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Random Observations About Getting Recruited For College

Can you play at the next level? Sounds simple, right? But astonishingly, many high school students for many reasons can’t play after high school.

You don’t have the grades. How many times have we heard about very talented student athletes that were more of an athlete than a student?

Student athletes who only want to play at the D-1 level. I’m sure that’s all you hear every day is D-1 schools. Most high school athletes are only interested in D-1 programs all else is nothing to them.

Getting a letter from a college coach–What does it really mean?

No plans to get recruited. Everyone who plays a sport in high school is not a blue chip talent so what are you going to do, what is your plan of action?

The high school coach is always in the way.

Sometimes the high school coach does nothing.

The parents that get on the nerves of college coaches. There are pushy parents who sometimes want to be in on everything when dealing with a college coach.

Having realistic expectations when it comes to college recruiting. Case in point: “my kid is good, he’s 6’1 and plays guard and he’s always wanted to play at Duke. What are his chances?”

What happens to the players’ recruiting future? How many times has the high school coach quit at the end of the season? Is his obligation to the players over?

Making high school coaches full-time coaches only. This would help with college recruiting and player development. Great idea, huh?

Going to a camp, there are 500 other players there, “how are the coaches going to notice me?”

“Over-hyping” a student athlete just to get him/her more exposure with college programs. Not good to do that.

Boosting players’ stats in the newspaper. How many times does this go on?

Changing high schools 2 or 3 times just to be on a better team to help with recruiting. I know some states have rules about this.

Changing AAU basketball programs all the time–sometimes 2 or 3 times in the same season.

AAU basketball is now the recruiting power for basketball.

Only D-3 schools are showing interest but you think you can play at a much higher level.

College coaches tell you one thing but mean something else. I’ve heard a coach tell a player that they are interested in him/her and they’ll send letters, make phones calls to that player, and they will bring the family out for a visit and the player and family are really feeling it; they know that it’s just a matter of time before an offer is made only to have that coach tell them that they decided on someone else, or worse, they don’t even bother to call them back!

There are many AAU events, junior Olympics events, showcases, combines, team camps, etc. What does this all mean and does any of this help players get recruited for college? I think you do have to be seen and a thorough evaluation of your athletic abilities must be made by as many college programs as possible in order for those programs to make a sound.

What are college programs looking for when they recruit?

With all the summer time camps from AAU to Junior Olympics events to showcase events and the number of games high school players play during the summer, do you really need to have a high school season anyway? For football yes, but what about the other sports?

How many times have you heard, ‘they’re good athletically and academically but they are not getting the big-time interest.” How often does this happen?

How many times have you heard about or have seen a good high school student athlete and they end up without a college program? Now some may have other issues and others may not, but for whatever the reason they end up working at the local McDonald’s or at the local retail store or mall.

Time, sometimes, is a factor with recruiting. There are high school student athletes and families who wait too long to do certain things, like taking the SAT or ACT tests. They may take the test one time and that’s it or they look into other college programs. College programs are not going to wait on one student athlete forever. When time has run out, these are the players who end up at a junior college or no college all because time ran out for them.

Getting the wrong advice on what to do about your own college recruiting program.

The high school players get hurt during the season. Has this hurt player’s chance? I think yes it has. Why would a college program invest a full scholarship into that player now?

When should you start the college recruiting process? Many times, families will sit back and hope for something to happen or sometimes they will make it happen.

“Oh, I’ll just walk-on.” How many times have you heard that one? The reality is that to be a walk-on at a major college program you have to be recruited by that program. If all you had to do was just show up at a college for practice then some of the big-time programs would be overwhelmed with new student athletes who will think they all can play at a major college. Get real with it!

The Dream

The dream of many high school student athletes is to be the best high school athlete that he or she can be. You’re working really hard. You’re doing all the things you can as a player. You have achieved a certain level of success. Your dream is to just be the best.

Now all of a sudden you have achieved that goal. You have become the best that you can possibly be. You have honed your skills and now you feel that you could be a college player.

The game has become fun to you and you want to be recruited. You want to play college ball. You want to get that college education. You want to get that scholarship.

Your dream is to play at the next level which is college. You have, over the years worked on your game. During the summers, you played in the summer leagues, you went to camps, and you went to tournaments. You’ve done all those things because that’s what the real good players must do.

Like most athletes in high school, who will at some point develop a certain level of success and when that happens, you want to go to the next level. It’s only natural; that’s what this is all about.

