Selecting the university you will attend is perhaps the most important decision you will make. While your college athletic career will be over in 4 or 5 years, your education will stay with you for the rest of your life. Your education will be the foundation for your career which will be a central part in your day to day activities for most of your life! If you are interested in playing sports in college you are most likely extremely talented, driven and competitive. Using your talent is a fantastic way to supplement your university experience, develop transferable job skills, and even help pay for your tuition. However, it is crucially important to base your final decision on not just a fantastic team and coaches that you love, but on academics, college major, and career transition opportunities.
Don’t sit back and wait for schools to find and recruit you. Take an active role in your future, identify what criteria is important to you in order for you to be happy, comfortable and successful at your school both academically, athletically, and environmentally. It will take a lot of research at first to come up with your target list, use the links on our resource page to help sort through the options and identify a list of your dream schools. Try and have a balance of schools of different rankings, different conferences and leagues, identify schools in Canada as well as the United States.
Depending on when you start your recruiting plan, you will want to identify a different number of target schools:
Fall of Grade 9: Identify up to 20 potential schools
Fall of Grade 10: Identify 10-12 potential schools
Fall of Grade 11: Narrow down your options to 5-7
Fall of Grade 12: Have 1 or 2 solid options. (note – if you are in grade 12 and just beginning the recruiting process start your list at 5-7 but be prepared to narrow it down very quickly. this is a special case, contact us to schedule a consulting session to discuss what steps to take!)
HERE’S A TIP: while you may identify many schools as potentially being what you want. Be wary of contacting more than 10 schools at a time, especially if you compete in a non-revenue sport (ie. NOT football, baseball, basketball etc). The world is small, and coaches talk. If it becomes apparent that you have broadcast contacted schools then coaches may start to wonder if you actually know what you are looking for, and question your interest in their program specifically.
This list will continually change and be updated as you progress through your recruiting journey. Some schools will be crossed off, some will be added. At the end you may end up with a school in the number 1 position that didn’t even make your top 10 in the beginning and then again, your #1 school at the beginning might end up being your #1 school at the end. Either way is fine!
This first step is often the most overwhelming, there seems like a million options and directions to take! Let me assure you that once you’ve started, the process becomes much clearer!
Take advantage of our mentors if you need help! Contact us today to set up a meeting.
Visit our downloads page for access to a tracking worksheet that will help keep track of your Target School List and information on each school as your recruiting process evolves and your options narrow down
How do I find contact information for my target coaches?
Most university athletic department websites have contact information available for their coaching staff. If you are not an active client, you can most likely find email and telephone numbers for the coaches on your list by searching through the university websites.