Waiting is no longer a sensible option in recruiting.
It’s a train of thought that has long since passed. Why? At National Scouting Report we see the same story repeated year after year after year. Families choosing to wait to get recruiting help usually are scrambling the last 12 to 18 months and that’s not good. It’s their kids who suffer.
So, you ask, when should we start? The eighth grade is not too early. NCAA Division I coaches start recruiting prospects in the seventh grade in certain sports!
But at NSR, we recognize that many families are completely in the dark about how recruiting really works, especially early on. Naturally, then, at no fault of their own, prospects and parents get lost in the shuffle. That is because most families fail to ask the right people about how college coaches recruit student-athletes.
And there is definitely a process.
Think about it this way: college coaches across America are constantly on the lookout for prospects that might potentially fit their program and school. That takes time, regardless of how many showcases, tournaments, combines, matches, meets or games they attend.
Then there is the reality that most coaches are not allocated enough funds by their schools to jaunt across the country to scout and recruit.
NCAA recruiting rules, too, keep coaches from leaving their campuses but so many days a year. Time – coaches don’t have much of it.
For that reason, prospects should dive into recruiting as early as possible. This approach allows many more coaches the chance to recognize and evaluate athletes.
College coaches prefer to follow kids over time. They like to watch the athletes develop and mature over time, interact with others, and handle adversity in various ways.
They, the coaches, are on an exploratory mission. It’s not like they go from field to field picking out athletes for their squads. There is more, much more, to it. Again, that takes time to do well.
Families that recognize and appreciate that and in turn place their kids in the recruiting process early see far better results than those that elect to wait. In the end, their kid has gotten more looks and contact from coaches, visited more campuses and receive more offers.
Here is the snag, though. Families erroneously believe that playing off-season club or travel sports does the trick. It doesn’t .
Yes, those things put their athletes in the position to be first recognized, second evaluated and third recruited, but if coaches have no clue who they are walking in the door to watch and evaluate, then all that time and money parents spend getting their athletes there is down the drain.
The only way to truly insert your athlete into the recruiting process is to make the decision to consult with a legitimate college scout, learn about college recruiting and carefully, under the watchful eye of their scout, jump in with both feet.