How to get an Athletic Scholarship

How to get a scholarship 

It's easy for high school athletes to get a scholarship if they are athletically gifted beyond peers and have high exposure. But what about those that are on the edge of making it with limited exposure. No picture yourself at your dream school, competing at a prestigious university and playing against the best of the best. It is possible, but we must explain some of the details, such as class requirements, training programs, winter breaks spent on campus, and little-to-no free time. 

Learning how to get an athletic scholarship is the first step to actually receiving one. You must be willing to do the work in the class, during training time, while competing and additionally get the right type of exposure. 

I say the right type of exposure because social media exposure is not always positive. Professional organizations and colleges or scrutinizing social media profiles more than ever. 

How to assess your talent level - How to get a sports scholarship

You want to have a third-party evaluate your athletic measurables to see how you really stack up against recruits across the nation. We are rare in that we can show you where you rank against professionals as we have 40 years of data. We use our proprietary Artificial Intelligence software to compare and predict possible outcomes. Knowing where you stand will help you target the right programs and maximize your opportunities. 

There are a couple of ways you can go about this. First, you can ask your high school or club coach for feedback. Or you can turn to an online and onsite service like us. We can take your verified information, or we can hold a combine in your location to evaluate, track, provide feedback for areas of growth, and lastly, exposure. We promote are players! 

What star level recruit are you?

There are a couple of ways you can identify where you stand: you can research colleges, or be evaluated by a third-party like us. If you're interested in a college's program, go to the school's athletic website and take a look at the roster. Do your key stats fall in line with the other players in your position? Do you have similar achievements as everyone on the team? If you have comparable measurements, then you probably qualify for that level of competition. If you aren't quite there yet, take a look at a lower division level until you find a good fit where your skills fall in line with the rest of the team.

Differences between high school and college sports According to the NCAA, nearly 7 million students currently participate in high school sports, and only 480,000 of them go on to compete as NCAA athletes. Here are some significant differences between being a high school athlete and a college athlete: Training is more intense, school is more complicated, there are more distractions, and you have complete freedom without parental obstruction.  

What are star rankings and ratings?

 Star ratings are a quick way to convey a recruit's level of talent to college coaches. Additionally, we provide a ranking to your peers and even professional evaluation, even if you are in high school. Most commonly, student-athletes are ranked from no stars, meaning their talent is unknown, to 5 stars or elite athletes.

  • 5 - These are the best players in the country, generally among the nation's top prospects. They have outstanding athleticism and ability far beyond their peers.
  • 4 - These prospects have excellent knowledge of the game and skill. They will most likely start their freshman year in college and are the best player on their club or high school team. 
  • 3 - These student-athletes show dominance on the field and will be an impact player. They have a few areas of development and might not always be consistent, especially when competing against top-tier players.
  • 2- These athletes need development. But the potential to compete at the college level is there, and they could become players at the next level 
  • 1 - Either no evaluation or need more information or not able to compete at the next level

Importance of Athletic Combines and Talent Evaluation

It is critically important that each athlete gets evaluated to determine where he or she currently compares in terms of measurable.s These measurables include physical measurables such as height and weight, body fat. For example, athletic measurables such as speed, change of direction, vertical jump, broad jump, bench press are necessary for football. 

For baseball, they might measure the speed to first base. Throwing range and speed from baseball positions. For a pitcher, they might measure fastball speed, the difference in a changeup speed, arc distance on a curveball. 

The athletic and skill test is done to see if the eyeball test is accurate when looking at the measurable data. 

Often athletes will improve draft stock and ratings when they perform well during evaluation and combine tests. For a player that has struggled with visibility and exposure, he or she can increase exposure by performing well during combines of improving measurable numbers by working with an evaluator. 

Find out more about combines and specifically the NFL and NBA evaluations. 

How to get a football scholarship 

The best way to get a football scholarship is to start playing as earlier as possible. This must be followed with consistent play, starting on your high school team, achieving individual success, and ultimately being recognized. This is where we come in; athletes that have the physical, mental attributes can get exposure and get a scholarship because we get an honest assessment of your physical qualities and intangible characteristics like grit, pushing through the pain, pursuing excellence that makeup success. We measure everything! So an athlete that has the attributes we are looking for can often go farther than a good high school athlete with exposure. Exposure must always be backed up with performance. And the ability and mental make up has everything to do with performance when an athlete is giving a chance to succeed. The first step is getting in our database.

 

How to get a basketball scholarship

Much like football, parents and athletes must take a strategic approach. But basketball requires a much more well thought out plan due to the AAU system and really recruiting that goes on. You must focus on developing your skill and physical measurements to ensure that you are an elite-level recruit.

