This is the Holy Grail when it comes to college athletics’ The Scholarship offer! I guess one of the most asked questions is when should or how early should I start the recruiting process. I believe you need to first know what are the pillars of recruiting we see them as Academics, Testing, Highlights, Training and exposure. Each of these pillars has a different start time. By knowing this information you can watch your student athlete develop and minimize any investment until its needed. So let’s take them one at a time.
(1) Academics; here knowledge is power knowing the rules of both the NCAA and the NAIA what classes have to be done by when. The different ways grading is looked by the NCAA knowing what can be made up and what can't. What surprised us most was how out of the loop most school guidance consular are to this crucial grading information. This has to start as a freshman a student athlete's academic resume is based on the total four years. This means every grade every test will impact their recruiting.
(2) Testing; what numbers are good? Which test ACT or SAT should I do? When should it be taken? Great questions and again the sporting world is different than the non-sports world. Back to Knowledge is power. The test should be taken and the score wanted should be recorded before the start of the student athlete’s senior year. So with study and prep work at the start of their junior year.
(3) Highlight film; this is so important. I believe as soon as your student athlete is doing a sport and the school has filming you should start. If the school only films seniors than please go get a 36.00 video camera and film you student athlete. You can never have too much film and you never want to be caught with too little film. As soon as your student athlete starts to compete.
(4) Training; this really depends on the type of coach your high school has or the type of position type camps or combines you do and the passion your student athlete displays. I would say when you as a parent feels this is the direction your student athlete will travel you should invest in so kind of specialized training this will only help in the recruiting process.
(5) EXPOSURE; while all the pillars in the process are important and really all are needed the exposure opens endless opportunities for a student athlete. You as a parent need to know * what is my student athletes skill level? This information should come from a source with no personal ties to you or your athlete. How do I best get him or her seen by college coaches? When does this all happen? Do all coaches visit all high schools? These are all good questions and to tell you the truth there are many different answers that have all kinds of rules. Here I believe exposure starts when you start camps and combines baring the fact of you having the next super star student athlete this should start in the transition period between sophomore and becoming a junior.
My final thoughts on all this is there is a lot going on when it comes to recruiting. All the rules in and outs people selling you things camps combines which do I do what ones don't I do ? These are just some questions you will ask yourself. You can always seek help from other sports parents they are a wealth of information. If you want more professional guidance you can always reach out to me I am a recruiter and questions are always free.