4 College Recruitment Tips for Young Athletes

A college football game.

The prospect of playing sports at the collegiate level is very exciting for young athletes. Earning a spot on a university’s roster can come with an enormous sense of pride, financial aid or scholarships, and even the opportunity to play professionally one day. When it comes to getting recruited, however, being a great player isn’t always enough. The athletes with the best chance of being chosen for a college sports team have a strategy for the recruitment process. To help you prepare for the school year, Rocky Top Sports World has put together four tips for getting recruited.

1. Make Sure You Register with the NCAA

In order to be eligible for recruitment, high schoolers need to officially register with the NCAA as amateur athletes. Registering is easy and can be done online at the NCAA Eligibility Center website. There is a $50 fee for signing up, but it is well worth the money if you’re serious about playing collegiate sports. It is recommended that athletes register with the NCAA by their junior year.

2. Put Together a Highlight VideoA man filming a soccer game.

While statistics can tell a story, for a college recruiter, nothing compares to actually seeing an athlete in action. The easiest way to make sure you get noticed is to put together a highlight reel that you can share with interested schools. The ideal video will include 10 – 20 plays where you really shine on the field or court. It can also be beneficial to include a long unedited segment of a game so recruiters can see how you play for an extended period of time. Some athletes hire videographers for their highlight reel, but a parent with a decent camera and a tripod usually does the trick.

3. Reach Out to Coaches

Instead of waiting for a school to contact you, we suggest being proactive and reaching out to coaches yourself. Most colleges list their coaches’ email addresses online, so it’s not hard to get in touch. In your message, briefly introduce yourself, express interest in the school, and include your highlight reel. You will also want to attach a resume with information about your athletic and academic experience, along with the contact info for your high school coaches. The beginning of your sophomore year is a great time to start emailing college coaches.

4. Don’t Neglect Academics

Academic performance can play a big role in college recruitment. Universities are looking for well-rounded individuals who will succeed both in the classroom and on the field. Schools typically have GPA requirements and target ACT/SAT scores. Good grades can be the determining factor when colleges choose between candidates with similar athletic abilities. Of course, academics should be taken seriously both during high school and college because the chances of playing sports professionally are slim for most athletes.

A field with views of the mountains at Rocky Top Sports World.About Rocky Top Sports World

Located minutes away from downtown Gatlinburg, TN, Rocky Top Sports World is the ultimate tournament destination. With seven fields, six basketball courts, 12 volleyball courts, team rooms, and an onsite grill, our 80-acre athletic complex has everything you need for an incredible sports event. To see a complete listing of our upcoming tournaments and camps, check out the Rocky Top Sports World Events Calendar!