 

How to get a soccer scholarship 

Getting college coaches to your high school matches is not easy. Because of small recruiting budgets, many soccer coaches require you to come to them. In fact, for the top schools in the country, it is often a requirement that athletic prospects attend their summer soccer camps for further consideration. This is why are evaluation clinics, combines and database is critical for athletes looking to make it to the next level. 

  

How To Succeed In Collegiate Athletics

Think about it from the coach's point of view—this is a business for them, and if you're not performing, they'll replace you. Great coaches require athletic ability and mental toughness. Your team is everything. You will live with your teammates, travel with them, have classes with them, and spend most of your holiday breaks with them. Free time is limited. Practice, games, rehab, and training could carve out 30 hours of your week. That's why time management is crucial. Your parents are there to guide you in high school, but in college, you quickly learn how to manage your responsibilities. 

Talk to current college athletes. Don't be afraid to go directly to the source. During official and unofficial visits, you typically get an opportunity to meet with current athletes and ask them about their experience. But in the meantime, you shouldn't hesitate to network with college athletes to learn more about a program. 

  1. You can start by reaching out to former teammates from your high school or club team who are on a college team. Set up a quick chat, prepare meaningful questions, and don't be nervous! You'll discover that athletes who've gone through the recruiting process are open to helping out a fellow recruit.
  2. Prepare athletically to meet the training and testing standards before stepping foot on the campus. 
  3. Take academic courses that will prepare you for your upcoming classwork. During recruiting ask if you could speak with a counselor before getting on campus to plan your first-year coursework and classes. This will give you time to take preparation classes or classes online that may transfer. 
  4. Prepare for the freedom you will have. Write a plan of how you will enjoy college life without sacrificing your athletic goals, academic requirements and future career endeavors. 
  5. Know that you will be tempted, you will always have a choice. Prepare yourself to not lose yourself with this newfound freedom. 

 

College Recruiting Process: How Do Colleges Recruit Athletes?

For many families, the most challenging part of the recruiting process is understanding how colleges recruit, evaluate, and show interest in student-athletes. To better explain the college recruiting process, it's helpful to look at it from a coach's perspective. Many college coaches begin the recruiting process by contacting a large group of athletes that think would be a good fit for their program.

 For more prominent programs, this number can be in the hundreds or even thousands. Through evaluations, reviewing highlight video, contact with recruits, etc., they slowly start to whittle that number down until they've filled their open roster spots. In other words, the college recruiting process resembles a funnel, starting out with a lot of recruits and narrowing down to a select few. These are the typical steps coaches will take to get to their final recruits.

Coaches group athletes who meet basic athletic requirements

First, coaches gather potential recruits. They will identify recruits who meet essential criteria like height, weight, position, grad year, academics, location, etc. To do so, college coaches will use the following methods: Recruiting media sites or Third-party evaluation services like Souletics provide colleges and other professional evaluators critical data. Recommendations from high school or club coach messages from recruits Camps and showcases where they can see many potential recruits in one place.

Conduct an in-depth evaluation of recruits

Coaches need to get to know recruits to create a ranked list of top prospects. This often means they will get in touch with athletes and start calling their high school/club coaches to get an evaluation and/or recommendation. They may also travel to larger tournaments or showcases where many of their recruits will be competing, or they will send the athletes personalized invites to their own camps. 

Official and unofficial visits can also happen at this time, as coaches try to really get to know prospects and create a solid list of top recruits. Once this round of rigorous evaluations is complete, coaches will be down to a ranked list.

 

What You Must Do To Get Recruited

Don't wait for college coaches to start contacting you! Instead, take the initiative by contacting them and enrolling in third part evaluation organizations like Souletics and others like NCSA. Send them updated athletic game day film, academic marks, and most recent footage. Ask your high school/club coach to reach out to college coaches on your behalf. And let coaches know you're coming to their school for an unofficial visit, and you'd like to arrange a time to meet with them while you're there.

RECRUITING TIP:
While neither athletes nor coaches can initiate phone conversations until June 15 after the athlete’s sophomore year, college coaches still build their recruiting classes prior to that date. They use online research, combine events, third party evaluators, attending events and communicating with athletes’ coaches. Athletes, parents and the like must create a presence and resume early. Having an online profile is critical for athletes to get evaluated early. We at Souletics add you to our database, in addition, we provide an in-depth evaluation and assessment for you to build on. Athletes can also initiate communication by emailing coaches of programs they are interested in as early as possible. Send them your athletic resume, which includes:

  • Your highlight video
  • Any sport-specific stats
  • Your academic information (Highlighting GPA, Core Classes for College and SAT/ACT)
  • Why you are interested in their program
  • When the NCAA recruiting rules allow coaches to contact you, you will already be on their radar. Once your sport’s contact period begins, be sure to follow up communications with a phone call.


