Spring Recruitment Checklist for College-Bound Athletes



To become a college student-athlete you must understand how to prepare for that opportunity. Heading into the spring season, 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.



FRESHMAN (Grade 9)


DEVELOP TIME MANAGEMENT SKILLS

Learning how to manage your time is one of the most important skills you will need to master to become a college student-athlete. A balance between school, sports, and family & friends is key to preparing for a collegiate career. There are only 24 hours in a day, what you do with that time will decide your future.


ADD TO YOUR LIST OF DREAM SCHOOLS

Add to your original 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. Decide what characteristics these schools have that are less than ideal. Compare these characteristics as you try to narrow down your list in the future.




LEARN MORE ABOUT FINANCIAL AID

In addition to understanding the different types of financial aid, find out what academic scholarships you will be eligible for at different schools. Students must possess a 3.5 GPA & have a 25 ACT/1200 SAT score to be eligible to receive an academic scholarship. Exceeding these measurements will most likely increase your chances of receiving an academic scholarship amidst a large pool of applicants.


RESEARCH SUMMER COLLEGE CAMPS

Research college summer camps that are focused on skills & development. Showcase events should be considered later in the recruitment process, after the initial contact period in your sophomore year.


COMPLETE RECRUITING QUESTIONNAIRES

Depending on your sport, D1 colleges can’t communicate with recruits before certain dates of their sophomore/junior year. Athletes can receive non-recruitment materials, which include camp brochures, questionnaires, & NCAA educational materials.


If you are interested in a school, filling out their questionnaire is the best way to let them know of your interest. Be sure to follow up, letting the coaching staff know you have filled out a questionnaire. They will not be able to respond, but your efforts will make an impression.


JOIN PODYUM PREPS

Don’t delay your recruitment process any further, set up a free assessment with one of our qualified recruitment coaches. Joining Podyum Preps allows you the opportunity to have your recruitment process guided by professionals who will maximize your exposure, while you focus on your sports & schoolwork.



TRACK IMPORTANT RECRUITMENT DATES

Download the NCAA Division I & Division II Recruiting Calendar that applies to your sport. Keep up with this calendar and any changes made to it throughout the year. Learn about new NCAA recruiting rules that are relevant to juniors and underclassmen.


 

THE 5 STAGES OF THE COLLEGE RECRUITING PROCESS


 

SOPHOMORE (Grade 10)


REGISTER FOR RECRUITING WEBINAR

Podyum Preps hosts a FREE recruiting webinar every month for prospective student-athletes. These webinars will help you understand where you are in the recruiting process, as well as how to maximize your efforts & increase your opportunities. Each webinar is a different presentation, covering various topics including sport-specific recruitment (Football, Basketball, Lacrosse), academics, scholarships, & financial aid.


Register today to receive a private link to an upcoming recruiting webinar.


BE PREPARED TO COMMUNICATE WITH COACHES

Depending on the sport you are playing, college coaches will be able to contact you, and begin the recruiting process. Schedule an assessment with a recruitment coach to find out what dates you can be contacted for your specific sport. Being prepared for this communication will ensure that you make the best impression possible. Make sure you are ready to communicate effectively by phone, email, video, social media, & even standard mail.


RESEARCH SUMMER COLLEGE CAMPS & RECRUITING EVENTS

Research college summer camps that are focused on recruiting & exposure. Find out which events will highlight your best skills to show off to recruiters, as well as those that will give you maximum exposure. Be sure to reach out to coaches, and let them know which events you will be attending. Their responses will help you gauge their recruitment interest.


UPDATE SCHOOLS ON YOUR LIST

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.


Also, 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?


UPDATE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA

Your social media will be consistently viewed throughout the recruitment process. 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.


UPDATE YOUR HIGHLIGHT VIDEO/ONLINE PROFILE

Adjust your social media 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.

SOCIAL MEDIA AS A RECRUITING TOOL


POST SUMMER SCHEDULE ONLINE

Information on your event schedule should be readily accessible. Posting which events you will be attending makes it easier for college coaches to add you to their list of events they plan to attend. That exposure can put you on the radar with exponentially more schools in your recruitment process.


