Why the Recruiting Process is an invaluable experience
The Recruiting Process gives you real life experience
Use the College Recruiting Process as a chance to gain real life experience. The recruiting process is a job and there's no getting around that. It isn’t sexy, and it’s not always fun. However, when you sign your NLI on signing day, all that hard work will have paid off.
Reasons why the College Recruiting Process is an invaluable experience
1. You have to be organized
Are you the type of person who makes their bed every morning? If not, it's ok, but you'll need to be more tidy to succeed in the recruiting process. From sending emails, visiting campuses, going on official visits, taking standardized tests, and attending showcases, the recruiting process is busy. You'll need a way to keep this information organized so you know where you stand with different colleges and what you need to do next.
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2. You have to sell yourself
It can be awkward, but you have to be comfortable selling yourself to college coaches and recruiters. If not, who else will? There is no guarantee your club or high school coaches will vouch for you or have connections to college coaches. At the end of the day you're the only person who can truly fight for yourself.
This experience will pay off well later in your life when you're applying and interviewing for your first real job out of college.
3. You have to follow up
It takes a lot persistence and discipline to be a college athlete, and so does following up. I see a lot of high school athletes send one email to a college coach and then nothing...
The "one and done" email approach won't produce the results you want. It's the easy way out and unless you're a 5 star recruit, chances are coaches aren't going to be showing up at your doorstep. You have to not only reach out to coaches, but follow up with them. Send them updates when you get a new ACT score, or when you have a new highlight clip. Or if you're waiting on a response, and they forget to respond, give them a call or a follow up email. College coaches are extremely busy, so you need to make sure your communications are good. Read more about that here.
Getting in the habit of following through now, will only make it easier in the future when you get your first job post college. Following up is a key life skill and in my opinion student-athletes are traditionally great at it.
4. You have to improve
Improving is in the DNA of all athletes, and college coaches want to see this! From the point you start getting recruited to when you sign your NLI, you will grow by leaps and bounds. Staying stagnant will get you nowhere in the recruiting process and in life post college.
5. You have to be consistent
Consistency is key. As you continue to improve in your sport, you will become a more consistent performer, and likewise as you continue to engage with college coaches during the recruiting process it will only become easier and more enjoyable. If you don't consistently perform during your games or matches, you may lose huge opportunities. A college coach may only be able to watch you once so make it count!
This also applies to real life. For example, if you have a bad day interviewing for your dream job, you very well may lose that opportunity. You need to show up everyday ready to perform and compete to your best ability.