The recruiting process can be a complex and lengthy process. The below 14 steps are provided to help guide you through the recruiting process. As a primarily spring sport, the timeline for recruiting can fluctuate greatly. It is best to start the process early, and it is possible for the process to last well into an athlete's senior season. Steps 1-8 can begin as early as freshman year, and steps 9-14 should begin at the beginning of junior or senior year.
1. Consolidate Athletic.net
Many athletes have multiple profiles on Athletic.net under different teams or names. Consolidating all Athletic.net profiles into a single account will help all of your results be seen, show your progression, and prevent an incorrect athlete's profile being reviewed. Here are instruction to consolidate your Athletic.net profiles.
2. Update Social Media Profiles
Potential coaches will review your social media profiles. Ensure that your social media accounts do not contain inappropriate content. Include academic and athletic information in your account biography, such as: school name, club name, GPA, ACT score, height, PR, and link to Athletic.net profile. Make your profile easily identifiable by using your full name as your name and/or username.
3. Determine potential competition level
Review results from division and conference championships to identify in which divisions you can realistically be competitive. Initially, this should be a high-level review. TFRRS.com is a great resource to review college results.
4. Eligibility Center
Student-athletes must register with the NCAA Eligibility Center to be eligible to play NCAA Division I or II sports. Athletes playing in Division III do not have to register. Student-athletes must register with the NAIA Eligibility Center to play sports at an NAIA college or university.
5. Take the ACT Multiple Times
Your ACT score is important for acceptance into a college or university, as well as academic financial aid. Do not wait to take the ACT and take it more than once.
6. Determine a Long List
Review results from division and conference championships to identify in which conferences you can realistically be competitive. This should now be a detailed review of conferences and schools comparable to your personal bests or short term potential. Based on your review, make a list of school you would be interested in. The list should include at least 15 schools but can be much longer.
7. Fill Out Questionanaires
Most colleges have a recruiting questionnaire on their website. For each school on your long list, visit their official track and field website and fill out the recruiting questionnaire.
8. Research Schools
Begin researching schools on your long list for their academics, athletics, environment, community, etc. to identify key factors that are personally important to your decision.
9. Determine a Medium List
Based on the feedback from questionnaires, research, an improved PRs, reduce your long list into medium list of about 10 schools.
10. Direct Contact
Use email, social media, and/or phone calls to make direct contact with a coach at the schools on your medium list. Coach's and contact information is often available on the school's official track and field website, often on the Roster page. In some divisions, coaches cannot initiate contact until June 15th after your sophomore year.
11. Unofficial Visits
Take opportunities to visit college campuses and teams to get a feel for the environment and identify more specific factors that are personally important to your decision.
12. Determine a Short List
Based on feedback and interactions from direct contact, reduce the medium list into 3-5 realistic and desirable options. There should be a history of direct contact with these schools.
13. Official Visits
Begin taking official visits to the schools on your short list. If official visits have not been discussed, indicate to the coach that they are are one of your top options and you're interested in visiting.
Make a decision on where you plan to sign a letter of intent. Advise the coach that you would like to commit and get the details in writing. Do not feel pressured to commit if the school is not the right fit for you.