• Podyum Preps

Fall Recruitment Checklist for College-Bound Athletes

Anyone wanting to become a college student-athlete needs to understand how to prepare for that opportunity. Heading into your fall semester, whether you are a senior or an underclassman, it’s important to know where you stand, academically and athletically, in your recruiting process. Below we will give you a detailed guide of how to stay on track in your pursuit of a career as a college student-athlete.


FRESHMEN (Grade 9)


CHECK IN WITH GUIDANCE COUNSELOR

  • Speak with your guidance counselor, or an educational advisor, about your intentions to attend college. Together, you should be able to create a plan that works for your individual situation.

  • The most important thing for you to figure out is what core classes you will need to take during your high school career to be eligible for the NCAA.


INFORM COACHES OF YOUR COLLEGE ASPIRATIONS

  • Make your high school coaches aware of your intentions to become a collegiate athlete.

  • Coaches can be very helpful to athletes in the recruiting process. Most coaches will be able to give you sound advice throughout your recruitment.

  • High School coaches can also use their network of colleagues to assist you, in whatever way they deem appropriate.



CREATE LIST OF DREAM SCHOOLS

  • Make a list of 5 schools that you would love to attend, regardless of any initial limitations (Harvard is NOT impossible at this point!).

  • Figure out what makes these schools ideal for you. Write down 3 or 4 of the best characteristics of the schools. Also write down 3 or 4 aspects of college that are the most important to you. If these two lists do not match, re-consider what a “Dream” school could be for you.

  • Decide what characteristics these schools have that are less than ideal. Write down 3 or 4 of these non-ideal aspects. Compare these to your list of 3 or 4 college aspects that are the least important in your decision making process. There should be some overlap, if the schools are indeed “Dream” Schools.


RESEARCH COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES

  • Calculate the cost of living at your dream schools, after scholarships & financial aid expenses.

  • Estimate the distances that you and your family would be traveling during your 4 or 5 years in college. Also, estimate the amount of costs involved in the travel.

  • Research your dream schools in depth. Find out as much historical & unique information about the school and sports programs as possible.



RESEARCH COLLEGE ROSTERS

  • Look at rosters to see what types of players are on the team. Do their skills or physical build look like what you see in the mirror? If yes, you’re on the right track. If no, what needs to be done to get you there?

  • Look into players' resumes of stats & accolades. Is the team full of All-state selections, or 4 star athletes? And more importantly, what do you need to do to create a similar resume during your High School career?





LEARN ABOUT SCHOLARSHIPS & FINANCIAL AID

  • Understand the different types of financial aid, and what is available throughout the different divisions of college.

  • NCAA Division I & II schools combine to award over 3 billion dollars in sports scholarships annually, making it pretty important to figure out how that money is allocated to student-athletes.



VISIT A LOCAL COLLEGE

  • Take a day-trip to a local campus to get an initial idea of college life. Check out different aspects that might be different than what you are accustomed to in High School.

  • Visit different colleges as well. Experience the difference between a large & small colleges, as well as a rural setting compared to a campus in the center of a major city. Seeing these campuses now, will give you a better understanding of what kind of setting you would like to live in for your 4 to 5 years in college.


KEEP UP WITH IMPORTANT DATES




SOPHOMORES (Grade 10)




CHECK IN WITH GUIDANCE COUNSELOR

  • Speak with your guidance counselor, or an educational advisor, about your intentions to attend college. Together, you should be able to create a plan that works for your individual situation.

  • The most important thing for you to figure out is what core classes you will need to take during your high school career to be eligible for the NCAA.


INFORM COACHES OF YOUR COLLEGE ASPIRATIONS

  • Make your high school coaches aware of your intentions to become a collegiate athlete.

  • Coaches can be very helpful to athletes in the recruiting process. Most coaches will be able to give you sound advice throughout your recruitment.

  • High School coaches can also use their network of colleagues to assist you, in whatever way they deem appropriate.


CREATE A PLAN FOR PSAT

  • Register and take the PSAT as soon as possible. It will serve as an indicator of what academic areas you need improvement in before you take your SAT/ACT tests.

  • The PSAT is great practice for the SAT/ACT tests, helping you create a process for studying and taking the tests.

  • PSAT scores are used to identify National Merit Scholars. The National Merit Scholarship Corporation awards merit scholarships to top PSAT performers.


