Sports Recruitment : The Ins and Outs of The Process

Each year about 7.5% of high school athletes end up playing their sport in college, and the odds of playing for a D1 school is even less at 1.8% for both males and females (NCAA). To be able to play a sport in college, you’re going to need to be recruited whether it’s by a scout who saw you and you joined that team, or you used a recruitment app to aid your ventures.

Each sports recruitment process is a little different, varying from the school that you’re going to, to the sport that you plan on doing, and how much you want to invest into getting recruited. Recruitment apps tend to cost quite a bit of money where I personally spent thousands of dollars on my NCSA (Next College Student Athlete) account. NCSA is the most used recruitment site. You have to pay for a membership and you get a “coach” to help you with your recruitment process. Not everyone uses recruitment apps thought. Current freshman at Centre College, Isabella Nelson, said “I was recruited by reaching out myself to many different colleges as well as being scouted.” On the other hand, Victoria McArthur, a field hockey recruit for McDaniel College, said, ”I used NCSA but also used my regular email when coaches contacted me.” It all depends on the person, your budget, and how much help you need. 

The division you choose to pursue also matters to an extent since D1 schools have more students and a larger budget for athletics. D2 and D3 schools are smaller and usually have less of a sports budget. So you shouldn’t worry too much about the division that you are a part of. Division 1 schools are mainly different because of the commitment you have to have to the sport. You tend to be an athlete before a student, says Rochester Institute of Technology swim recruit, Becca McArthur. “I knew I didn’t want to go to a D1 school, based on commitment because I wanted to be a student first and an athlete second; however, whether I was going to a D2 or a D3 school depended on the school itself.” Deciding what major you want to focus on and your level of commitment to your sport are the leading factors on what school you should choose to go to. You may also want to be sure that the school has your designated sport in general. 

Depending on what college, division, and sport, you might change your acceptance process. The colleges I toured were closed to regular students, they were opened to recruits, and we got a more in-depth look into the athletics department. Because of my preparation and focus on building relationships with the staff at schools, I got accepted into every school I applied to with scholarships. I also got accepted quicker than some of my peers that had applied to the same schools, some of which even applied earlier than me. For me, sports changed my college acceptance process a bit; however, this is not the experience of every athlete. Mcarthur said, “Being a sports commit didn’t really change my acceptance process.” Each school has different processes, Becca and I both do the same sport, but our application and acceptance process was very different from each other. 

Everyone’s commitment process will vary from one to the next whether it’s different sports, different divisions, or different schools. You just have to remember why you wanted to continue to play your sport and keep working towards you end goal of being a college athlete. 

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