There are many high school athletes who never achieve that level of success and they will never be college material, but for the millions of others out there, they want an opportunity to play in college and they deserve that.

College recruiting is very confusing and it’s a very complex situation. You need to have the right tools, the right materials, the right education, the proper understanding and the right guidance to achieve just a certain level of success when it comes to being recruited.

What is going to make you shine above another student athlete or what’s going to make you standout over another athlete who may have similar playing abilities, similar skills and maybe even similar academic achievements?

Sometimes, it’s being in a situation where you’re going to get the proper exposure to hundreds of college programs, where there’s going to be a proper amount of follow-up work done.

The more that a college program hears about you over the course of a year, 2 years or perhaps your entire high school career, will be a major plus for you.

Also remember that it could be the little things that set you apart from some of the other athletes.

hoop recruiterMaybe you’re an inch taller, maybe you’re in better shape, maybe your grade point average is a tenth of a point higher than the next person’s, maybe you scored well on the SAT or ACT tests, maybe you’ve written letters to coaches, maybe you’ve gotten your video to coaches, and maybe you’ve developed a great rapport with a college coach.

I believe the dream for many high school athletes is just to play in college. That dream can become a reality if you do a few simple and basic things.

Exposure is number 1. Number 2 is follow-up work. Getting your name out there and being able to be seen by college programs over the course of a year to 2 years is critical in your development.

To achieve your dream, you need to do all the right things because college programs are not going to give everyone a college scholarship. Most student athletes are not scholarship worthy.

It really comes down to talent and that’s how you’re going to get your scholarship. I would also focus on skill level; doing everything you can to become bigger, faster, stronger, and better. Work on your skill level.

Think about being a great student athlete and think about being an even better student athlete. If you can do that you will achieve your dream of being in college.

The Destruction Of The High School Student Athlete

For a great deal of high school student athletes in this country, sports means everything to them.  Athletics is a means of freedom for many young people and without it; there may not be hope for the future and some of them will struggle throughout their lives.

In my lifetime, I have come across many high school and college athletes who did not get the maximum potential out of their athletic careers.  Without achieving a certain level of greatness, many of these athletes experience a lifetime of disappointment and frustration.

Throughout the history of sports, many athletic careers have been destroyed, not by what you may think is the obvious reason, a career ending injury or a crime that sent them to jail or prison.

No, and athletic career can be destroyed by a jealous or despicable high school coach who feel that it’s necessary to sabotage the student athlete’s dream of athletic success.

It does happen all the time; the athletic success derailed by a high school coach, school administrator or some unknown individual out for revenge or just plain jealousy.

There are millions of stories of high school student athletes who were extremely talented, but who received absolutely no help or guidance from their high school coach.  Those student athletes’ careers ended at the high school level all because of a mean and evil high school coach.

This kind of thing also happens in college, where you’ll have some jackass college coach who will do whatever it takes to ruin that athlete’s career.

I’ve seen it happen; a college coach will sit a player on the bench never to play that player.  I’ve seen it with my own eyes while in college, where players are frustrated with the system or the coach and they just quit.  

Being a student athlete in college and you quit playing your sport that you’ve worked your entire life to be apart of is extremely devastating to that athlete.

The fact that you were forced to quit is sometimes a life changing decision because as athletes, we are trained to never quit-to never give up.  Athletes are conditioned to give everything they’ve got to their sport no matter what.

For an athlete to make the decision to quit in college is a horrible decision to make and no athlete should ever be placed in that situation, but it does happen and surprisingly it does not matter how big or small the college or university.

Sometimes there really is no life after sports for most of these young athletes. The reason I say that is because so many athletes put everything they’ve got into being the best they can be athletically.  

When you work to develop your athletic skills from a very early age all away through high school and into college sports, it’s very hard to quit.

The devastating part about athletics is how ugly it could be.  For all the joy athletics can bring there is often a side that we don’t hear about; how careers end, how players end up lost without athletics in their lives.

I’ve known many athletes who were very talented, who were the absolute best at basketball, a star in football and baseball but they seemed to be fish out of water when they could no longer play their sport.  

I believe the reason is because of the passion athletes have developed over a long period time towards their sport.

After a period of athletic development, the passion for sports turns into love and sometimes love is hard to give up.

The destruction of the high school student athlete starts in high school, that’s when everything counts towards college.  

When you enter your freshman year of high school your academics count towards college and everything you do is recorded on your transcript which is a permanent record.

