The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), is a collegiate athletics organization of small athletic programs dedicated to character-driven student-athletes. Some basic things separate the NAIA from the NCAA, and other organizations. The most significant difference between the organizations is the NAIA summer recruiting showcases.
The NAIA summer showcases are one-day recruiting events that help high school athletes gain exposure to NAIA coaches. Athletes and their families can talk with NAIA coaches while showing off their skills doing the showcase.
The NAIA is the only college athletic association that gives athletes a chance to impress coaches while freely interacting with them. Most of all, this allows prospects to start critical relationships with NAIA coaches, which is an essential part of recruiting.
Communication like this doesn’t happen at any other college showcase or event. While these NAIA showcases aren’t tryouts, these events give prospects an advantage over other prospects. And every step an athlete can take to one-up their competitors will provide them with a significant recruiting edge.
Insider Tip: Don’t place all of your recruiting hopes on one of these showcases. A lot of athletes attend these events, and it’s hard to build the relationships they need with coaches.
What is the NAIA?
The NAIA is the nation’s oldest college athletics association with over 250 member colleges with 65,000 student-athletes. Additionally, NAIA schools provide over $600 million in annual scholarship money to athletes. As a result, NAIA schools are usually very affordable, and many student-athletes receive scholarships or other financial aid.
Additionally, NAIA coaches have different rules and regulation then NCAA coaches. As opposed to the NCAA, NAIA coaches aren’t restricted from scouting athletes in person as many times as they want. Furthermore, they can evaluate and meet face-to-face with prospects throughout the year. This freedom consequently sets up NAIA coaches perfectly to attend and scout these showcases without penalty.
However, many athletes and their families miss out on these opportunities because they’re unaware of the NAIA, and its possibilities.
Insider tip: It’s good to be familiar with all of the NAIA schools in your area, especially, if you’ve never heard of the NAIA! For a full list of NAIA schools and programs, click here.
What to Expect at NAIA Showcases?
At the NAIA showcases, athletes go through drills to test their metrics and skills. Additionally, coaches can talk to athletes about their recruiting needs and give athletes feedback on their abilities.
NAIA showcases are for high school and junior college student-athletes in seven sports. We at NSR encourage you to attend one of these events. They can open new doors and change your future.
The NAIA is a great option for athletes looking to continue their education and athletic careers. We encourage all athletes to look into the opportunities the NAIA provides.
Additionally, please don’t hesitate to reach out to an NSR scout to learn about all of your options.
Note: Alan Parham is a 16-year veteran scout for National Scouting Report. Currently, he serves as the company’s NCAA and NAIA compliance director and director of basketball scouting.