Time for college? Need to pick a school? Unsure which would be the best for your level of play? Here are some tips from SportsForce on how you can narrow it down and make a sound decision.
STEP # 1 - Talk to Your Coach
The first thing we recommend is talking to your high school and/or club team coach. Most often, these coaches have been involved in this process for a long time and have coached student-athletes that have been through the recruiting process before. Their experience will give them a good idea of what potential level you could play at in the future.
Parents and student-athletes need to ask their high school or club team coach what level they should look at for playing beyond high school. Often, the coach will give you an idea of your skill set and abilities athletically and academically. You must use your high school and club team coach as a resource to get an assessment, advice and then a recommendation. Remember, they've often already been through this same process with other athletes, and can be a good evaluator of your skill level because they have seen many other teams and players compete.
STEP # 2 - Watch
The next step in picking the right collegiate level of play is watching. Look at colleges from all levels of play (Division 1,2,3, or Junior College) and try to figure out when they're going to be playing in your local area. If you can, go to a game and watch them in person. Try and scout college freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors to see how they're playing and what their skill set is like physically. This will give you a good idea of where you fit in best. SportsForce recommends that student-athletes and parents attend a few local games to get an idea of their caliber of play.
If you can't physically attend a local game you can also watch a number of games over the Internet. Again, it is important that you evaluate the caliber of play for each collegiate level. For example, if you're watching a Division I football game, you can get a solid idea of how good the quarterback is at USC or how good the running back is at University of Alabama. Once you understand this you can ask yourself if you stack up with that level of size and athletic ability.
STEP # 3 - Research
It is also essential that you visit the websites of your potential colleges and look at their team roster. For example, go to a number of Division 1, 2, and 3 team websites and look at the size and background of their players. What do they look like physically? What kind of academic or athletic awards did they receive in high school? Try to match your physical traits and athletic and academic success with the right collegiate level of play.
The SportsForce team, which is comprised of former college and professional athletes and coaches, is relentlessly committed to providing an ongoing education to help you best navigate your journey as a student-athlete, parent or coach to reach your potential.
Article courtesy of SportsForce, Home for professional and affordable College Sports Recruiting Tools, Tips, Online Profiles, Highlight Videos and Premium Services.