Make Yourself More Recruitable - USA Athletics Scholarships

Make Yourself More Recruitable

Having described the basics in the ‘ways to be recruited’ article, we will now describe things that you can do to improve your chances of being recruited by an American University.

Communication

Communication is one of the most important aspects of the recruiting process. With 5000 miles of ocean separating the US and UK, and between 5-8 hours of time zone difference to negotiate, communication can be difficult.

Put simply, if a coach can’t get hold of you then he can’t recruit. You have to be accessible to stand any chance of being recruited.

Do you check and reply to emails promptly? Can coaches find you on facebook to get in touch? Do you answer and return phone calls? Is it clear who your UK coach is? All of these things are important and can make a difference in whether you get recruited or not. If a coach sends the same email to three athletes who have caught his eye and only has space for one on his team, then the athlete he reaches first may already be at a slight advantage.

Standout from the crowd

Another subtle point, keep your power of 10 profile updated. Have a decent photo and don’t be scared to list your achievements at the top of the page. Maybe you can send the coaches who are recruiting you links to race videos or interviews. Taking a proactive stance like this will show the coach that you are keen, and again may just give you an extra edge over the competition.

Education

A sound academic profile is an obvious advantage for recruiting purposes. If your grades are good then recruiting can focus primarily on athletics with the academic acceptance being a mere formality.  Sub par academic performance can cause coaches a real headache when it comes to admissions and academics.

From personal experience make sure you don’t fail the SAT or GMAT, as it will likely lead to nightmares.

Keeping your options open

Contrary to what some believe, a phone call from a coach expressing an initial interest is not a scholarship offer. We have seen this numerous times, where after one phone call the athlete will say ‘I was just offered a full scholarship to X University.’ Common sense would dictate that a scholarship worth thousands of dollars is not going to be offered after one phone call. This ties in closely with our final word on this topic. Whatever happens, do not under burn bridges with any coaches during the recruiting process, as you never know when it may come back to bite. Of course it is perfectly acceptable to turn down an offer or say that you are not interested but do it in a polite manner. What we are trying to say here  is do not be rude, lie to or otherwise create a bad impression with a college coach, even if at the time you have no intention of going. You may later end up changing your mind and want to still leave yourself with options. Believe it or not, coaches talk to other coaches and the last thing you want if trying to get recruited is to develop a bad reputation. By acting like an ‘idiot’ you may also make things harder for fellow Brits who could get branded with guilt by association.

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