Tips for student-athletes to prepare for college

Tips for student-athletes to prepare for college

Tips for student-athletes to prepare for college


Parents often ask us how their student-athlete can be recruited to college and how the right coach can see their student-athlete. Outstanding conference athletes at high-powered high schools are usually noticed by scouts and coaches. Because of this, however, thousands of outstanding athletes at small high schools go unnoticed for one simple reason: coaches didn’t know they were there.

On top of that, 2020 threw these athletes under the radar: many high school athletic associations postponed or canceled games, tournaments, and entire seasons because of the pandemic, leaving many student-athletes worried about how they would be recruited without traditional opportunities for coaches to see them in action.

Have a sports drink and breathe. The good news is that the NCAA has announced that as of June 1, 2022, the restrictions placed on D1 coaches and prospective athletes have been lifted, and all hiring calendars are back to normal. D1 coaches can now resume face-to-face meetings with off-campus recruits and conduct personal scouting. In addition, personal hiring restrictions have been lifted for all other levels, including NCAA D2 and D3, NAIA, and NJCAA programs, which means that all forms of contact are allowed.

Whatever your sport, from soccer to field hockey to baseball to beach volleyball, student-athletes can do more to get a coach’s attention. All you need is a game plan.

Here are tips for student-athletes from the educational center BidForWriting:


  • Talk to your high school or club coach about your chances of going to college. They can be a valuable resource, from assessing your talent level to the knowledge of college coaches they can recommend you to.
  • Start early! Learn the ins and outs of recruiting, rules, colleges, coaches, and athletic programs. Read the NCAA and NAIA Handbook for College Athletes and see Know the separate rules about how and when coaches can contact you and how/when you can contact them.
  • Use the Internet. Visit college websites, YouTube, and social media pages to gather information about different athletic programs. Look for schools that match your abilities athletically and academically.
  • Don’t focus only on NCAA Division I sports. There are more than 1,800 colleges with athletic programs. Most college scholarship opportunities are at Division II, NAIA, or junior college level. Expand your search area to get more opportunities.
  • If possible, attend college athletic camps, which are usually led by the college coaching staff. You will also have the opportunity to improve your skills at these camps.
  • Join travel teams or clubs. Some competitions may have hundreds of teams and thousands of athletes competing. Scouts prefer to go where the best players are. It also gives you a chance to test your competitors. Keep in mind, you can’t count on being “discovered” at camp or an exhibition.
  • Contact the trainers for your desired programs and build a relationship with them as early as possible according to your recruiting guidelines. For example, send them a brief introductory email.
  • Create a YouTube channel or website showcasing your talent. There are dozens of easy-to-use free platforms and tools for creating websites. Post videos of your accomplishments and scanned articles. (Don’t just post links; some articles disable links after a while). Put together a professional resume that highlights your athletic and academic accomplishments. Post it online and share it with any coaching contacts you already have.
  • Take an evaluation if you can. Attend demonstration-style events, where trusted outsiders often serve as the eyes and ears of coaches who don’t have time to see every player.
  • Keep up the excellent work. Get good grades, and meet with your college counselor to make sure you meet the academic criteria.
  • Keep up the excellent work. Get good grades, meet with your college counselor to make sure you meet the academic criteria, and take the SAT or ACT your freshman year.
  • Keep a positive attitude. Coaches are looking for players with key qualities such as leadership, resilience, intelligence, a high work ethic, and teamwork skills. Coaches want to know that you have great habits, you won’t apologize and you won’t dare.
  • Respond to any college requests immediately. If a coach or school asks for more information, chances are they are seriously considering you. Ask your high school coach to complete any requests for information about you as soon as possible.
  • Register with the NCAA and NAIA Selection Centers must be eligible for athletic scholarships.
  • Don’t feel bad if you don’t hear from the coaches. NCAA rules only allow them to contact student-athletes at certain times.
  • Take care of your body. Keep working hard to get stronger, faster, and healthier. Listen to your body, especially if you feel pain. Eat well. And whatever you do, don’t add unhealthy substances to it.

One final note: As a result of NCAA policy since 2015, many colleges now give scholarship athletes a monthly stipend. NCAA athletes can receive between $5,000 and $7,000 for the “full cost of attendance” and can use that money to pay for transportation, supplies, and other school expenses. College athletes are getting closer to being paid for the use of their name, image, and likeness, but that has yet to be approved.

By taking control of the process and being proactive, student-athletes can greatly increase their chances of being recruited.


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