Recruiting 101: A Basic Guide for Student Athletes (and Their Parents) Looking to Compete at the Collegiate Level

By: Laurie A. McCarthy, Esquire

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Many kids dream of playing their favorite sport in college but most of them have no idea how to make that dream a reality. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Start Early. Yes, there are rules about when a coach can contact an athlete but, the student athlete, can contact the coach at any time. The coach, depending on the level of competition may not be able to respond directly, until a certain date, but they are permitted to contact the athlete’s coach and set up a time to speak directly to the athlete. Know the Rules for each division but don’t forget recruiting is a two-way street. Most coaches’ email addresses are published on the school’s website. Also, most schools have a questionnaire for recruits to fill out. So, email and fill out the questionnaires, the sooner you get on the radar the better.
  • Create an Athletic Resume. Coaches are busy so make it easy on them. Create an athletic resume with all of the information the coach needs to know in one place. This should contain contact information for student, school coach and club coach, statistics, grades, honors, other activities, intended major, and highlight videos. This should be attached to your introductory email to the coach.
  • Film, Film, Film. Coaches they get thousands of emails from student athletes. If your email does not contain a highlight video it will likely get lost in the shuffle. Film everything, create a YouTube channel or website to showcase your talent and send updates to the coach with new highlight videos. The videos can be games and skills or a combination. Keep making new highlight videos and update the coach after each tournament or after a few games.
  • Tour Schools, All Different Kinds of Schools. Most kids have no idea where they want to go to school but deciding if they like a big school or small school can really help limit the search. Also, how far do they really want to go from home? Making that long drive just once is often enough to help narrow down the search options. Schedule tours or even just drive through campus to get a feel for different types of campuses. Research the schools’ websites and make a list of about 30 schools to focus on. The list should include all divisions. Don’t get hung up on Division I teams only, cast a wide net to find the best fit.
  • Attend ID Camps. If you are interested in a school and they have an ID camp, email the coach a few weeks before the camp with your athletic resume and attempt to establish some communication with the coach before the camp. College camps are run by the college coaching staff and players and are a great way to see if the team is a good fit.
  • Academics and Attitude. Grades matter. Get good grades and meet with your college counselor to make sure you are academically eligible. Register with NCAA. Maintain a good attitude. Coaches are looking for leadership, work ethic, intelligence, toughness and a team player.

So take control of the process, be proactive, and then your chances of getting recruited will greatly increase.

The Law Firm of DiOrio & Sereni, LLP is a full-service law firm in Media, Delaware County, Pennsylvania. We strive to help people, businesses and institutions throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania solve legal problems – and even prevent legal problems before they occur.  To learn more about the full range of our specific practice areas, please visit or contact Laurie A. McCarthy, Esquire at 610-565-5700 or at [email protected].


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