I just received this comment and question from a student-athlete. His question is not uncommon, and his thoughts about his situation are not uncommon either. I thought that his question was so important that I’d answer it here for you, too.
Q: I’m going to be a Sophomore next year and I might go for Varsity football. I play quarterback and I’m almost 6’0. I have good grades. What do I have to do to get a scholarship to a D1 school? Where I live is a small town and our Division is D4, so it harder to get scouts to look at you and to get scholarships. I would do anything to get to a d1 school. I always work hard and try to be the best that I could. What should i do??
A: Being from a small town is not a handicap. We lived in a town of 40,000 people when our twin sons were recruited. There is a misconception that if I’m in a big city, college coaches are going to find me easier. The reality is that no matter what size your city is, college coaches don’t just “find” you, unless you are a top-tier, blue-chip athlete. And that’s just a handful of athletes in your community.
What you must do it aggressively pursue the attention of college coaches, no matter where you are.
First of all, put together a quality introductory packet. This is your tool to introduce yourself to college coaches. In effect, you’re raising your hand and telling them you’re interested in their school and program. Parents, this is where you can be a big help to assure that this is a top-quality set of materials.
Second, send the packet by mail or email to college coaches at programs you feel you’d be a good fit. Parents, get involved in this process, too. Help your son or daughter discern where they’d be a good fit, based on location, school size, level of the program and other relevant factors.
Third, when coaches respond, write them back with whatever further information they have requested. If they send a camp invitation or do not ask for any other information, you should still write back and let them know you’ll keep them updated on your progress.
Fourth, for those who did not respond to your packet within 3-4 weeks, email or call them so they see your interest is genuine. This may land a few more responses.
Whether you’re from a big city or small town, this process works every time.