It feels like the recruiting process and communication with college coaches is starting earlier and earlier as each year goes by. Despite what you might read online or hear from friends, it’s rare that athletes who haven’t started high school, get scholarship offers from colleges or have meaningful conversations. That said, it is important once you start your 9th grade year of high school, to begin the communication process. The process begins with you researching schools, understanding what academic programs they offer, where is the school located and ask yourself this question, “Can I see myself living here for four or five years?”. For athletes who play at a varsity level their freshman year of high school, they may be ready to start contacting college coaches then. For athletes who hit their stride later in their sophomore year, this could be a better time to initiate contact with college coaches. Bottom-line in this initial step, it’s important to develop a list of schools you want to engage and talk to your high school coach to ensure they agree and will support your outreach in case the college coach asks about you during a call or visit to your school.
MAKE A PLAN AND STAY COMMITTED
For athletes who hit a later growth spurt or mature later, junior year may be the best time to start contacting college coaches. This said, it’s important that you have a plan and stay committed to your outreach process. Don’t assume coaches are looking for you or that you will be recruited without participating in the process. If you and your family want more in-depth support and to talk through the process tailored specific to you, fill out our contact form and we will set up a time to speak.
ATHLETES CAN REACH OUT AT ANY POINT
There’s a common misconception that athletes can’t start contacting college coaches until their junior year of high school. In reality, athletes can reach out to coaches at any point of their high school career. However, the NCAA limits when college coaches can communicate with athletes. Current NCAA recruiting rules prohibit all phone, text and email communication between athletes or their parents/guardians and Division 1 coaches until June 15 after their sophomore year or September 1 of their junior year, depending on your sport:
Football, Baseball, Softball, Men’s Lacrosse, Women’s Lacrosse, Women’s Basketball: No coach communication until September 1 of junior year.
All other D1 sports: No coach communication until June 15 after sophomore year.
Even before college coaches can begin actively communicating and recruiting athletes, they are allowed to read recruits’ emails and follow them on social media to track their athletic progress. Additionally, they can and will ask about you during discussions with your high school coach to understand your academic progress, watch film and learn about your commitment and potential fit with the school.
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