Recruiting Advice

What You Should Be Doing In Your Junior Year - Track and Field Recruiting Advice

Track and Field Recruiting

Track and Field Recruiting


RECRUITING ADVICE FOR CURRENT JUNIORS –

You are almost halfway through your junior year of high school and will be heading off to college in little over a year. Many programs have completed their recruiting classes for this year and are now focusing their efforts on next year’s class – this year’s juniors.

As it is now permissible for college coaches to call juniors the recruiting process has already begun. To ensure that you take full advantage of this process, here are a few suggestions to help you find the right fit for you.

1.         Cast A Wide Net

Your junior year is about seeing what’s out there and what kind of school might be a good fit for you. If you have not yet done so create an expansive list of schools/programs that meet your specific needs and desires. Among factors to consider are affiliation (NCAA I, II, III, NAIA and JUCO), competitiveness of the program, cost of attendance, quality of education, geographical location, intended academic major, enrollment size, public vs private, and other factors that matter to you.

Think about what may impact your athletic experience the most like coaching style, athlete retention, and success of the program. Determine if you are a good fit athletically – many schools post their recruiting standards online.

Know what the academic requirements are for the schools you are considering to determine if you are potentially admissible. 

Continually revise your list. During my coaching career, I often saw recruits close doors too early.  They would rule out programs in their junior year of high school based on a variety of factors and then end up scrambling in the end when Plan A did not work out. Make sure to keep Plan B in play as to not have to settle for Plan C at the last minute.

2.             Fill Out Online Recruiting Questionnaires

The online recruiting questionnaire is a good first and simple means to initiate communication with a program. It allows the coach to assess if you are a good fit for their program. In a recent interview with the Recruiting Code, Duke University Head Women’s Cross Country Coach, Rhonda Riley was asked, “What are the important steps for an athlete to get noticed by you?” She responded, “The two ways to get on my radar are to fill out our online questionnaire and to follow up with an email. When a high school athlete takes the time to send an email with their contact information, personal best marks, academic information etc. it means they are serious about considering Duke as a potential university.”  Online recruiting questionnaires are typically very easy to find on individual schools’ track and field websites.

3.             Contact College Coaches

Over the span of my 30-year coaching career, I learned that communication is the most important element to reaching your goals. If you have not yet started - start reaching out to college coaches from the schools on your list. You will be surprised at how effective personally reaching out to coaches will enhance your recruiting experience.

Proofread every email before hitting send. A great deal of communication in the early phases of the recruiting process is going to be cut and paste on both sides, however, making a simple mistake can dehumanize the process and render the remainder of your communication less credible. Make sure you are addressing the proper institution and coach. I cannot tell you how many emails I received from recruits specifically addressed to a rival coach expressing their interest in a rival school.

Send updates on a regular basis.  Most coaches receive dozens of emails from recruits each day so it’s important that you keep yourself on their radar.  

4.             Take The ACT / SAT

Register and take the SAT/ACT during your junior year. If you feel adequately prepared, I would suggest taking the test in the fall of your junior year. This will allow you plenty of time to take it for the second time in the spring. Everyone's test prep is going to vary based on their own strengths, weaknesses, schedule, and goals. At the very minimum, though, all students should try to put in 10 hours of focused test prep, at least to get familiar with the format and timing of the test. Realistically, you would need to put in much more time over a sustained period to do well.

However, if you are not ready to take the test do not view it as a test-run. Do not take the test until you have prepared to do so at a level that is reflective of your academic potential.

If you are considering attending a highly selective academic institution taking the test earlier will significantly enhance your recruitment. Most selective schools will not vigorously pursue a potential-student athlete without test scores to determine admissibility. 

5.             Utilize Unofficial Visits

Unofficial visits can help you gather significant information about individual programs and schools. This time will allow you an opportunity to meet the coach in person, tour the college, check out the athletic facilities, and possibly meet current team members. 

Do your homework - know who and where you are visiting. Have a keen understanding of the unique strengths of each school and team, as it will show the respective coaching staff how serious you are about their program.

