16 New Years Resolutions to Get You Recruited in 2016
ForeCollegeGolf is here to kick off the New Year right with some great tips to help you GET RECRUITED in 2016!
Own it: There is often a misconception that families have when it comes to the recruiting process and what role a high school or swing coach should play. Some players and parents think golf coaches handle the process of getting their son or daughter recruited. Think again! This is your job so take responsibility! ForeCollegeGolf reaches out as a third party to help market your personal character and athletic ability, but in the end, coaches want to see and hear from you, so own it in 2016!
Start Early: Some think the recruiting process starts junior year, or starts when college coaches start calling you. The college recruiting process started the day you picked up that cut down 7-iron at the local “muni” golf course. In reality, it gets serious the minute you walk into high school for your freshman year. Everything you do from that point forward will contribute to how successful you are in this process. How hard you work in the classroom will determine what colleges will accept you. How hard you work on the athletic field will determine at what level of college you can potentially play. If you want to succeed, start today!
Work harder in the classroom: For the top football and basketball players you see selecting schools on ESPN, grades in high school are less of a concern. For the other 99% of high school athletes wishing to play sports in college, your grades and test scores will be the first question a college coach inquires about when you contact them and vice versa. In golf especially, coaches are most concerned about grades so work harder in the classroom!
Work harder in practice and on the course: Still, after hundreds of years, no one has perfected the game of golf. Most junior golfers think with the mindset, “I’m good enough” or “I’ll practice tomorrow”. Bottom line, we can always improve at something and that something doesn’t always have to be hitting a 7 iron off a flat lie to a big green, downwind. Push yourself to improve in every aspect of life. Get out of your comfort zone! You might just surprise yourself!
Get those blinders off and the binoculars out! : Find 30 schools no one has ever heard of: Some students are afraid to apply to colleges they have never heard of because it isn’t “cool.” Your recruiting research should include colleges that you might not have heard of because let’s face it, there are over 1,200 NCAA colleges that compete in three divisions and there is a good chance you haven’t heard of 1,000 of them because they are not on TV every week! Applying to a college off the beaten path that receives fewer applications and are further from your hometown can give you an advantage in the application process especially for college coaches looking to make inroads into a new recruiting territory so get those binoculars out and do your research!
Start Dialing: In this day and age of social networking, texting, email, Facebook, Twitter, it is unbelievably easy to communicate with the entire world without ever actually speaking. It’s no secret that college coaches like to recruit talented athletes who have displayed success on the field and in the classroom, but other traits they love are maturity and confidence. Your ability to communicate with college coaches on the phone and in person will go a long way in determining if you are recruited over another athlete with similar skill. You can call NCAA coaches at any age and anytime, so start dialing!
Make tough decisions in 2016: What colleges you apply to and ultimately attend may be the first of several important decisions you have to make in 2016. Have you heard the saying “time is money”? Well it’s true with high school athletes too. Channel your energy for situations that will get you to where you want to be. Make those tough decisions confidently in 2016!
Be prepared for roadblocks: To succeed in 2016, you will need a unique set of skills (academic, athletic, social, work ethic, desire, attitude) that other recruits do not have. Some families get locked in to a small list of “dream” schools, and they focus all their energy on those schools with the assumption that one of them will work out. There are so many factors to the recruiting process and many things you cannot control, so it is important to expand your list of colleges where you can potentially play and where your skills may be needed. If you get a “no” from five college coaches, move on to the sixth, seventh and eighth school on your list. Be prepared for the roadblocks and the unexpected!
“Respect…. People!” : It is important to treat everyone you meet in life with respect including parents, teachers, high school coaches, instructors and so forth. You never know what role someone may play in your life and contribute to your success. You never know how the recruiting process is going to play out. You may have to place a last-minute phone call to a college coach who was recruiting you 8 months ago because other opportunities did not work out as planned, so respect ….people!
You are as much a part of the process as the college coach is: Arguably, the most common misconception is that high school athletes don’t have any say in the recruiting process. Most think they have to wait for college coaches to choose them and make them an offer. The harder you work in school, the harder you work in practice, the harder you work to identify what colleges might be a good fit and the harder you work to contact those coaches directly will increase your ability to choose what colleges accept you. ForeCollegeGolf can help you package your skills and find colleges where you are more desired and a better fit. You will have more offers, and ideally, you will decide where you attend college. So know that you have power and use it wisely!
Commit to the process: Either you want to be a college athlete or you don’t! There is no middle ground. Playing at the next level will take more skill, more dedication, more time and more sacrifice. While your college classmates are out partying and then sleeping in, you might be waking up at 6AM to practice, or working out at 8PM when the gym is finally open. You might leave school on a Wednesday at 11AM for a tournament and return Sunday night at 9PM and still be expected to attend class and be prepared on Monday morning. If you want to play golf in college, commit to the process of recruiting and open every door you can to make it happen.
Educate yourself: There isn’t anything more discouraging than going to visit a school, meeting a college coach and feeling like you accomplished nothing. Do you research on the school, the golf program, the team, the coach, the facilities, the numbers and be ready for each and every interaction with college coaches. Bottom line, the better educated you are, the better shot you’ll have at getting to choose where you want to spend the next 4 (or more) years of your life!
Have a financial plan: College is expensive! Some colleges are REALLY expensive. First off, never let finances be a restraint for applying to certain colleges. If there is a school you are interested in, you should apply and let the financial aid process play out from there. When the time comes to make a decision, have a number in mind that you are willing to spend on each particular school. Make an informed decision on each school by having a number you are willing to spend after all things are considered. Have a plan!
Get organized: The recruiting process is difficult, don’t make it harder than it has to be! All families should make a conscious effort to organize! Organize what, you ask? Organize your college game plan, school list, your calendar for unofficial visits, a competitive tournament schedule, detailed practice schedule, etc. Make sure you are organized so when the time comes to execute, you’re ready!
Don’t follow the pack: Are you a leader or are you a follower? Be a leader in 2016 by taking your own route to be great. In order to accomplish new things, you must leave your comfort zone, take the fork in the road and be a leader. Don’t follow the pack, be original!
Make 2016 a great 365! One of my personal goals for 2016 is to make each day great. I’m going to accomplish this by going to bed and waking up early, setting a detailed plan each day, getting rid of clutter and distractions, and make a conscious effort to be great each day. I encourage each and every one of you to adopt this philosophy for the New Year! Don’t let ANYTHING get in the way of becoming the person you want to be! Make 2016 A GREAT 365!