Here are some suggestions on what you need to do during your HS years
Your High School tenure starts with the 9th grade. I cannot stress enough the importance of starting your freshman year working toward good grades, which also includes developing good study habits and disciplining yourself to complete and turn your homework in on time. Not only is a student-athlete’s future eligibility at risk, but you will find a larger base of colleges interested in you with a higher GPA. I have talked with too many junior and senior High School athletes who wish they had the opportunity to go back and redo the 9th grade with the same focus and understanding that they now have.
Make a personal commitment to your sport. Practice basic skills and set an off-season conditioning program. Most coaches are very happy to guide and direct you in setting up personal goals to work on during your off-season.
Look for opportunities to play outside of your high school program. Again, talk to your coach. He or she may be able to steer you toward clubs, AAU teams, traveling teams, or other opportunities to play and improve your sport.
Sophomore Year Your sophomore year is the time to get serious if you are interested in competing in college and in getting a sports scholarship. Learning about recruiting and the rules around sports scholarships now will put you ahead of the game when it counts. You can start working on raising your visibility as well as learning about colleges and their sports programs.
Sophomore year is also about development. This means both developing your sport skills as well as working on your leadership abilities. You will be a more valuable recruit if you have built a reputation for teamwork, sportsmanship and maturity. Establishing that reputation is a long process and it requires consistency. It is important to have fun and keep a sense of humor, but even more important to be fair, honest and mature. College coaches need motivated athletes who contribute to team unity and stay clear of trouble.
No year is more important to recruiting success than your junior year. Most people know about recruiting as a senior activity, but it is likely to be the accomplishments of your junior year that get you recruiting calls. The earlier that you get onto the coaches’ radar screens, the better your chances of having a successful recruiting season your senior year. Do not sit back and wait for lightning to strike.
You can boost your visibility to coaches by making phone calls, visiting schools and meeting coaches. You might think that it is the coach’s job to meet you. However, there are various NCAA rules that prevent coaches from reaching out until late in your junior year. Learn about the rules and learn how you can use those rules to get a head start on recruiting. You can contact the coaches and you can meet with them and show your interest as long as you follow the rules
For NCAA Division I sports other than football, you can receive one phone call in March of your junior year. In football you may receive one phone call in May of your junior year. With a few exceptions, active recruiting in most sports starts July 1, following your junior year. In Division II, coaches can start making recruiting calls on June 15th of your junior year.
You have many things to juggle at once. Time is in short supply. You need to continue to make sure that you are eligible by filling any holes in your transcript. Your sport skills should show continuing development. You may be receiving calls and you may get a request for a home visit by the coach. How should you handle a home visit? You may be fortunate enough to get an early scholarship offer. Is this offer the best you will get? Will you have to make a commitment before the signing period? What if the offer is good but you do not think that the school is right for you? What should you do and who should you see on an official recruiting visitYour High SchoolY