Each year, thousands of college-hopeful sports careers come to an end prematurely due to the common mistakes made by athletes and their parents. It doesn’t have to be your story though. Here are five pitfalls to avoid.
1. Hoping that the high school or club coach will get your athlete recruited. While they can be helpful, it is not their job to do. Sure, that would make things easy, but the job is yours, not theirs. It’s your college career hanging in the balance, not theirs.
2. Waiting to get started, being indecisive, and neglecting to take action. It’s the default strategy that will put you behind in the process, leaving much to chance. While others are creating advantages, those who wait compromise opportunity.
3. Falsely believing that money spent on travel sports will lead to your college recruiting. While expensive sporting events and club teams may add experience and lifetime memories, they offer no automatic recruiting benefit unless you create it.
4. Unwilling to connect with head coaches in a meaningful way. “I sent an email to the coach and he didn’t respond.” It takes a lot more than just an email or two to go from prospect to recruit. It takes persistence and diligence to get the coach’s interest and attention.
5. Chasing the sport rather than working the process. Finding a real opportunity for playing college sports begins with being proactive in identifying the right colleges and having a strategy for admissions and athletic recruiting. It’s a dual-path process.
One day for everyone, high school will come to an end and with it, many aspiring athletic careers.
It’s up to you to bridge the gap between the definitive ending of high school sports and the definitive beginning of a college sports opportunity.
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Hans Hanson has worked as a College Advisor for 15 years and has published articles in such places as US News and Forbes.