Gone are the days when you could start actively work at being recruited somewhere in the middle of your Junior year; the NCAA is now suggesting that athletes register with the NCAA eligibility center at the beginning of their SOPHOMORE year. From your Freshman year on both your academics and athletics need to be planned.
For D1 schools the rules change starting with the class of 2016. The two biggest changes are locked courses and NCAA approved core courses.
Locked Courses. At the end of your Junior year, your core courses are locked; the grades you received in those courses will count towards the NCAA academic average even if you re-take the course. Freshman grades become more important in this scenario.
Approved Core courses for DI. Each school has to submit their courses for approval to the NCAA. Only approved core courses can be counted in the athlete’s academic average. And, each athlete has to complete the appropriate approved core courses to be eligible. For DII there are specific courses that must be completed.
DI athletes must have a minimum 2.3 (on a scale of 4 points) to be eligible to play their Freshman year or to be Redshirted. DII athletes have to have a minimum 2.2 academic average.
In conjunction with the academic average SAT/ACT scores count. There is an NCAA sliding scale which shows the academic average and then the minimum test score for eligibility.
Your athletic accomplishments during your first years of high school are what recruiters will be looking at.
You should be reaching out to coaches with the help of your High School and/or Club Coach at the beginning of your sophomore year, letting them know that you are interested in their school.
Be realistic in your expectations for college sports. If you want to play, rather than sit the bench you need to align your skills with the college program. For example, most 5’10” basketball players are not going to be scouted by D1 programs, simply because they are looking at 6’3” + talent. So if you are a good basketball player, love the game and want to play at the collegiate level, concentrating on DII and DIII schools will generally be a better use of your time.
Show improvement and dedication. If your coach suggests that you need to be faster on the field, come in and let Parisi Speed School @HealthQuest help you do that. If you need better field vision get on the internet and consistently do the exercises that are available to train your eyes for your sport.
Be a student of your sport. Watch the teams you want to eventually be a part of and be a critical viewer. What foundational and sports specific skills should you work on to emulate their best players?
Your Parisi Speed School @HealthQuest and school/club coaches will help you develop a plan for your athletic development. Your Guidance Counselor will help you develop a plan for your academics. Then it’s up to you to follow your plan.
(Thanks to SleeperRecruit.com for their expert help.)