This is a super exciting time for high school students who might be considering playing a college sport. The overall timelines vary tremendously by sport, but June 15 is a significant NCAA date. I have been through this process twice as a parent and many other times with students I advise and wanted to share some thoughts on this process. (I also was a student athlete myself a million years ago so I have that perspective too)
First off, cast a very wide net. Recruiting is like dating, if you zero in too quickly on a few schools that you might be excited about, you may be cutting yourself off from other opportunities. Often this process happens early in high school and what you might be excited about early on can change as you go through the recruiting process. It’s also a two way relationship, depending on your sport and the year opportunities can change.
As you start to explore schools, talk to coaches and consider opportunities don’t get too starry eyed about the athletic experience. Yes, that weight room is awesome and the gear and backpacks are awesome, but please look at the experience in front of you holistically. What is the philosophy of the team, what kind of support is offered to you both as a student and and as an athlete-things like academic advising, tutoring, mentorship, mental health support, health support (if you get injured). Depending on the type of school you are looking at and the commitment expected the resources can vary. As you go through this process, really dig deep and think about what YOU want. The bells and whistles are great, but they won’t matter if the school and team are not a good fit.
Official visits can play a big role in this process. See what the academic/athletic balance looks like-does it seem like a good fit for you.
This is a long process and you have time! It’s easy to get excited in the beginning-but do you homework and due diligence.
Reach out with questions! And good luck to you.