REGISTER WITH NCAA

  • Register for a free NCAA profile and receive you NCAA identification. This profile will allow you to receive important information about the NCAA throughout your High School career.

  • The free profile is a good option if you are interested in Division 3 schools or haven’t decided where you plan to attend college

  • If you start receiving interest or offers from Division I & Division II schools, you can upgrade to a certified account. ($90 Domestic/Canada, $150 International students)



DETERMINE YOUR FAMILY’S EFC

  • Finding out your Estimated Financial Contribution (EFC) can help estimate your federal student aid eligibility. Knowing this information will allow you to create an effective financial strategy for your college career.



UPDATE YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE

  • Your online presence will consistently viewed throughout the recruitment process.

  • If you have not done so already, create Twitter & Instagram accounts that can be seen publicly, and used throughout the recruitment process.

**We suggest that you delete your personal social media accounts, or make them

private during the recruitment process, to prevent any unwanted content being

displayed to potential recruiters.

  • Adjust your profiles with relevant information for recruiters including your: sport, graduation class, measurements & verified statistics, school name & location, and contact email (make sure your parents are aware of this information).

  • Create an email account specifically for recruitment purposes. This account should be used to send & receive communications from college coaches directly during the recruiting process.

**We suggest that you create an account that can be monitored by your parents as well

to ensure transparency during recruitment.



WIDEN SCHOOL SEARCH

  • Be realistic about your athletic and academic situation, by adding schools to your original dreams schools list.

  • Create a list of 5 to 10 safety schools.

  • Create a list of 10 to 15 target schools.

  • Update your list of 5 to 10 dream schools.


COMPARE YOURSELF WITH TEAM ROSTERS


  • Looking at your target & dream schools, compare your physical measurements with current players. What can you do to match or exceed those measurements?

  • Look into players' resumes of stats & accolades. Is the team full of All-state selections, or 4 star athletes? And more importantly, what do you need to do to create a similar resume during your High School career?

  • Determine if schools recruit players from a certain area or region. Figure out if you are likely to be recruited or not because of your High School location.

  • Do your schools have rigorous academic standards? Find the average GPAs of players on the roster & compare to what you currently have in High School. This will allow you to determine if the school will fit you academically, in addition to your athletic ability.

  • Does the team have a need for your position? Figure out how many players at your position are on the team, and try to estimate how many will be there in 2 to 3 years. If a team has a ton of seniors at your position, it can be expected that in 2 years they will have sophomores & juniors replacing those players.



KEEP UP WITH IMPORTANT DATES





JUNIORS (Grade 11)




CHECK IN WITH GUIDANCE COUNSELOR

  • Figure out what classes you have remaining to complete your NCAA eligibility. If you need to retake classes, do so as soon as possible.


TALK TO COACHES OR PODYUM RECRUITMENT EXPERT

  • Speak with your Coach or a Podyum Recruitment Coach about creating a detailed recruitment plan for your last two years of High School.

  • Identify what areas of your recruitment need to be improved in both athletics and academics.

  • Decide exactly what needs to be accomplished, so you can garner interest from your target & dream schools.

  • Identify where you stand in comparison to other athletes in your position and recruitment class. Knowing where you rank will help you understand what needs to be done to improve your recruitment process.


KEEP UP WITH IMPORTANT DATES


REGISTER WITH THE NCAA

  • Register for a free NCAA profile and receive you NCAA identification.

  • The free profile is a good option if you are interested in Division 3 schools.

  • If you are receiving interest or offers from Division I & Division II schools, upgrade to a certified account. ($90 Domestic/Canada, $150 International students)


NARROW SCHOOLS LIST & CONTACT COACHES

  • Create a realistic mix of your safety, target, and dream schools.

  • Narrow the list to 20-30 schools.

  • Contact position coaches, recruiters, and assistant coaches from each school. You are not guaranteed to receive a response from coaches, so contact as many as possible.



UPDATE YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE

  • Your online presence will consistently viewed throughout the recruitment process.

  • If you have not done so already, create Twitter & Instagram accounts that can be seen publicly, and used throughout the recruitment process.

**We suggest that you delete your personal social media accounts, or make them private during the recruitment process, to prevent any unwanted content being displayed to potential recruiters.

  • Adjust your profiles with relevant information for recruiters including your: sport, graduation class, measurements & verified statistics, school name & location, and contact email (make sure your parents are aware of this information).

  • Create an email account specifically for recruitment purposes. This account should be used to send & receive communications from college coaches directly during the recruiting process.