Use this time to learn as much as you can about the program and coaching staff. Identify the factors that will be most important to you in determining if you will return for an official visit. Have a short list of specific questions ready that address the most critical factors in your college decision.  

There is no imposed limit on the number of unofficial visits you may take, so take as many as possible. There is no better tool to help you hone in on the best school/program for you. 


In summary:

 Your junior year is quickly passing and it is time to start seriously considering where you want to continue your academic and athletic pursuits. Do not be passive – start reaching out to college coaches now. Be aggressive in your outreach and email every program that you are interested in, regardless of the perceived reach. Be your own greatest advocate and take charge of your future. 

 

Three Things Track and Field Athletes Should Understand About College Track and Field Recruiting

The NCAA currently reports that over 1.5 million boys and girls participate in high school track & field and cross country. Of those 1.5 million participants, only 85,000-90,000 will compete in college, or approximately 4-7% depending upon event and gender. A large majority of that 4-7% will be asked to walk-on and not receive any athletic money. As a result, it is imperative that you devise a plan of action early on in your high school career. You have worked too hard and sacrificed far too much to idly wait for the process to begin. Take control of your destiny in the same way you have your academic and athletic endeavors. The recruiting process will require the same such commitment from you. Below are three factors to considering when searching for the college of your dreams. DETERMINE THE BEST FIT FOR YOU During your freshmen and sophomore years create an expansive list of schools/programs that meet your specific needs and desires. Among factors to consider are affiliation level (NCAA I, II, III, NAIA, and JUCO), the competitiveness of the program, cost of attendance, quality of education, geographical location, intended academic major, enrollment size, public vs private, and other factors that matter to YOU. Do not be mesmerized by the name of a school. See beyond the prowess of their football and basketball programs or their academic reputation. Make sure the school you choose meets your needs for reasons beyond it simply being cool to tell the world you will be running or studying at a particular school. Remember, you have to live, study, train and compete there every day for four years. Many brilliant scholars and successful professionals have attended state schools with less than brilliant academic reputations. Plain and simple, choose a school that you would be happy at without track and field - just in case your athletic career does not go as planned. TAKE CHARGE Do not be passive. At the conclusion of your freshman year and throughout your sophomore year, start reaching out to college coaches from the schools on your list. In my personal dealings with high school student-athletes, I often heard prospects state that the schools on their list were comprised solely of programs that contacted them. If a program you’re interested in does not reach out to you, reach out to them! You will be surprised at how effective personally reaching out will enhance your recruiting experience. There could be many factors why a school has not reached out to you – one being as simple as you not receiving the letter that was sent to your HS coach or guidance college – this happens more than imagined. During the summer after your sophomore year and throughout the course of your junior year, take as many unofficial visits as possible. This will give you an opportunity to meet the coach in person, tour the college, check out the athletic facilities, and possibly meet current team members. There is no limit on the number of unofficial visits that you can take – so take many! During your junior and senior year schedule and take all five allowable official visits. Your decision is far too important and impactful not to explore all possibilities. If the majority of your visits require extensive travel speak to the coaches about combining two visits into one trip to cut down on flights across the country, particularly if in-season. COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY Over the span of my thirty-year coaching career, I learned that communication is the most important element in reaching your goals. It is imperative that you learn to communicate openly and effectively with your parents, high school coach, and college coaches. Ask your parents to help you create a series of questions to ask college coaches, begin to narrow your list of potential schools, and arrange the logistical aspects of visit coordination. However, you should be the primary voice writing the emails, taking the phone calls, and asking questions. Clearly articulate your specific running goals to your high school coach. Ask them to create a sound developmental training plan that will allow you to fully actualize your athletic potential over the span of your high school career. Seek their advice on potential options for you to continue your athletic career based on their past experiences and ask them to email college coaches on your behalf. This is your journey. Take control of the process and map out your best possible future.