TRACK IMPORTANT RECRUITMENT DATES

Download the NCAA Division I & Division II Recruiting Calendar that applies to your sport. Keep up with this calendar and any changes made to it throughout the year. Learn about new NCAA recruiting rules that are relevant to juniors and underclassmen.

 

WHICH TEST IS RIGHT FOR YOU: SAT vs ACT


 

JUNIOR (Grade 11)


NARROW SCHOOLS LIST

You should have 5-10 schools on your target list. Continued communication with these schools is needed for them to be realistic options for your college career. 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. Use the Five College Factors as a resource to ensure that your target schools fit your individual needs and preferences.


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.


RE-TAKE ACT OR SAT

Know the dates for SAT/ACT registration & tests. 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 scholarship opportunities, or to improve your admission chances at various colleges. *Update your scores on your Podyum Preps Profile & Social Media Profiles.


CHECK IN WITH GUIDANCE COUNSELOR/PREPS RECRUITMENT COACH

With your counselor or Recruitment Coach, discuss what classes are needed to fulfill your NCAA eligibility requirements. If you need to retake classes, do so as soon as possible.


REGISTER FOR SUMMER COLLEGE CAMPS & RECRUITING EVENTS

Attend college events that are focused on recruiting & exposure. Events to consider are skills camps, school tours, and recruiting fairs. Contact coaches of your target schools to find out what events they have available, as well as other recruiting events they will be attending.



APPLY TO SCHOOLS

Know the application deadlines for the schools on your target 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.


UPDATE YOUR HIGHLIGHT VIDEO/ONLINE PROFILE

Adjust your social media 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).

  • 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.


POST SUMMER SCHEDULE ONLINE

Information on your event schedule should be readily accessible. Posting which events you will be attending makes it easier for college coaches to add you to their list of events they plan to attend. That exposure can put you on the radar exponentially with more schools in your recruitment process.


TRACK IMPORTANT RECRUITMENT DATES

Download the NCAA Division I & Division II Recruiting Calendar that applies to your sport. Keep up with this calendar and any changes made to it throughout the year. Learn about new NCAA recruiting rules that are relevant to juniors and underclassmen.


 

PODYUM PREPS CUSTOM HIGHLIGHT PACKAGE



 

SENIOR (Grade 12)


COMPARE CURRENT OFFERS

Understanding what kind of offers you have received will be important in your final decision. Knowing the difference between a full-ride or particle scholarship, as well as a preferred walk-on is imperative at this point in the process. If you have multiple offers, which fit your individual situation best? Do you know what factors are of higher priority for your decision? Speak to your parents & mentors in depth about what is the correct path for your athletic & academic collegiate goals.


EXPLORE ALL POSSIBLE OPTIONS

If you do not have any current offers, there are still plenty of options available. Some colleges will continue recruitment well into senior year, specifically Division II, Division III, NAIA, & Junior Colleges. You will need to remain in contact with coaches who have previously shown interest in you, in the case of decommitments, player transfers, or walk-on availability. These types of changes have a ripple effect, so also reach out to schools that were on your original target lists, in the case that roster positions have become available recently.


COLLEGE DIVISIONS EXPLAINED


APPLY 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 financial situation.


REQUEST FINAL AMATEURISM CERTIFICATION

If you have decided to attend a Division I or Division II school, you will need to request a Final Amateurism Certificate to complete your NCAA eligibility. April 1st is the first day you are allowed to request the certificate.


SIGNING DAY (April 12, 2022)

This is the initial signing day for most sports except Football (February 1), when athletes can sign their National Letter of Intent with Division I & Division II colleges.




TELL THE WORLD

Signing an NLI is an accomplishment worth celebrating! Contact Podyum Preps once you have committed to a college to have your custom social media graphic made. Announce your college choice on all of your social media channels, as well as update your profile biographies. Also, take a few photos of you in your new school’s gear, and enjoy the internet love!




CREATE A BACKUP PLAN

No Offers? No problem. There are still options available for athletes who have not signed an NLI or chosen a school. A few options include, attending a Junior College, deciding to walk-on at a four year college, attending a postgraduate school, or taking a gap year. All of these options can lead to you continuing your career at the next level. For more information, contact a Podyum Preps recruitment coach today.




NEXT STEPS

Now that you have your spring 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 our Recruitment Services.