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How do I get top schools to really notice me when it comes to sports.

My name is Yazlynn. I am 15 and a sophomore in high school. I love sports/hobbies. I did dance for a few years then last year, I wanted to try something new so I did volleyball and thankfully made the team. Not many big schools come to watch us play here in Boston so it's kind of hard to get noticed. sports scholarships collegefuture

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Denis’s Answer

I ran track & field for a D3 school and my son is a freshman at a D1 school who was recruited to play lacrosse. Athletics at any NCAA level is not for the faint of heart - it's a ton of time, hard work and you've got to balance academics and athletics. But, with that said, it's an amazing experience that provide you experience in time management, leadership and working hard, which are all life lessons that also translate on your resume. Given the new NCAA recruiting rules, for most sports, college coaches aren't allowed to contact you until September 1st of your junior year of HS. However, you're allowed to contact them beforehand in an effort to get on their radar. First step is to be honest with yourself about your potential. If you want to play a sport in college, there is a level for everyone with that ambition, but playing D1 is a different ball game. Only the top and best players will have that opportunity and when you get there, it can be grueling. My son spends almost 5 hours a day between lift, specialized practice, film review and team practice, not to mention time with the trainer to work out kinks to injuries. Since you're a sophomore, talk to your HS and/or club coach - you'll need their support, advice and connections. Next, put together a short video of your highlights. Research the schools and programs you're interested in and then start emailing college coaches. If this is your goal, go for it!
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Simeon’s Answer

Some colleges have training camps and workshops for their related sport. I would find any excuse I could find to get on the campuses I'm interested in (post-Covid, of course) and make connections as well as look for opportunities. Sometimes, being there to talk to people in person will open doors and you will often find fliers and other announcements for events that could be an opportunity as well. Additionally, you could consider joining a volleyball club outside of school as these will give you a chance to prove yourself as well. Just be aware you'll have to pay money to be a part of some of these volleyball organizations/clubs.
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Judith’s Answer

Check to see if your club coach has connections. That is a really good way. Club coaches have a great deal of influence in large scale.
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Robert’s Answer

I am the father of a College athlete who faced the same challenges for recruiting or being noticed by prospective colleges. It is hard enough to be recruited during normal times but even more difficult during the pandemic. I can tell you from first hand experience what worked for my son. He did not rely on college coaches to find him. You have to market yourself and contact them. There is simply such a large mount of athletes out there that you are competing with for limited spots and scholarships. Here is a quick outline.

He did his research on the schools he wanted to attend in D-1,D-2 and NAIA. He prioritized by schools he wanted to attend and what was the best fit for him from an athletic and academic standpoint. He then set up a spreadsheet to track who he emailed and used that for his follow up if he had not heard back from them within a certain time frame. You can find the email and Bio on most college coaches at any school.

This will require a lot of work and time on your part with timely follow up. You have to execute your plan and work at it. You will be shocked at how many coaches reply.

Good luck and if you want more details on a game plan I can get you my son's email.

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Michelle’s Answer

The best thing you can do is work hard and be consistent about whatever sport or hobby you love. Getting recruited as a college athlete at a top school is a great opportunity, but it is also very competitive. Most of the time recruiters hear about and go watch talented athletes when they (or their team) are one of the best in the state (like winning a state volleyball tournament).

Even if recruiters don't come to your school to watch, colleges will also see your persistence and dedication to something you love - like sports/hobbies - in your college application. So my advice is to choose one or two hobbies that you love (like volleyball and dance), be the best you can be at it, and see if there are opportunities for you to be a leader - like being Team Captain, Team Treasurer, Team Social Events Coordinator, etc.

Hope this helps!

thanks so much! Yazlynn W.