Additionally, it could benefit you to attend summer camps at the college or school you wish to attend. You can attend as many of these camps as you can afford. 

 

Updated NCAA recruiting rules change the timing for certain recruiting activities

excerpt from ncsa.org


The NCAA just approved a new set of rules that will change the way Division 1 college coaches can recruit athletes during camps and visits. In an effort to streamline communications and cut back on early recruiting, coaches will have to wait on giving scholarship offers to athletes until after their sophomore year of high school. The rules take effect immediately, starting Wednesday, May 1, 2019. Here's a quick breakdown of these changes:

Sports impacted: These new rules apply to all DI sports except football, W/M basketball, softball, baseball and W/M lacrosse. Men’s ice hockey has also changed their rules, but the dates are different than those listed below. Get a full breakdown of the recruiting rules for all sports below.


Official visits: Recruits can now start taking official visits starting August 1 before their junior year of high school. In the past, official visits weren't permitted until September 1 of the athlete's junior year of high school, so this rule is actually bumping them up!


Camps and clinics: Recruits and college coaches are not allowed to have any recruiting conversations during camps prior to June 15 after sophomore year of high school. Previously, there weren't really any rules that prevented coaches from talking about recruiting to underclassmen during camps. In fact, it had become common practice for college coaches to extend verbal scholarship offers to top recruits during camps.


Unofficial visits: College athletic departments—this includes college coaches—are not allowed to be involved in a recruit's unofficial visits before August 1 of a prospect’s junior year. A quick refresher: Unofficial visits are any campus visits paid for entirely by the recruit's family. Before the rule change, unofficial visits were an easy way for underclassmen to visit a college campus, meet with the coach and get an early verbal offer. However, if athletes want to take unofficial visits now, they cannot schedule them with the coach—they should treat the unofficial visit just like any other student would. If the recruit happens to bump into the coach on campus, they can't have any recruiting conversations at that time.


D1 men’s ice hockey only: Men’s ice hockey adopted slightly different rules, recognizing the unique challenge facing elite recruits who are considering turning professional. College coaches can begin to contact recruits starting January 1 of their sophomore year. In addition, recruits can also begin to take unofficial visits at that time. Recruits will need to wait until August 1 of their junior year to take official visits and receive verbal scholarship offers.


For more information about these new rule changes, check out NCAA.

 

NCAA Recruiting Rules Per Sport

When can Division I coach contact athletes?

  • Generally speaking, DI coaches can send athletes non-recruiting material like recruiting questionnaires, camp brochures, and non-athletic institutional publications at any time. Serious recruiting contact begins either June 15 after a sophomore year or September 1 of junior year, depending on the sport and division level.


The Best Recruiting Advice: Communicate with college coaches through third-party evaluators, high school or out of school head coach. The AAU, Club, off-season high school coach and send emails and texts to coaches. They just will not get a direct response from coaches until their sport’s recruiting contact period begins.


Division I Football NCAA Recruiting Rules

  • Any time: Athletes can receive non-recruiting materials from college coaches, such as questionnaires, camp brochures, nonathletic institutional publications and NCAA educational materials published by the NCAA.
  • Verbal offers: There are no restrictions on when coaches can extend verbal offers to recruits.
  • September 1 of junior year: Athletes can receive any form of private communication. This includes emails, recruiting materials, texts and direct messages on social media.
  • April 1 through Sunday before the last Wednesday in June of junior year: Athletes can take one official visit as long as it is not taken in conjunction with their participation in the college’s camps or clinics. Athletes can take a total of five official visits.
  • April 15 through May 31 of junior year: NCAA recruiting rules mandate that, during this time, coaches can call athletes one time. Additional calls can be made after September 1 of the athlete’s senior year.
  • July 1 going into the senior year: Coaches can contact athletes off campus (limited to the NCAA Recruiting Calendar’s contact periods).
  • The first day of classes senior year: Athletes can take official visits, with a maximum of five total official visits per student-athlete.
  • September 1 of senior year: Coaches can call athletes once a week after this time, and they can call recruits unlimited times during the contact period.
  • The athlete’s senior year, coaches can initiate off-campus contact with the athletes and/or their parents up to six times.
  • During athletes’ senior year, coaches can evaluate each recruit once during September, October, and November. They can conduct two evaluations per athlete (one to determine an athlete’s athletic ability and the other to determine academic qualifications) between April 15 and May 31.



