With school ending and the summer just getting started, there is always work that can be done to help prepare a student for the next school year. When it comes to extracurricular activities, the summer months can be an especially great time to add to an application while having some fun! This segment focuses on potential student-athletes who are considering playing a sport in college. What can you do to improve your chances of being noticed?
1. First and foremost, remember: you need to sell yourself! Even the best high school athletes may be hard to spot at times. Especially in team-sports that don’t make individuals marks easy to find, a coach may just not know about your school or is waiting for you to make the first move. Many smaller schools, less populated states, and perhaps public schools without programs to reach out to colleges have more difficulty getting their athletes noticed. So what can you do?
2. Go to a camp. Many collegiate athletic programs hold camps for high school students, as a way for a coach to look at potential athletes for their teams. If there are some schools that may interest you at any level (D1, D2, or D3) check if they have a camp you can attend. I started attending track camps the summer of my sophomore year and I think it made a large difference. Not only do you have the chance to get noticed, you also have an opportunity to truly live at and get to know if a campus is right for you!
3. Send out a few e-mails: The NCAA has many guidelines that reserve quiet periods, times where a college coach is not allowed to speak with a prospective athlete. Thus, sometimes a coach might be interested in you, but needs to wait to contact or speak with you. However, that doesn’t stop you from contacting them. I knew I wanted to play college sports from the beginning of high school. I started e-mailing coaches after my sophomore year! Most of the time, it was a simple e-mail showing my interest in the school. Additionally, I went on some college visits with my parents and e-mail those schools in hope of introducing myself to the coaching staff. Do not be discouraged if the coach is not yet prepared to begin a conversation, but often you will find that they will message you back with honest and great advice!
4. Visit some schools. Start getting a feel for where you might want to focus your attention and concern. While on vacation with the family, it might be nice to check out a few schools and get accustomed to different regional flavors or types of campuses. Starting to sift through the many types of schools that might be right from you can be a large help later.
5. You’ve got mail? Fill it out! I remember getting some bio pamphlets in the mail from a few schools as early as sophomore year. While they seem like simple form letters and may not mean much as to how interested the school truly is in you, it is important to fill out your information and send it back if you think you might be interested in the future. Those letters begin a database of athletes that a coach will eventually contact. I know that you can be left out, because one school I was very interested in never called me at all two years later because I didn’t fill out my information! When it comes to finding the right school for you, you need to dot the i’s and cross your t’s!
Are you a potential collegiate athlete? Need advice or guidance in getting noticed and learning the NCAA rules and regulations? Feel free to contact me!