As a parent, you are still wrapping your head around the fact your child is already in middle school and that high school is right around the corner—but it’s time to start seriously thinking about college. Even if you have been saving for college for years, you and your student athlete may not yet be thinking about where they want to go to college, what they want to major in, or how to attract the attention of a collegiate recruiter. However, right now is the best time to give your student a Competitive Edge! Youth athletics has grown so much that colleges have begun scouting student athletes in middle school.
Not All College Sports Recruiters Travel
Sports like basketball, baseball, and football have the highest recruiting travel budgets, so if your child is in an alternate sport, you must take a proactive approach to attracting the attention of college recruiters. Also, remember, travel budgets are higher for boy’s sports than girl’s sports. Either way, you can’t expect recruiters to find you.
Leverage the Internet to Connect with Scouts
Even if your student-athlete has not decided if they want to play the sport they love in college, it won’t hurt to make a few connections. Your hometown coaches have a few collegiate contacts, but you never want to put all your eggs in one basket. Not to worry, because you can easily leverage the Internet to create the connections you need:
- Create a comprehensive list of colleges that have the sports program you desire—be sure not to rule out small colleges or schools that don’t make the headlines.
- If you haven’t done so already, record your student’s games and practices—and learn how to edit their performance into short clips that highlight their skills.
- Identify a few recruiters, scouts, and coaches you want to engage with, and send them a direct email, using video. Touch base if you haven’t heard back in a week or two, and keep the dialogue going.
- Look for sports-specific social media boards and networking groups you can post stats and videos to—or create a YouTube page, website, or Facebook page to post and promote your student athlete on.
Enroll Your Student in Athletic Programs with The Coaches You Are Targeting
Check to see what day, week, or summer programs you can enroll your student in over the next few years, which will be hosted by the college or coach whose attention you are trying to attract. This is not only an excellent way to highlight your student’s technical skills firsthand, but it also allows them to view their sportsmanship, teamwork, and personality. Sometimes, these aspects are the determining factors in recruiting one athlete over another!
Last but not least, you must define your priorities. Is your goal to obtain a scholarship? Play in a Division I school? Alternatively, simply to allow your student athlete to pursue their passion for sports for as long as possible?
Competitive Edge provides athlete assessments and training profiles that can be used to send to colleges or recruiters. You can also inquire about video services if you need game footage recorded or edited. As always, Competitive Edge is here to help develop your athlete’s technical, mental, and physical skills, but it’s up to you to make sure they get noticed!