Division I Men’s Basketball NCAA Recruiting Rules

  • Any time: Athletes can receive non-recruiting materials from college coaches, such as questionnaires, camp brochures, nonathletic institutional publications and NCAA educational materials published by the NCAA.

  • Verbal offers: There are no restrictions on when coaches can extend verbal offers to recruits.

  • June 15 after sophomore year: Coaches can call, email, text, direct message and correspond with athletes in any form of private communication. Calls from coaches to athletes are unlimited at this time except during dead and quiet periods.

  • Start of classes junior year: Coaches can initiate off-campus contact. Except during the April recruiting period, coaches can only conduct off-campus contact at the recruit’s school or residence. Contact cannot occur the day of a competition or at a time during the day when the athlete’s classes are in session.

  • January 1 of junior year: Recruits can begin official visits, with a maximum of five total official visits, with only one official visit per school. Meaning, you can have an official visit at up to five schools, with one official visit at each. Bear in mind, official visits cannot occur during the dead period, as the NCAA recruiting rules explain.



Division I Women’s Basketball NCAA Recruiting Rules

  • Any time: Athletes can receive non-recruiting materials from college coaches, such as questionnaires, camp brochures, nonathletic institutional publications and NCAA educational materials published by the NCAA.
  • Verbal offers: There are no restrictions on when coaches can extend verbal offers to recruits.
  • September 1 of junior year: Coaches can send electronic communications to athletes, including texts, instant messages, emails and recruiting materials. According to NCAA rules, coaches can call athletes an unlimited number of times at this time.
  • March 1 of junior year: NCAA recruiting rules allow coaches to conduct off-campus contact at the athlete’s school or residence. No off-campus contact is allowed on the day of a recruit’s game. Coaches are not permitted to contact athletes during school hours on school days.
  • April of junior year starting the Thursday following the NCAA Women’s Final Four®: Recruits can begin taking up to five official visits, except during the dead periods.
  • A college coach can contact athletes and/or parents off campus up to seven times their senior year.



Division I Men’s Ice Hockey NCAA Recruiting Rules

  • Any time: Athletes can receive non-recruiting materials from college coaches, such as questionnaires, camp brochures, nonathletic institutional publications and NCAA educational materials published by the NCAA.
  • January 1 of sophomore year: Coaches can begin calling recruits. Coaches can also send all forms of private electronic correspondence, including text messages, direct messages, instant messages and emails. Recruits can also begin to make unofficial visits.
  • June 15 after sophomore year: Coaches can make off-campus contact with recruits.
  • August 1 before junior year: Athletes can begin receiving verbal scholarship offers and going on official visits, taking up to five. Athletes can also start arranging unofficial visits with the school's athletic department and speak to the coach about recruiting while on campus. Coaches can make off-campus contact with recruits.
  • Coaches can take seven recruiting opportunities (contacts and evaluations combined) per recruit between September 1 and May 31. Beginning June 15 before the athlete’s junior year of high school, no more than three of the seven opportunities may be contacts each year.



Division I Women’s Ice Hockey NCAA Recruiting Rules

  • Any time: Athletes can receive non-recruiting materials from college coaches, such as questionnaires, camp brochures, nonathletic institutional publications and NCAA educational materials published by the NCAA.
  • July 7-31 before the junior year: College coaches can call international college-bound student-athletes once during this time period.
  • June 15 after sophmore year: Coaches can extend verbal offers, make calls and send all forms of private electronic correspondence, including texts, emails, direct messages, instant messages, etc.
  • August 1 before the junior year: Recruits can begin taking official visits to schools. Athletes are also allowed to start arranging unofficial visits with a school's athletic department and meet with the coach while on campus. Coaches can begin to have an off-campus contact with recruits.



Division, I Swimming and Diving NCAA Recruiting Rules

  • Any time: Athletes can receive recruiting materials from college coaches, such as questionnaires, camp brochures, nonathletic institutional publications and NCAA educational materials published by the NCAA.
  • June 15 after sophmore year The NCAA recruiting rules show athletes can receive all forms of electronic correspondence at this time, including emails, instant messages, faxes, etc., as well as other recruiting materials.
  • August 1 before the junior year: Recruits can begin taking official visits to schools. Athletes can also begin arranging unofficial visits with a school's athletic department and meet with the coach while on campus.
  • August 1 before the junior year: Coaches are allowed to start off-campus contact with recruits.



