The coronavirus pandemic is changing the future for high school athletes across the country, especially college recruiting during these unprecedented times. The recruiting “dead period” has been in place since March and was recently extended through January 1, 2021. This means that coaches may not have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their families and may not watch student-athletes compete or visit their high schools. Thankfully, however, there are several things prospective student-athletes can be doing to gain exposure to college coaches. Please read below for some tips on how to get recruited during a pandemic.
Stay positive and be patient.
Recognize that we are living in historic times and the recruiting process may be delayed.
Don’t wait for a coach to reach out to you. Fill out online recruiting forms and initiate communication with college coaches via email, phone, and various social media platforms. This type of communication is allowed during the “dead period.”
Book a virtual video call.
Virtual calls are the new normal and give college coaches the opportunity to have a (virtual) face-to-face conversation with you and your family. Have questions prepared ahead of time and dress appropriately. Lastly, make sure your lighting is sufficient and the background is clean.
Take virtual campus tours.
Most colleges and universities are not allowing in-person admission visits at this time. Taking advantage of virtual tours can help you gain a better feel for a school to help you feel more confident in your college choice.
Have your coach make a call for you.
Ask your high school and club coaches if they would be willing to contact college coaches on your behalf. A positive reference from your coach will go a long way.
Focus on your education.
A strong transcript is a key component of the recruiting process. Be sure your core courses are in order. For instance, to be eligible to play at the DI level, a prospective student-athlete must complete a total of 10 core classes after three years of high school, and 16 core classes after four years with a minimum core GPA of 2.3.
Keep track of your eligibility.
Be sure your NCAA Eligibility Center account (required for DI and DII bound student-athletes) is up-to-date and all necessary materials (official transcripts and standardized test scores) have been submitted.
Create an athletic resume.
Organize your film, transcripts, contact information, and test scores into an athletic resume that will highlight your strongest accomplishments and give you an edge over the competition.
Use social media.
Student-athletes should make use of social media platforms such as Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram to post highlights and game film. In the absence of game film, use footage of a workout, team practice, or intra-squad scrimmage.
Be open to options you may not have previously considered.
Explore the possibility of reclassifying to give yourself another year of exposure, and consider schools in all three NCAA divisions, the NAIA, and junior colleges. Finally, do not rule out club sports. These programs can very competitive and lots of fun.
If you would like to learn more about the college recruiting process, please email Mrs. Williams, New Hampton School’s Athletic Liaison in the College Counseling Office, at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a meeting.