Recruiting Advice for Your Spring-Sport Athlete
The recruiting process is more demanding for spring-sport athletes because they
need to impress college coaches before their junior season. Besides being solid
on the turf, track or diamond in the spring, your young athlete needs to dish out
his athletic skills to college coaches with extra force starting sophomore year.
Here, Recruiting Realities president Jack Renkens shares advice for getting noticed.
So your athlete should get ready to take action.
Your athlete’s high school coaches can do only so much to get his name to college
coaches, which means he is responsible for being what Renkens calls “extremely proactive.”
No. 1 on his list: Your athlete should begin contacting college programs early in
his high school career.
“Sophomore year is really critical,” Renkens says. “If [college coaches] don’t know
about you when you’re a sophomore, how are they going to recruit you aggressively
when you’re a junior?”
The NCAA restricts when coaches can officially contact your young athlete, but rules
that apply to him are different. “A student-athlete can get in touch with a coach
at any time,” Renkens says. He advises notifying coaches of the game schedules for
your athlete’s high school and club teams so that once permitted, they can scope
out his athletic abilities. As Renkens explains, “College coaches attend these events
to evaluate student-athletes they’re actively recruiting.”
Your athlete should not limit his contacts, because recruiting is a numbers game,
Renkens says. The more people who are informed about him, the better his odds of
playing in college. “[Student-athletes] never contact enough schools,” Renkens says.
“You need to get in touch with 70, 80, 90, 100 programs from all different divisions
if you really want an opportunity.”
Creating an athletic profile online is one easy way for your young athlete to reach
out. Renkens suggests including the information requested on standard recruiting
questionnaires, which can be found on almost every collegiate athletic website:
your athlete’s GPA, graduation year, academic achievements and awards, areas of
academic interest, and athletic accomplishments, awards and stats.
Renkens highly recommends attaching to your athlete’s profile an online video with
two to three minutes of actual game footage and a skills section. Sport-specific
footage should include:
• Ground ball throws to first and second
• Slow ground ball throws to first
• Ground ball to second base throws to first
• Pop fly throws to third base and home plate
• Line drive throws to third base and home plate
• Wind-up fastball, change-up, curveball
• Stretch curve, fastball, change-up
• Throws to all three bases from a bunt
• Blocking a pitch in the dirt
• Fielding and throwing from his left, right, center and fly balls
• At least five swings at bat
• Bunting demonstration
• Throws to second base from a crouch
• Catching a pitcher
• Blocking a pitch in the dirt
• Stationary and driven high, middle and low shots on goal
• Lateral and forward passing skills
• Offhand shooting and passing skills
• Shots covered on the ground, in the corners and at the crossbar
• Forehand and backhand strokes and volleys
• Serves from each side of the court
• Overhead returns
Track & Field
While college coaches are interested in running, throwing and jumping form, they
are primarily focused on times, distances and cleared heights. Renkens recommends
keeping your young athlete’s video simple by featuring footage of his event two
to three times.
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