One of the most common questions when it comes to recruiting is, “Where do I begin??” How do you put that overwhelming amount of information into an action plan? Over the next few weeks we are going to map out a plan for you to follow that will hopefully put you on track to make the best possible college connections for you.
STEP 1: RESEARCH ALL YOUR OPPORTUNITIES…
The first step towards empowering yourself in this process is to understand just how many collegiate programs are out there. It’s often hard to look beyond what we see on TV mid-May to early June but know that there is so much more that should go into you making the decision that’s right for you. Start dedicating time to learning about how widespread the game is and you might quickly realize that the right fit for you is completely different than you initially thought.
Action Plan: Google, Bing, or Yahoo-search your little heart out. Have fun with it! Grab a highlighter or two and make that paper glow! Gather as much information as you can, highlight schools that grab your attention, and then dig a little deeper. Pay attention to trends in the schools you gravitate towards. Do they groove with you geographically? Do they have your major or area of interest?
I found this gem by searching “all colleges with softball programs” (Click here). Sounds pretty simple, right? If this isn’t indicative of how many opportunities are available to you I don’t know what is. Take a look at the schools by state, division, etc. If there’s a specific school that catches your eye, dive further by going to that school’s website. Look at things like what conference they’re in and who their competition is. How many are on the roster and where do the athletes hail from? How long has the coaching staff been with the program? As you dive deeper you’ll begin to answer questions you never knew you had and you’ll see what’s most important to you start to surface.
For those of you who might be a little further into the process but still exploring opportunities, you probably have a better idea of what it is you’re looking for, or the “level” you see your best fit to be at. Use the information you already have and build on that. Have you gotten some interest from a specific conference? Go to that conference website and look at EVERY school in that conference. Are you drawn to a certain region? Search other schools in that general area and their conferences. Don’t forget that there are more opportunities outside D1 that are worth looking into as well.
No matter where you are in the recruiting process, spending time researching is an important part in getting to know yourself and the process and will better equip you to move forward to the next step. Until next time…Happy Highlighting!