**We suggest that you create an account that can be monitored by your parents as well, to ensure transparency during recruitment.

  • Update your current highlight tape and/or links to the most current versions. Make sure your highlights are easily accessible for recruiters looking for your information.



PODYUM PREPS CUSTOM HIGHLIGHTS


PODYUM PREPS CUSTOM HIGHLIGHTS




CREATE A PLAN FOR ACT & SAT TESTS

  • Know the dates for SAT/ACT registration & tests.

  • Register for early test dates, in case you need time to re-take them later.

  • Make sure your test scores are sent directly to the NCAA eligibility center, using code “9999” in the appropriate box during registration.

  • Know the fees associated with each test, as well as possible waiver options.

  • Take ACT/SAT tests as many times as necessary or possible, depending on your individual situation. A higher score is always a benefit to your recruitment process.


FOLLOW TARGET SCHOOLS ONLINE

  • Follow college coaches and school profiles on Twitter & Instagram. Be sure to follow team accounts as well.

  • Following teams online will allow you to stay current on teams’ activities and what is relevant at the school.

  • Follow coaches who you have had contact with, and stay in consistent communication with them. Check in with questions or information about their program. This will help them understand that you are truly interested in their program, and not just your own personal recruitment.



TAKE OFFICIAL & UNOFFICIAL VISITS

  • Take as many official & unofficial visits as possible. These will be great opportunities to tour campuses & athletic facilities during the school year.

  • Visits will give you a chance to speak to coaches in one-on-one settings, as well as meet your potential teammates

  • You will gain a better perspective on what exactly you want from your college experience, as you continue the recruiting process.


ATTEND COLLEGE FAIRS

  • College fairs allow you to get valuable information on multiple schools in one place. Attending one could possibly give you insight from 20 different schools!

  • Since college fairs are intended for all students, they provide a great way to learn about the various aspects of college outside of a sports focused environment.


FOLLOW UP WITH COACHES

  • Stay in constant contact with college coaches. Check in with questions or information about their program. Give coaches a reason to have you on their mind throughout the entire recruiting process.

  • Make sure to send coaches your academic transcripts and scores, showing your eligibility status and ability to be admitted into their school.



SENIORS (Grade 12)



CHECK IN WITH GUIDANCE COUNSELOR

  • Confirm your NCAA eligibility. If you need to retake classes, do so as soon as possible.


RE-TAKE ACT/SAT IF NEEDED

  • Retaking the SAT/ACT could be necessary to increase your scholarship opportunities, or to improve your admission chances at various colleges.


UPDATE YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE

  • Update your relevant information for recruiters including your: sport, graduation class, measurements & verified statistics, school name & location, and contact email (make sure your parents are aware of this information).

  • Update your current highlight tape and/or links to the most current versions. Make sure your highlights are easily accessible for recruiters looking for your information.



KEEP UP WITH IMPORTANT DATES


COLLEGE VISITS

  • Take as many official & unofficial visits as you are allowed.

  • This will most likely be the last chance you have to get an accurate assessment of the school vibe on campus.

  • This is an additional opportunity to speak to coaches & future teammates.



COMPLETE YOUR FAFSA

  • The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) allows students to apply for aid in the forms of grants, loans, and work study funds.

  • October 1 is the first day to fill out your FAFSA form. Complete the form as soon as possible to understand your financial aid status.



NARROW SCHOOL LIST

  • Refine your list of schools to 10-15 schools. Be realistic about your safety, target, and dream schools in that list.

  • If you have not received interest or offers from the schools on your list, consider expanding your list. There are many options for student-athletes beyond Division I programs, do not dismiss the potential in attending a c college not on your original list.



START APPLYING TO SCHOOLS

  • Know the application deadlines for the school’s on your list.

  • Find out if schools have their own applications, or if you can use the common application.

  • Understand what fees are associated with college applications. The average college application is $45, so applying to multiple schools can be expensive. Also looking into application waivers, depending on your individual situation.



SIGNING DAY (November 11, 2020)



  • This is the initial signing day for most sports except Football (December 16), when athletes can sign their National Letter of Intent with Division I & Division II colleges.




NEXT STEPS

Now that you are familiar with the fall recruitment checklist, you should Schedule a Free Assessment to begin your recruiting process.

If you have already begun the recruiting process, be sure to increase your efforts through Recruitment Services.




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