Division I Men’s/Women’s Lacrosse NCAA Recruiting Rules

  • Any time: Athletes can receive non-recruiting materials from college coaches, such as questionnaires, camp brochures, nonathletic institutional publications and NCAA educational materials published by the NCAA.
  • September 1 of junior year: Coaches can extend verbal scholarship offers and send all forms of private, electronic correspondence, including text messages, direct messages, and emails, as well as recruiting materials. Coaches are also able to start calling athletes after this date.
  • September 1 of junior year: Athletes cannot go on unofficial visits or official visits before this date.
  • September 1 of junior year: Coaches are allowed to conduct off-campus evaluations. But during the athlete’s junior year, those contacts are only allowed at the recruit’s school or home.


Division I Women’s Gymnastics NCAA Recruiting Rules

  • Any time: Athletes can receive recruiting materials from college coaches, such as questionnaires, camp brochures, nonathletic institutional publications and NCAA educational materials published by the NCAA.
  • June 15 after sophomore year: Coaches can make calls and send athletes all forms of private electronic correspondence, including text messages, instant messages, direct messages, and emails, as well as all recruiting materials. Coaches can also call athletes at this point.
  • August 1 before the junior year: Athletes can begin taking unofficial and official visits to colleges.
  • August 1 before the junior year: Coaches can conduct off-campus contact with athletes.



Division I Men’s Wrestling NCAA Recruiting Rules

 

  • Any time: Athletes can receive recruiting materials from college coaches, such as questionnaires, camp brochures, nonathletic institutional publications and NCAA educational materials published by the NCAA.
  • June 15 after Sophmore year: Coaches can make calls and send athletes all forms of private electronic correspondence, including text messages, instant messages, direct messages, and emails, as well as all recruiting materials. Coaches can also call athletes at this point.
  • August 1 before the junior year: Athletes can begin taking unofficial visits and official visits to schools.
  • August 1 before the junior year: The NCAA recruiting rules allow coaches to conduct off-campus contact with athletes at their residence or school.



Division I Softball NCAA Recruiting Rules

  • Any time: Athletes can receive non-recruiting materials from college coaches, such as questionnaires, camp brochures, nonathletic institutional publications and NCAA educational materials published by the NCAA.

  • September 1 of junior year: Coaches can make verbal scholarship offers and send athletes all forms of private electronic correspondence, including text messages, instant messages, direct messages, and emails, as well as all recruiting materials. Coaches can also call athletes at this point.

  • September 1 of junior year: Athletes can begin taking official visits. Recruits can also start arranging unofficial visits with a school's athletic department and talk about recruiting with the coach while on campus.

  • July 1 before senior year: Coaches can begin conducting off-campus contact with athletes at their residence or school.


All other Division I sports NCAA recruiting rules

  • Any time: Athletes can receive non-recruiting materials from college coaches, such as questionnaires, camp brochures, nonathletic institutional publications and NCAA educational materials published by the NCAA.
  • June 15 after sophomore year: Coaches can extend verbal scholarship offers, call athletes and send athletes all forms of private electronic correspondence, including text messages, instant messages, direct messages, and emails, as well as all recruiting materials.
  • August 1 before the junior year: Athletes can begin taking official visits, and they can also arrange unofficial visits with a school's athletic department and meet with the coach while on campus. Coaches can begin conducting off-campus contact with athletes at their residence or school.


When can Division II coach contact athletes?
The NCAA Recruiting Rules for Division II schools are slightly more relaxed than those for Division I and the rules are the same across all sports:

  • Non-recruiting materials: Athletes can receive brochures for camps, questionnaires, NCAA materials and non-athletic recruiting publications at any time.
  • Printed recruiting materials: Starting July 15 after an athlete’s sophomore year, coaches can begin sending recruits printed recruiting materials.
  • Telephone calls: Starting June 15 after an athlete’s sophomore year, coaches can start calling athletes.
  • Off-campus contact: Coaches can conduct off-campus communications with athletes and/or their parents starting June 15 after an athlete’s sophomore year.
  • Unofficial visits: Athletes can take unofficial visits at any time.
  • Official visits: Athletes may start taking official visits starting June 15 after an athlete’s sophomore year.



When can Division III coaches contact athletes?
DIII schools have the most relaxed NCAA recruiting rules of all the division levels. Similar to NCAA DII, they are the same for all sports:

  • Recruiting materials: Athletes can receive recruiting materials at any time.
  • Telephone calls: There is no limit on when college coaches can call athletes.
  • Digital communications: There is no limit on when college coaches can contact athletes digitally.
  • Off-campus contact: After the athlete’s sophomore year, college coaches may begin to conduct off-campus communications.
  • Official visits: Athletes can begin taking official visits after January 1 of their junior year.
  • Unofficial visits: Athletes can make an unlimited number of unofficial visits at any time.recruiting.

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