You may not be on the field, but there are always things you can be doing to work towards your goal of getting recruited to play at the next level. Here are 5 things any player can do to help themselves in the offseason in recruiting:
1. Get focused on academics: You many not have to be Einstein to play college sports, but believe it or not grades do matter, and can be a difference maker. Coaches will not recruit players or waste scholarships offers on players that may not get accepted into their school, or may become academically ineligible once they get there. It can be tough to balance school and athletics during the season, so it’s important to get a strong GPA every offseason in order to keep your grades for the year as high as possible. Also, every college has a minimum SAT or ACT score for students, and the offseason is a great time to prepare for and take these tests.
2. Attend college camps: Most college and high school seasons for each sport take place during the same times of year. Therefore, a vast majority of college camps are during the offseason, especially those geared towards older high school students. These are great opportunities to be seen by coaches from colleges you are interested in attending. It is best to be honest with yourself and attend camps from those colleges you think will best suit your talent level, but there is nothing wrong with attending camps at the tops schools as well – they can be a great experience, and sometimes are also attended by coaches of smaller schools as instructors. Also, try to contact the coaching staff via email beforehand so they can possibly put a name to a face once you arrive.
3. Reach out to college coaches: It never hurts to be proactive in contacting college coaches, and the offseason is a great time to do so. Although offseasons can be NCAA required ‘dead periods’ for recruiting, there is nothing wrong with a player reaching out to a coach. If you have not previously been contacted by the coach or member of the staff of that school, shoot them an email letting them know you will be at their camp or attending a showcase they may be attending. If you have been in contact previously, send the coaches periodic updates to your offseason letting them know how you are doing in fall/summer/spring ball or if you will be attending any tournaments or showcases. Try to avoid sending out mass emails, coaches can usually tell, and make sure to steer clear of going straight for the head coach – the recruiting coordinator or other assistant coaches will be more likely to read your emails.
4. Attend events like showcases/tournaments/combines: As we have noted, not all showcases and tournaments are great or worth the money, but some are. Much of it comes down to personal preference. If you don’t mind traveling or paying higher prices, there are events out there for you. If you would rather stay more local or don’t want to pay top dollar, there are also events for you. There are no guarantees that you will get recruited out of a showcase or tournament, regardless of what brand name is attached. However, there is no chance at all that you get recruited from your couch, so we suggested at least trying to attend some of these events over the course of your high school career. Just do some research beforehand to see if they are the right fit, and keep your expectations realistic.
5. Hit the gym and train hard: Sometimes the best way to help yourself get recruited is simply just get better at your sport. In the offseason, this means getting bigger, faster, and stronger, as well as working on your sport-specific skills. If you set the right kind of goals at the beginning of the offseason, you will always have something to work towards. Even if it is only a few hours a week, you can see huge results by the time the season comes around. If you are multi-sport athlete, this can be a great way to keep your body in top notch shape year around, just make sure you practice your other sport enough to keep your skills up as well.