Learn to Build Your Team

November 23, 2011
by Justin

As a member of the modern American workforce, it is safe to say that the student athlete recruitment process is not much different than formalities of a job interview.  Both avenues face seemingly endless amounts of competition when vying for a position coveted by so many. Once the intimidation of that reality has settled, rest assured that thousands are facing the same challenges and uncertainties throughout the race to earn a NCAA scholarship.  This is arguably the most important decision of your life so it should be treated as such.  Accept the challenge to establish a work ethic that leads to exceptional play both on the field and in the classroom.


Outside of the occasional summer job, the college recruitment processes may be your first attempt at submitting for a position.  Begin by understanding what the University is looking for and what is to be expected of you. Every minute leading up to Signing Day is an opportunity to gain a competitive edge over another athlete so learning what goes into the decision making of a Division 1 coach will only work to your benefit.  Ultimately, it is the college athlete who contributes to a coach’s program so even though the game cannot operate without the cooperation of the players the coach will always run the show.


Assuming your athletic ability matches the needs of the Universities under consideration, the first step towards this goal or any is to establish your mentor.  Ever heard, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know?”  You will find that saying comfortably applies to nearly every employment medium in the world.  Your mentor has the ability to vouch for the most valuable asset you will take on to the collegiate level: Your reputation. Make sure this individual has experience in the process you are about to face and can offer guidance and support.  Often this mentor is your High School coach, but this person can also be a Principal, Counselor, or Teacher. Do not be fearful of establishing a new relationship with your mentor especially if he or she been successful in your objective goal.  There is plenty of data that showcases an athlete’s abilities on the field, but there is no substitute for an endorsement from a reputable member of your support team.  There will always be natural talent needed when competing for a job, but when coaches and employers are looking for a quality that sets apart two equal candidates, the position will always go to the person who conducts himself or herself like a professional.


As valuable as your mentor can be to the recruitment responsibilities, don’t forget that giving is a two-way street.  Ask your mentor what you can do to help out because those tasks will inevitably translate into lessons that you will take with you in the future.  Time with a mentor is about establishing a work ethic that will be carried on to the field, into the classroom, and inevitably into your career.  Your work ethic will improve throughout college, but it must be initiated the moment you begin correspondence with your mentor.  Once you have become invaluable to your mentor, there will be a time when you no longer have to request their assistance and he/she will simply continue to help you reach your goals.


There are some athletes out there that will never have to worry about the pressures of the recruitment process.  Some athletes are born six foot three, 230 lbs, with 4.3 speed and find the recruitment process a breeze.  Most of us are not so naturally fortunate and are forced to compensate with the other aspects of our lives that we have the ability to control.  Begin by surrounding yourself with the people that recognize your potential and make it their personal mission to help see your goals realized.

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