The importance of focusing on yourself (or your child) during the athletic recruiting process

While there may be a 1-on-1 aspect of just about every sport out there, the best 1-on-1 players are not necessarily the ones that will end up with scholarship offers from college programs.  And for a lot of families (especially parents), it is difficult for them realize that there is more to the athletic recruiting process than just that.  Many parents and sometimes coaches feel that because their son or daughter had a good game against an athlete with college scholarship offers, these scholarships will be coming to them as well.

Again, it just doesn’t work that way.  There is so much involved in the college recruiting process that simply having one good game against a top tier athlete is not going to put you on par with the schools that are recruiting him or her.  You may be an excellent high school player who has already peaked out.  At the next level, potential is vital so that comes into play as well.

What you need to worry about during the recruiting process is yourself (or your child).  I am going to stress that time and time again.  Let’s say that the athlete your son’s team is facing on Friday has Division I offers from all over the country.  He has spent his summer attending camps and select combines in order to draw attention from college coaches.  It has paid off as he now basically can pick what school he wants to go to.

Going into the game, he has been limited with an injury so he isn’t 100%.  This athlete has already impressed college coaches enough previously that the regular season doesn’t matter all that much in terms of the recruiting process.  Say this athlete and your son both play running back.  In the end, the highly recruited athlete rushes for 154 yards and your son rushes for 186 yards.  Some families will feel that since their son out performed this highly sought after recruit, they should be getting scholarship offers.

The athletic recruiting process has never worked that way and never will.  Yes, sometimes college coaches do find tape of athletes they like when looking at another player but that rarely happens.  What you need to do as a family is focus on what you can do to help yourself throughout the entire recruiting process, not just the night your son out played a big named athlete.  And with defenses differing in this game, factors like that may be a reason why your son outperformed the other player.

Maybe this top ranked athlete followed steps to a scholarship since he was a sophomore to help himself garner college interest.  And it has paid off with the recruiting process.  You on the other hand are now a senior and have not even put together a recruiting profile.  The schools you want to attend will not likely find you unless you put an effort forward, like this other athlete did.  He did not take anything for granted and wanted attention from the schools he has dreamt of playing for.  Now he will be getting that chance in college.

I feel strongly that the most vital performance of an athlete in just about any sport is either in AAU, club, or during the summer football camps.  College programs will offer athletes based on their recruiting highlight tape but prefer to get a chance to see them first hand and work with them.  The best time to peak is during the summer (and also the time to avoid any type of injury).

Obviously the more wins that your teams is able to secure, the more success the team will have, and thus the more individual honors you will get.  But your focus should be on your own recruiting process and not how you outplayed this major recruit.  It could be a story to tell your kids twenty years from now but if you are playing college athletics, it shouldn’t matter much.  It is something that is great to do but will have no factor on the recruiting process.  Worry about yourself (and your kid) and it will make the athletic recruiting process for any sport much easier.

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