youre considering emailing someone else. To maximize your efforts, make sure you go down the hierarchy to a position coach. You never want to work your way up.
How The Ncaa Recruiting Rules Recruiting Calendar And Recruiting Periods Impact This Timeline
The NCAA recruiting calendar and related recruiting rules are meant to mandate the types of communication that athletes and college coaches can have, outline dates for specific communication and protect elite athletes from receiving an overwhelming amount of communication from college coaches. When these rules and periods are laid out for each sport, they create a recruiting calendar during which different periods allow certain types of recruiting activity. Here are the major periods:
- Evaluation period: college coaches can watch an athlete in person or visit their school. Coaches are not allowed to have in-person contact with the athlete or their parents. During this time, student-athletes usually focus on the following:
- Highlight and recruiting videos: Recruiting videos help potential recruits to get on the recruiting radar of college coaches. Coaches rarely start to seriously consider a recruit until they have evaluated their recruiting video.
- Attending camps, showcases and tournaments: Evaluating recruiting videos is an important step for college coaches, but it is always preferable to see recruits compete in person. College coaches put a big emphasis on attending events for top recruits.
- School visits: Its important for athletes to get a feel for the campus that they are hoping to attend and for college coaches to get a feel for athletes carry themselves. This is where school visits come in.
How International Athletes Get Recruited
For international student-athletes, the college recruiting process can look a bit different. While the process starts at the same time as domestic student-athletes, there are various differences that international athletes should know about, including academic requirements. Read our guide for international athletic recruiting which includes everything international athletes needs to know about getting recruited in the U.S.
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How To Respond To Mass Emails From College Coaches
Whether the athlete is seriously considering the program or not, they should draft a response thanking the coach for their email. Its important for athletes to leave a good impression, regardless of their interest level in a particular program. If the athlete is interested, they should include a link to their NCSA Recruiting Profile and the contact information of a previous or current coach who the college coach can reach out for a reference.
College Coaches Sign Athletes And Ensure Academic Eligibility
The last step for college coaches is ensuring that each recruit signs with their program and meets eligibility requirements. Heres how the committing and signing timeline works in most cases:
- The athlete verbally commits to the school.
- The college coach extends an official offer.
- The athlete signs the official offer.
- The athlete continues to meet eligibility requirements by taking all the necessary core courses and receiving the required GPA in those courses.
Unfortunately, every year, there are athletes who have signed with a college but end their senior year ineligible to compete at the college level. This leaves both the athlete and the coach in a tough spot. The coach will need to go back to their list of top prospects and see if the athlete who ranked number two in that spot is still available, interested and academically eligible. The former recruit will likely need to compete for a year or two at a junior college to gain academic eligibility.
What this means for you: While its easy to get caught up in the rush of athletic recruiting and signing with a school, you still need to make sure that you stay academically eligible. If youre concerned at all that you may not be able to meet the requirements, meet with your guidance counselor to go over what grades you need to meet in your core courses and strategize a way to get there.
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When Should I Start Contacting College Coaches
The recruiting process is starting earlier each year, with recruits as young as 12 or 13 years old getting interest from college coaches. However, that does not mean every athlete is ready to start reaching out to coaches as an 8th grader. Start researching schools and understanding the level of play expected at each one. Then, when you have developed your skills to be able to stand out to the coaches at those schools, begin your outreach. For athletes who play up on varsity during their freshman year of high school, they may be ready to start contacting college coaches then.
For athletes who play up on varsity during their freshman year of high school, they may be ready to start contacting college coaches then. For athletes who hit their stride later in their sophomore year, this could be a better time to initiate contact with college coaches. All you need to know about coaches and recruiting services.
It is advisable to try to reach out to coaches before the athletes junior year, but this is not a hard and fast rule. For athletes who hit a later growth spurt or mature later, junior year may be the best time to start contacting college coaches. For major Division 1 sports, its the norm for athletes and families to begin reaching out and going on unofficial visits as early as 8th grade or freshman year.
