The recruiting process is one the most exciting times in an athlete’s career, but it can also be one of the most confusing. The big question is, who makes the process confusing? Many players and their parents blame coaches and say that coaches mislead them and they don’t know if a school is interested in their son or daughter. I will agree that there are times when coaches may not be very clear whether they are making an official offer or just showing interest, but most of the time it is the player, parent, handler/middleman, etc who is making the process confusing.
Before we get into this, there is one common denominator. You have to have the ability to play in college. You simply have to be good enough and not everyone is. There are good players at every level. Many players and parents assume that non D1 schools don’t have good players. This could not be further from the truth. Many high school prospects who are the best player on their team won’t ever sniff the court at an NCAA D3 program. You can make all the highlight films and mail every coach in the country (which can definitely help you gain exposure), but eventually they have to see you play in person. If you are good enough and take care of business in the classroom, then you will have a chance to play in college.
Let’s try to clear up the confusion and go straight to the title of this article. YOU ARE WHO RECRUITS YOU. If you have NCAA D3 schools calling you and recruiting you and you are a high school senior, then you are most likely an NCAA D3 player. If you have NCAA D2 schools and NAIA schools recruiting you and you are a high school senior, then you are most likely an NCAA D2 or NAIA level player. If you have D1 schools beating down the door, well you get the picture. Don’t get me wrong some players do get overlooked and develop late and others have the tools and continue to work and become very good players. Coaches do miss on players, but 9 out of 10 times if you have schools from the same level calling you that’s most likely where you will find the most success.
If a player doesn’t like his/her offers or isn’t pleased with the recruitment, there are options. If you are an underclassmen, you have plenty of time to get better in your particular sport and improve your speed, strength and quickness. As you improve the offers will potentially come in. If you are a very good student, you may be able to send your info to high academic schools around the country and increase your offers. If you are in a region that doesn’t get much exposure, the same would apply. Like we said before, players do get missed at times and can always use more exposure. Many players attend prep school or junior college to gain more exposure as well.
If the process seems this simple, then why does it become so confusing? Let’s take an in-depth look at this. If you are a senior in high school and have an offer for a full scholarship from an NCAA D2 institution and you are waiting for a D1 offer, you are the problem. Players and parents are obsessed with levels. Some just want to play D1, others have offers from low or mid-majors and are holding on for a high major offer. STOP IT! Do not become obsessed with what level you are going to play at or where you think you should play. Start obsessing with what program and school is the best fit academically and athletically. Is it fun to tell your friends you are playing NCAA D1 sports? Yes. Will you ever talk to 98% of those people from high school again? No. To be very blunt, nobody (except your family and close friends) really care what you do. The decision has to be about you and what will best suit you academically and athletically.
Remember, you are who recruits you. If you only have scholarship offers from schools at a certain level, then that is the level that you should go.