General Guidelines for the College Bound Athlete
Coaches look at hundreds of athletes every year and very few of them were just “discovered.” You have to let coaches know that you exist.
Freshman year – begin looking at schools that you are interested in. Find the balance between the strength of program and your personal academic interest.
Sophomore year – the real process begins
Select you top 25 schools – remember we all have NCAA Div I dreams but then there is reality. Include all levels in your selection(NAIA, Jr. Colleges, Div. I and II) Div. III doesn’t offer athletic scholarships
Take the ACT
Prepare a cover letter to introduce yourself to the coach. Do your homework. Find out information on the academic programs that the school offers, see how they did during the past season or few weeks, drop the names of people that you may have played with that are in the program and include information regarding your athletic schedule.
Prepare an Athletic Resume – This will include a picture, your vital information(height, weight, DOB), contact information for you, test scores, GPA, Awards/Accomplishments both athletic and academic, showcases that are coming up that you are going to participate in, and references.
Send both the letter and resume to all of the colleges on your list during the summer or the first week of school for fall sports, by October for winter sports and by winter break for spring sports. Almost all contact is through email. Set up a file for yourself to keep track of who you have sent information and when.
Change resume as needed.
Junior year – Some of your schools should have responded back to you.
If you haven’t taken the ACT or the SAT you need to do this at the beginning of this year!!!!!
Keep your grades up, no time to get senioritis.
Go on college visits – this can make all the difference
Make a highlight tape/dvd. – Make sure you let the viewer know what number you are and make sure that it is shot showing all the action not just you.
Narrow or modify your list and letter and resend them with the highlight tape, if requested. This is very important for team sport athletes.
Call the coaches and confirm receipt. You can call them as much as you want but they can have limited contact with you.
By the end of this year some of you may have had offers… if so congrats. If not don’t worry. Depending on what level you go you will still have some time. Div. I schools have probably used up their scholarship money for your graduating class by the end of this year and have received verbal commitments. If you discover that your Div. I schools have used up their money redirect your emphasis toward a different level.
Senior year – Hopefully you have made some decisions by this point. If not, you need to get busy.
Contact coaches, send updated resume, send video tape/dvd.
If you have narrowed your schools down take visits if you haven’t already.
Apply to your narrowed down choices
Fill out the FAFSA forms for financial aid. You can file the FAFSA anytime after January 1 of your senior year. The sooner the better!
National signing day is at the beginning of February each year. There is also an early signing date in November.