If you do poorly academically or are persuaded to take classes that are not going to help you get into college then this could have a harmful affect on student athletes’ academic futures.

A sport, to an athlete, is like oxygen to the rest of the world; without it you will not live very long.  

I think sports have that kind of effect on athletes. Sometimes if you’re doing well athletically, it’s like you have more oxygen, you feel unstoppable without it, you go through life in slow motion always searching for that burst of oxygen.

Final thoughts: When athletes train themselves for a long period of time to become athletes, it’s almost hard to think about doing anything else in their life.  Hearing the cheering of a large crowd at a basketball game is an incredible sound and feeling.  

You know they’re cheering for you because of a great play you made or something outstanding you did.  Nowhere else in life are you going to run across that experience! Only athletics can do that for you.

I think that’s why you see so many former athletes who are coaches or who are involved in some type sport; it is just so they can stay close to the game.

Get That Athletic Scholarship

Nothing is impossible!

There are millions of high school student athletes who have been told that they will never get an athletic scholarship.

There are always so-called experts evaluating the talent level of high school student athletes who never played high school or college sports.

These experts write on their websites and blogs how good, bad or ugly a particular student athlete’s athletic ability might be.

You have millions of student athletes who spend a huge amount of time playing their sport.

At some point in time those student athletes will develop a love or a passion for that sport.

When a student athlete develops the desire to play their sport just about every single day, those student athletes have now accepted the challenge to take that talent to the college level.

It is a validation of one’s athletic ability at the high school level to advance to the college level.

Failure on the part of any high school student athlete to secure an athletic scholarship or a strong financial package at the college level is a failure on their athletic ability, talent and skill among their peers.

In the history of high school and college athletics there have been countless numbers of student athletes who were told they could never play in college.

There are huge numbers of high school student athletes who beat the odds and were awarded an athletic scholarship. Some of those so-called under-achieving athletes even made it all the way to the professional ranks.

There have been many athletes coming out of high school that did not get a full athletic scholarship, but were a preferred walk-on and later, in their sophomore year, did earn a full athletic scholarship.

For high school student athletes, just because you are a not a superstar by the 11th or 12th grade doesn’t mean that it’s not possible.

There have been many over-achieving, superstar high school athletes who received an athletic scholarship but amounted to nothing in college.

You have countless stories of practically invisible student athletes getting an athletic scholarship that came from high schools in the middle of nowhere or were never ranked by those so-called recruiting expert websites.

I think the reason why someone tells a student athlete they are not going to get a scholarship or that they cannot play college athletics is because it’s not news-worthy.

When you go to some of those websites that intensively cover the activities of high school student athletes who were over-achievers, there’s a story to tell.

There are hundreds of recruiting websites that aggressively report on who is recruiting which particular athlete and where they may end up in college.

Many of these websites are run by individuals who never played at the college level but have anointed themselves college recruiting experts.

How can you call yourself an expert when you have not walked in the shoes of a college student athlete or understood the hard work, the struggle and the sacrifices it took for that athlete to reach the college level?

Think about this for a moment: when you’re watch a sporting event on TV, you’ll have the play-by-play broadcaster and sitting next to that broadcaster is the analyst who is generally someone who has played that sport in order for them to offer their expert professional analysis on the play-by play-game action.

On a sports broadcast, there would not be anyone sitting next to the play-by-play guy who has no credibility when offering their opinion if they’ve never played the sport.

Now there are websites written by individuals, who probably don’t know the difference between a football and a basketball, but are allowed to deliver an opinion that could have some kind of impact on a high school student athlete’s athletic future.

Sometimes it goes deeper when there’s a coach who will tell a student athlete that an athletic scholarship is not in their future.

My message to those student athletes is to use that criticism as a tool to motivate yourself to be better than you were yesterday.

Unfortunately, it sometimes takes a bombardment of negative comments to motivate a student athlete to get that athletic scholarship.

We hear countless stories of athletes being too small or too slow or just not big enough to get an athletic scholarship.

Time and time again those athletes end up blocking out the negative noise, using it as motivation to get better every day.

There is a lot of foolish conversation from those who know nothing about a particular student athlete or what’s inside their heart.

Only those student athletes who possess superior athletic ability and who have good grades that are generally awarded an athletic scholarship.

The Competitive World Of College Recruiting

I’ve been to many high school games and have observed the behavior of high school student athletes.

