High school athletes wishing to play at the next level need to become involved in the recruiting process early on

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While every high school athlete wants to play at a well-known Division 1 school, they shouldn’t rule out the lower level divisions’ schools for a better chance at a scholarship.

Many students at Olympic Heights are involved in sports and really enjoy them, and OH has many elite athletes that prove themselves in every single game. While most prep athletes’ careers come to an end when they graduate high school, some are talented enough to take it to the next level in college. 

No matter the sport, whether it is basketball, football, baseball, soccer, etc., it is easy to notice that all college coaches and scouts follow very similar steps. Around freshman year it is a good time to do a little research on what level of college play suits the student athlete the most. The different levels are D1, D2, D3, NAIA, and junior college. D1 is the highest division with the top competition, while junior college is the lowest. 

Sophomore year is a good time to build a profile for college coaches to be able to view as they look for potential recruits. NCSA is known to be one of the most popular recruiting sites, so taking a look at this site might be in high school athletes’ best interest. Once it is time for junior year, it is a good time for high school athletes to reach out to college coaches. Remember, that the more involved the high school athlete becomes in the recruiting process, the greater the chances that athlete gets recruited. The last year of high school is senior year, and this is when most athletes begin to commit to schools and make their final decision, if they hadn’t already. 

The red flag that many people notice regarding potential college athletes is the pressure they put on themselves when they see these opportunities present themselves. The high school athlete needs to let the process happen naturally, and just keep working at bettering themselves. Adding unnecessary pressure will hold an athlete back, even if an athlete is worried that their hard work will not pay off to reach the next level. To reach their full potential, it is very important that high school athletes focus on what they can control. 

Not only do athletes need to put all of this information together, but there are specific qualities that coaches find to be very important. Of course one of the biggest ones is having athletic ability, but that isn’t the only factor. Having good grades is a huge benefit, and being involved in many clubs and extracurricular activities is also great to have. The way an athlete leads his teammates and acts around them will also be observed. 

Depending on the sport, it is a good idea for high school athletes to see if there are camps to be invited to, as coaches will want to watch potential recruits interested in their program. Again, high school athletes shouldn’t be afraid to reach out to coaches, because the only way to build more opportunities in this process is by taking the initiative. When putting together a profile, high school athletes should make sure to include information about their goals and aspirations in the future. 

While all high school athletes want to play at the D1 level, It is important for high school athletes to be willing to play at a lower level where they are more likely to receive scholarship offers. There are many great schools across all of the different divisions. But, the key is finding the school that fits the student athlete the best. The high school athlete needs to be sure to spend a lot of time researching and reviewing possible options before making a final decision. 

Although this process might be a long and tough journey, it is the journey that must be taken if one wants to become a college athlete. Many high school athletes are unsure on how they should tackle this process, and this is why some are not able to reach their dreams. 

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