Being recruited to play college sports is one of the most stressful things that student-athletes will go through. What’s even more stressful is when you’re putting in the time every day to get better, and you’re currently receiving no interest. You can start to doubt yourself and wonder why you’re not being recruited by college coaches.
The uncertainty from the recruiting period that a majority of athletes go through is mentally challenging and can be extremely tough for some athletes to handle. It makes you start to play mental gymnastics in your head, questioning your ability to play the game, your character as an athlete, your time spent in the gym – the list goes on and on.
Well, despite what you may have been told, there can be several reasons why you’re not being recruited by college coaches. We have 5 reasons why it could be happening – along with five things that you can do to fix it.
You’re not putting in the effort
Are you the type of athlete that thinks you have to receive interest to be recruited? Well, you’re wrong. One of the major reasons why you’re not being recruited by college coaches is because you’re not putting in the effort to reach out to them. You can’t wait to be contacted first because you’ll be waiting forever. 90% of the players out there today WANT to play college sports, but they haven’t DONE anything to reach out to the schools they’re interested in.
What you need to do
Failing to prepare is preparing to fail – so you need to start doing the work to prepare for the next step in your life. Right now, you should be compiling a list of schools that you’re interested in attending. Then, you need to put in the effort to reach out to the coaching staff of those schools to let them know you are interested. Meanwhile, if you don’t have a recruiting video, then you need to make one ASAP and get it out to coaches. Lastly, you need to follow up with them until you hear back from them.
You’re looking at the wrong schools
Did you put together a broad list of schools that you think you might want to go to? If you did, then your approach of throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks is what is backfiring for you. Before you even reach out to a coach, you should have done your homework. One of the reasons why you’re not being recruited by college coaches is because you aren’t doing your homework – and its making you look dumb. You should know what you like about the school and the athletic program. And, you should know if you can even hang with them – both academically and athletically.
What you need to do
You need to understand that you can save yourself a ton of time by researching schools ahead of time to see if you’re up to par both academically and athletically. You should visit both the University/College’s website and the school’s athletic website to do some research. The questions you need to ask are twofold:
- Do I have the grades to go to school here?
- Do I have the ability to play here?
When you go to the athletic website, take a look at their roster and see where the players come from and where they played before they attended that school. That research will tell you a lot about the type of athlete they are looking to recruit. If you’re only into playing one position, it doesn’t make much sense to reach out to a school that currently has 3 freshmen or sophomores in that same position.
You’re not personable when contacting them
We’ve said it before and we will say it again. The only thing that college coaches can’t get enough of is TIME. So, they make sure that they put their time to good use, especially when it comes to recruiting. If you send them a bland, cookie-cutter message that doesn’t have a personal tone or touch to it, do you think that they’re going to consider it? No. And impersonal messages are one of the reasons why you’re not being recruited by college coaches. Mass emailing coaches explaining “how you would like to attend their university as a student-athlete” isn’t going to get you far.
What you need to do
As we said before, you need to do your homework before contacting schools. It is what makes or breaks you when it comes to marketing yourself to coaches. When you communicate with a coach, you should be including some personal touches in there that let them know you’re truly interested. Did that school recently have a big win? Did the coach just get quoted for their coaching philosophy and it’s something that you can relate to? You need to include recent developments like that into your email to let the coach know you’ve done your homework.
You have bad timing
Remember – timing is everything. You may create the perfect email and have an amazing highlight video but one of the reasons why you’re not being recruited by college coaches is because your timing is bad. You need to understand when recruiting periods are and when college coaches can contact you. More often than not, coaches don’t reach back because they’re in a blackout period from the NCAA that doesn’t allow them to contact you back yet. For example, NCAA Division I schools can only reach out after September 1 of your junior year of high school, while NCAA Division II schools can reach out before then after June 15th of your sophomore year, depending on your sport.
What you need to do
You need to understand the rules of the NCAA and when coaches can actively recruit you to play at their school. You need to go to the NCAA’s website and study up on when the recruiting period opens up. Also, you should reach out to your current coach and let them know that you have been contacting schools. Although the coaches can’t reach out to you directly, they’re still talking to coaches directly to get the inside scoop on players. If your coach can sell your ability to play the game, you’re going to be ahead when the recruiting period opens up. Plus, your current coach may be able to foster an initial warm connection where you can call the coach to introduce yourself.
You’re too targeted with your list
Another reason why you’re not being recruited by college coaches could be that you’re too targeted with your approach. Your list may be too small because you want to attend a certain type of school that offers certain amenities or academic opportunities to it’s student-athletes. Well, if there is one thing that we have learned, its that everything doesn’t always go as planned.
What you need to do is compile a list of schools that you can reach out to as a “Plan-B” option. We all want to go to get a Stanford degree and play in front of 100,000 people every game. But, if you’re not having any success with your initial list of desired schools, it may be time for you to consider branching out and contacting schools that are in your second tier. You’ll find out that some of those schools in that second tier really offer some great things that you may have been overlooking because you’ve been focused on going to your dream school. Expand your list and reach out to some more schools you may be interested to see if it drums up any interest.
Hopefully these 5 reasons why you’re not being recruited by college coaches can bring some light to your frustrations.
The recruiting process can be mentally exhausting, but all you need to understand is that your troubles are temporary. Continue to work hard, persist, and put your best foot forward when contacting coaches. It’s only a matter of time before you garner some interest.