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Winter Recruitment Checklist for College-Bound Athletes

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


FIGURE OUT WHAT COACHES WANT

You need to understand what kind of student-athletes coaches will be looking for. Get familiar with where you are in the recruiting process, as well as what schools fit your preferences.


LEARN FROM EXPERTS

Being prepared is the most important aspect of the recruiting process, and can’t be done alone. Utilize all resources you have to learn about your current recruiting process. Speak to players, coaches, and school counselors about what to expect throughout the process. Contact Podyum Preps and speak to an experienced recruitment coach who can help guide you through your individual recruiting journey.



CREATE RECRUITMENT GOALS FOR UPCOMING YEAR

This is the perfect time to set recruitment goals for the next year. Make your goals unique to your individual situation & measurable. A few examples would be: making the varsity team next season, setting a personal record in a training exercise, or raising your GPA by 0.3. Creating these types of goals and following through will help you to stay motivated, focused, and committed throughout your recruitment process.


UPDATE YOUR ATHLETIC PROFILE & ACADEMIC TRANSCRIPT

Depending on your sport, this is a great opportunity to update your highlight film & statistics. Be sure to update these on all social media platforms & recruitment platforms you are currently using as well. In addition to your athletic profile, update your academic transcript as well. Make sure you are aware of your NCAA eligibility progress, as well as your current core GPA.


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 freshman and underclassmen.


NCAA DIVISIONS EXPLAINED




SOPHOMORES (Grade 10)


CREATE & STICK TO RECRUITMENT GOALS FOR UPCOMING YEAR

This is the perfect time to set recruitment goals for the next year. Make your goals unique to your individual situation & measurable. A few examples would be: making the varsity team next season, setting a personal record in a training exercise, or raising your GPA by 0.3. Creating these types of goals and following through will help you to stay motivated, focused, and committed throughout your recruitment process.


UPDATE YOUR ATHLETIC PROFILE & ACADEMIC TRANSCRIPT

Depending on your sport, this is a great opportunity to update your highlight film & statistics. Be sure to update these on all social media platforms & recruitment platforms you are currently using as well. In addition to your athletic profile, update your academic transcript as well. Make sure you are aware of your NCAA eligibility progress, as well as your current core GPA.


REVIEW YOUR FINANCIAL AID SITUATION

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.


EVALUATE YOUR TALENT LEVEL

Knowing where you rank nationally will help you understand which programs to contact in your recruiting process. Star ratings are used to quickly show a recruit’s level of talent to college coaches. To receive a star rating, you can have your High School or club team coach assess your skills and convey that to a reputable ranking platform. Also, you could schedule a free assessment with Podyum Preps, and have our scouting department evaluate your talent level.



COMPARE 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?


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 sophomores and underclassmen.






JUNIORS (11th Grade)


ESTIMATE YOUR FINANCIAL AID OPTIONS

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.


REGISTER FOR ACT OR SAT

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.


REVIEW YOUR NCAA ELIGIBILITY

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


CREATE & STICK TO RECRUITMENT GOALS FOR UPCOMING YEAR

Make your goals unique to your individual situation & measurable. A few examples would be: making the varsity team next season, setting a personal record in a training exercise, or raising your GPA by 0.3. Creating these types of goals and following through will help you to stay motivated, focused, and committed throughout your recruitment process.


TRACK WHERE YOU ARE IN THE RECRUITING PROCESS

The recruiting process can be compared to a funnel containing five specific stages. College coaches begin by contacting a large number of prospective athletes that they believe would add value to their program. Coaches use evaluations, highlight videos, and contact with recruits to help narrow this list until they have filled their available roster spots. Knowing these stages will help you understand where you are in the recruiting process and what needs to happen next.




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.






SENIORS (12th Grade)


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.


REGISTER WITH THE NCAA ELIGIBILITY CENTER

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)


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.


COMPLETE 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.


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 have your winter 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.