Losing a starting spot can be very frustrating, but the good news is that it doesn’t have to spell the end for your recruiting.
Plenty of non-starters have gone on to compete at the next level and have successful collegiate careers. However, you will have to work hard at your recruiting and make sure you’re checking off all the boxes. Here’s how you can get recruited as a non-starter.
TALK TO YOUR COACH ABOUT YOUR GOAL OF BECOMING A COLLEGE ATHLETE
First, you need to talk to your coach. It’s always beneficial to share your future goals with your current coach because they can be a crucial ally in your recruiting process. However, keep your emotions in check and stick to questions like:
What areas do I need to improve on to get more playing time?
I’m trying to get recruited to compete in college. What advice do you have for me?
Are you okay with me using you as a reference for college coaches?
GO TO CAMPS, SHOWCASES AND OTHER SPORT-SPECIFIC EVENTS
If you’re not getting much playing time, you need to combat that by finding other ways to compete against elite athletes. Going to events is a great way to get that experience and show off your skills in front of college coaches. If you need more experience but you’re not ready to face off against top athletes, try out a skills-building or evaluation camp. If you want to show coaches what you’ve got, then hit up a camp run by a college you’re interested in.
JOIN A CLUB, TRAVEL OR SUMMER LEAGUE TEAM WHERE YOU’LL GET PLAYING TIME
A solid benefit of travel, club or summer league teams is that you can scope out the team’s level of play before you sign up. In other words, if you’re not getting much playing time on your current team, you can find a team where you might see more. Do your research and don’t be afraid to talk to coaches and athletes to get their views on the organization.
CREATE AN OUTSTANDING HIGHLIGHT OR SKILLS VIDEO
Videos are crucial for showing coaches that you’re a quality athlete. If you don’t have enough playing time in your regular season games, you can always have your parents film your performance at high-level camps and club or travel games.
MAKE SURE YOUR ACADEMICS EXCEED THE MINIMUM ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
If a coach is considering two similar recruits—and this does happen—most likely they will pick the one with the better grades. Good students qualify for academic scholarship dollars, so coaches don’t necessarily need to use up a huge sum of their athletic scholarship money to get them the financial aid that they need.
If you have the athletic talent and the drive to compete in college sports, you can get there! Just remember to stick to your goals.