What Time Of The Day To Call
The best time to call a coach is in the morning when youre likely to catch them in the office, between 810 a.m. during the week. If youre unable to call in the morning, its best to wait until the evening between 610 p.m. after practice is over. The offseason offers more flexibility, making it easier to get the coach on the phone during the day. Also, dont forget to check the time zone if the school is in a different one you are calling from.
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Should I Get Support Getting Recruited
If money is tight and the budget you are able to contribute towards the costs of your future education low, paying a placement expert to support with everything from A to Z may not be the most likely option. If you see the value of having a Professional overlook the entire process, coach you, prepare you, work with you all with the goal of committing to a school, this is a really smart investment. Not only will the outcome be better , chances are your return on investment is way higher than it would have ever been if you said Yes to the first-best school, which you got in contact with. Keep in mind any pending eligibility questions, and you have plenty of reasons why professional support may be a good option.
Things To Keep In Mind
A Follow Isnt Everything: If you are followed by a college coach, you may think to yourself that said coach has substantial interest in you as a recruit. While this is sometimes true, coaches often use their social media pages for different purposes. Of course, many coaches use it to scout potential recruits and to gauge fit with their program. There are, however, many other coaches who use it as a tool to encourage high school athletes to attend camps. While a camp may strike you as a great place to showcase your talents, more often than not, coaches are trying to raise money for their programs.
Be Professional: In anything you do, but especially when constructing your digital identity on social media, be professional.. Make sure to include any relevant information on your profile as well as attachments to any highlight clips or game tape. Additionally, keep your profile clean and limit profane language on comments. The recruitment process is an extremely competitive one, so tightly monitoring your social media profile and keeping it clean can be a huge differentiator between you and other recruits.
Be Proactive: If you are trying to get on a college coachs radar, be proactive. Instead of waiting for coaches to discover who you are and follow you on Twitter, take initiative. Follow and like the content of coaches and athletic programs to get your name on their radar, and improve the likelihood of receiving a follow from a coach yourself.
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What College Coaches Have To Say About Ncsa:
The information from NCSA has been awesome. Its user-friendly and very informative. We appreciate all your help.
D1 Midwest Collegiate Conference football coach
Your service does an excellent job of matching student-athletes to our needs.
D2 United States Collegiate Athletic Association womens soccer coach
We would have never been able to find had it not been for your services. We are looking forward to getting him here next year and are excited to continue working with NCSA!
D1 Southwestern Athletic Conference baseball coach
When Can College Coaches Contact You
A common question that families have is when can college coaches contact high school athletes? For most sports in the NCAA, coaches can start contacting recruits starting either . The NAIA has more relaxed rules, and coaches can generally contact athletes at any point. However, because NAIA schools tend to have smaller programs with more limited budgets, they usually dont start the recruiting process as early as NCAA Division 1 and Division 2 schools.
- Football, baseball, softball, mens lacrosse, womens lacrosse, womens basketball: No coach communication until September 1 of junior year.
- All other D1 sports: No coach communication until June 15 after sophomore year.
- Mens ice hockey: No coach communication until January 1 of sophomore year.
Insider tip: Your high school or club coach can play a key role in your recruiting process. They can reach out to college coaches on your behalf at any time. Before college coaches are allowed to communicate with you, your high school or club coach can contact them to find out their level of interest in you as a recruit. They can also recommend you to college coaches in their network to help you get discovered. To support high school or club coaches during the recruiting process, we launched NCSA Team Edition.
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Is The Team A Good Athletic Fit
Considering over 45% of underclassmen athletes are not listed on their college roster the following year, its important for recruits to understand their athletic fit with any team. Is playing at a D1 program your top priority, even if it means getting little to no playing time for multiple years? Would you be more satisfied getting more playing time and having more free time while getting a great education at a high-academic D3 college? These are questions to ask yourself.
Potential recruits can also do some valuable research by looking into the athletic level of the college roster and ask themselves: