7 Keys to Becoming Recruitable
7 Keys to Becoming Recruitable
1. GPA/Test Score
Number one and by far number one is your academic success thus far. There is nothing that is more aligned to one’s character that GPA. Not to mention that the NCAA has been cracking down on college institutions to increase graduation rates in athletics. Each athletic program now has an APR (academic progress rate), which is based on student-athlete retention and eligibility. If the calculation falls below 930, the penalties can include scholarship reductions, practice reductions, and a postseason ban.
The second reason that GPA and ACT/SAT test scores are significant, is that it will not only allow you to gain admittance into prestigious schools, it will also allow you to qualify for academic aid. In my experience over the past 10 years, I have found that there is more money available thru academics when compared to athletic aid. Teams are attempting to build a roster of roughly 30 student-athletes with 9.9 scholarships. Academic aid makes this possible. Look at what Cornell has done with 0.0 athletic scholarships.
To put it plain and simple, if you increase your academic performance you will increase your stock.
2. National Level Results
A very close second to academics is your results in national level events. Every competitive coach will need to “justify” why they are actively recruiting you. If you have had one or two great events, it makes it that much easier for a coaching staff to stay motivated in pursuing you. Attend as many high level events as possible.
The tournaments that carry the most weight, in no specific order, are Fargo, Super 32, Flo, NHSCA, Doc B, Beast of the East, Ironman, and a few others. I would suggest that if you haven’t been to many of these, try to make it happen. We had to sell candy bars door-to-door to fund our trips to Fargo. It will pay off.
3. Quality Wins
Quality wins may be the single most important athletic related result for you recruitment, especially if you are not highly ranked (in the top 10 at your weight). If you have wins over ranked opponents, quality opponents, you will be seen as someone that has the capability to beat good people. This is one of the conversations that college coaches have in their recruiting meetings – “whom has he beat?”
Be aware and do not mention quality losses. It does not matter if you lost to the #1 kid in the country by a point, because you still lost. Just being able to stay in a match with someone good is not enough, and coaches do not want to hear about it. You have to be able to, at some point, knock off a quality opponent.
4. High School Record
I really wish that we had a dime for every time high school recruits, parents, and coaches provide us with a high school record. Just because you were able to beat 150 average wrestlers, does not justify that you can win at the highest level. College coaches would much rather recruit someone that has 40 or 50 losses and wins over 2 or 3 quality opponents, versus someone who is 200-5 with no quality wins.
5. State Titles
I hate to be the one to break it to you, but unless you are winning in PA or CA or a stacked weight class in a few other states, winning a state title is not the end all to being recruited by respectful programs. This is a great benchmark for you and your family, and your high school program, but colleges are only focused on recruiting potential student-athletes that have the potential to become All-Americans.
This is especially true for Freestyle or Greco state titles. These events are only qualifiers for Fargo, which is a very important benchmark. Too many add these state titles to their resume hoping to gain interest from colleges, when in reality it actually decreases the interest.
6. Extra Curricular Activities
This is a great way to showcase what type of person you are and what type of family you come from. It is always great to see potential student-athlete’s involved in church, national honors society, volunteer events, etc. I believe this will help you find a college program that has goals that are aligned with yours.
7. Special Insight
This is the wildcard area. If you have only been wrestling since your freshmen year in high school – this is a very important piece of information for college coaches. This shows that you can quite possibly be a late bloomer and have untapped potential.
Another insight may be a family member that has had success. College coaches (whether correct or not) tend to cluster together brothers and father/son relationships. If you have an older (or younger) brother that is having success on a national level – make sure that you let coaches know. College coaches tend to keep brothers together, so your brother can significantly help you and vice versa.
This is not necessary the case with teammates and/or high school coaches. Typically, the better your coach, the better you should be. If you have teammates that are the same age and are winning at a higher level, this is not a great sign. College coaches expect more from student-athletes that attend high school programs with great coaches.
Our hope with this post is that you were able to gain some additional insight from a college coaching perspective.
If you would like us to send you a great template to use for emailing college coaches, just insert your email below and we will shoot it over to you.
Wrestling coach and former All-American, Coach Jon Sioredas has coached at the NCAA Division 1 level for the past decade and has been affiliated with several top 25 programs.
With twenty-five years in the wrestling world (fifteen as a competitor and ten now as a coach), Coach Sioredas shares his many thoughts and actions as he continues on this journey and strives to change lives through effective training and leadership.