Recruiting Advice for High School Athletes
If you have big dreams of earning your way onto a college team, you might feel as if you have limited chances to catch the eye of a potential recruiter. However, don’t lose sight of the fact that it is your educational accomplishments what will open up the most doors to the best possible opportunity. While there are some time based sports that make identifying recruits more straight forward, most sports require a significant amount of communication and often limited opportunity to shine in front of a recruiter.
Mike Kotch is a coaching, recruiting, and business professional with over 15 years of experience as a collegiate swimming coach. With extensive recruiting experience, he is very knowledgeable of the do’s and don’ts of high school recruitment. What follows is Michael Kotch’s advice for high school athletes hoping for recruitment.
Don’t embellish your skill set
Proving yourself doesn’t require you to be free of flaws, just need to be honest about your abilities; especially with yourself. When a recruiter asks you something, don’t just give them the answer that you think they want to hear. An athlete too often tries to fit the mold and as a result they are not only less likely to be recruited, but they are going to end up in a team environment that isn’t the best fit. It is perfectly ok to not have a clear vision for the future, but at the end of the day be honest with yourself about what you want as opposed to trying to guess what the coach wants. The coach will be clear on what he or she is looking for. While academics are certainly important, not every athlete needs to be going to an academic school like Harvard to be recruited, they just need to find the school that can offer that proper academic challenge.
You are responsible for your recruitment journey; no one else has control over your image and performance but you. There is no fault in asking for help along the way, but a successful athlete must be proactive and take initiative for their own future. This involves thorough research, planning, and putting your all into every practice and game. Mike Kotch encourages high school athletes to try to connect with others that share the same goals and learn from them. Talking with other hopeful athletes will also give you an idea of what you are up against and where you should focus on improving.
Network whenever possible
Along the same wavelength is the need to network. As previously discussed, you are responsible for your own image and performance; networking is a big part of the process. Connecting with coaches allows them to become familiar with you before making the decision if it makes sense to begin the recruiting process. Be sure to maintain your athletic profile by updating it with relevant updates, and certainly be sure to maintain a positive online presence. Mike Kotch says that he looks to sources such as LinkedIn when scouting potential athletes and prefers complete profiles that include a detailed profile of the person themselves, along with important volunteer and educational experience.
As a former competitive swim coach, Mike Kotch is very knowledgeable about the recruitment process of high school athletes. By following his advice, hopeful athletes can effectively market and establish themselves as a standout choice for recruitment.