Many of the student athletes believe because they have incredible athletic ability that somehow they are on top of the world and can do no wrong.

Players sometimes have poor attitudes towards everyone and everything because of their athletic skills.

Just because they are a star athletes they feel like they can slouch in their chairs in the classroom or walk around school with the ‘I don’t care, I’m better than you’ attitudes.

Because they have a gigantic ego many of these student athletes feel that they are entitled to certain things and should be given special treatment.

I can understand where the confusion in the minds of many of these exceptionally talented ballplayers can come from.

No one is buying a ticket to watch some kid take a math test or hear a student give a speech in history class.  We do buy tickets to see student athletes perform and this is where the confusion begins.

Most people pay attention to what student athletes are doing.  Because of all the attention athletes receive, it can sometimes play a positive or negative role.

Academics and athletic ego plays big a role in whether a student athlete ends up at a major college program, a small college program or no college program at all.

Having a 1.9 GPA and you’re a 6’6 basketball player who has the talent to play at a big time college program does not guarantee that college program will overlook your horrible grades just because you can play ball.

The NCAA will begin to penalize college programs who bring in student athletes that cannot meet the academic requirements once they’re in college.

Too many times student athletes who have poor grades coming out of high school are accepted into college and many of them haven’t even graduated.

Academic reform is about to take place.

It use to be that if you did not meet the academic requirements coming out of high school, you can still go to a junior college and then transfer to a university after two years.

Now things are changing; in order to transfer, you still have to meet academic requirements even at the junior college level in order to move up to a four year institution.

Many student athletes are not graduating from college and these changes are necessary if you’re in college to get an education, not just to be an athlete.  Far too many players, regardless of the sport, believe that one day they can turn pro and earn millions of dollars.

We all know the odds of reaching the professional level in any sport are slim to none and I do believe sometimes the ‘I can do no wrong’ attitude can prohibit a student athlete from becoming a success outside of sports.

How many times have we seen these piss-poor student athletes who think they’ve got it all going on but end up not getting recruited to play college ball and eventually become a forgotten name in their community?

I think attitude plays a large role in student athletes’ academics because it shows how good they will be athletically and whether or not they end up with a scholarship.

Student athletes, no matter where they are talent wise, should always be humble but should always be working on all aspects of their lives.

Student Athletes You Don’t Get To Pick

The college recruiting process in some ways is a popularity contest; only the very best high school student athletes get to pick the college they want to play for.

I believe that number of privileged student athletes is around 1% meaning 99% of all other high school players have to do a thousand different things to gain the attention of college coaches.

Have you ever noticed all the big-time major college recruits talking about where they’re going to college?

On TV they have those selection shows where top high school recruits decide where they’re going to college by picking up that school’s cap that has their college logo on it.

Wyatt Lowell High School Basketball RecruitEvery high school student athlete is not privileged enough to choose where they’re going to attend college over another school.

A huge percentage of high school players have to actually gain the attention of college coaches for them to let you know whether they want you or not.

It’s almost like high school student athletes have no choice as to which college to play for.

A college program can hear about you many types of ways and decide to make you an offer.

Of course at that point you have a choice to accept or not, but what student athlete do you know will actually turn down a scholarship offer?

Wouldn’t it be cool that all a high school student athlete had to do would be to call their favorite college program and tell that coach of their commitment to play for them?

How simple the college recruiting process would now become for millions of high school players.

You wouldn’t have to write letters to college coaches expressing interest in their program.

You would no longer have to send thousands of emails to hundreds of college coaches in your home state updating them about your latest game.

How much simpler recruiting would be if all you had to do was make a phone call to a few college programs?

Too bad, though. In reality the college recruiting process is extremely complicated and you really do have to do something to get college coaches to like what you do athletically.

Millions of high school student athletes are performing at high levels all to gain the attention of college coaches who have scholarships to give.

If you’re lucky and a great many of these coaches really like you, chances are you could be one of the chosen few offered a full athletic scholarship.

That’s generally the thinking on how the recruiting process should go.

Myah Taylor High School Basketball RecruitTruth be told, recruiting does not work that way for every student athlete. It’s more about getting your name out there to a large number of college coaches.

Recruiting is about your grades and how strong you are academically.

Recruiting is about your character and personality; can you get along with others and whether you’re coachable.

Recruiting is about winning. Are you a winner?  

The college recruiting process is about many things, but one of those things is that student athletes do not get to pick the college they want; it is really about the college coaches picking you.

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