Track and Field Recruiting Timeline

Track and Field Recruiting Tip of the Week - Identify Viable Options

Track Recruiting

COLLEGE TRACK AND FIELD RECRUITING

Do your research and have an idea what schools and programs are truly viable options for you based on your current and projected athletic and academic achievements. Track and Field is unique in that a tangible comparison if often possible. Do your research and see how your PR’s compare to the previous year’s recruits at the schools you are most interested in. A quick perusal of the school’s track and field website and Milesplit will allow you to gain an honest perspective of how you stack up. Look further into how your GPA and test scores measure up to the profile of the incoming class. However, if you are being recruited by a particular school, you should realize that most coaches have quite a bit of leeway with the Office of Admissions – so don’t be scared away if the numbers seem daunting.

Realistically assess your academic and athletic numbers and start form there. For example, a high school girl who has run 13.00 for 100m or a young man who has run 2:03 for 800m cannot expect to compete in the SEC. Along the same line, a student with a 21 on the ACT should not expect to be admitted to NYU or Harvard regardless of a coach’s support.

It is important to identify the schools and programs that are the best fit for you. And, although it is imperative to dream big and shoot for the stars, it is also important to be realistic about your current athletic and academic abilities to find the vey best fit for you!

Track and Field Recruiting Tip Of The Week

Track Recruiting

TRACK & FIELD RECRUITING TIP OF THE WEEK

TIP #1 – FINDING THE BEST FIT FOR YOU

To get started, determine the most important factors in choosing a school. Consider quality of education, cost, team environment, program success, level of competition, coaching style/philosophy, location, major and such. Obviously, you should prioritize these factors to ensure you are finding the very best fit for you.

For example, the cost of attendance will be very important for many families and will therefore drive the recruiting process. For another family, the academic reputation of the university or college may be the most important factor in determining which schools to pursue. Obviously, as a track and field recruit the college coach and the team environment will be important factors in your decision.

My suggestion to you is create a list identifying your most important factors in rank order. For all families, there will be more than one factor impacting the decision. Identify the factors that are important for you and let that list guide you through the recruiting process.

EXAMPLE GIVEN:

1600m / 3200m Boy with PR’s of 4:22 and 9:30 as a junior. He has SAT scores of 1210 and wants to attend a NCAA D1 school with a solid academic reputation in the Midwest that the family can afford.

Schools to consider:

Bradley University Butler University Drake University Xavier University

Do's and Don’ts of Track and Field Recruiting

Track Recruiting

Here are a few useful tips from Coach Willy Wood that will help you navigate the recruiting process successfully.

DO keep detailed notes throughout the entire recruiting process as you will forget certain aspects of schools/programs. It was not uncommon for recruits of mine to videotape and take photos of our facilities and campus to help them remember their visit.

DO NOT close your initial email to a coach with, "I am confident that I can contribute greatly to your program" if you are not yet performing at a level close to the team's current athletes. I recall reading that type of closing comment and thinking to myself, "how?" It led me to believe that the prospect did not really understand much about our program. Instead say "With hard work and your coaching, I am confident that I can develop into a runner capable of helping your program over the span of my college career." The latter statement shows them that you understand how much work will be required to succeed at the collegiate level and will convey your confidence in the coach's ability to help you.

DO carefully proofread every email before hitting send. I cannot tell you how many emails I received from recruits specifically addressed to a rival coach expressing their interest in a rival school. A great deal of communication in the early phases of the recruiting process is going to be cut and paste on both sides, however, making a simple mistake can dehumanize the process and render the remainder of your communication less credible. It may also be helpful to send a couple of test emails to yourself first to ensure that the font or text sizes have not changed where you have cut and pasted new names.

DO NOT tell coaches "you are among my top choices". Everyone knows that both athletes and coaches have many options -- there is no need to state it. Simply say, "I am extremely interested in your program." It is far more personal and establishes a more positive relationship. Make every effort possible to prevent this process from becoming generic - subtle word changes can make the entire process seem more personal to the coach. This is important as they will be deciding how much money to offer you or if they will give you an admission's spot.

DO your homework! Never be surprised by your visit. Have a keen understanding of the unique strengths of each school. It will go along way with the coaching staff if it appears you know a great deal about their specific school and program. Have a solid understanding of where they rank athletically and academically, what their unique strengths are and how they compare to the other schools you are considering. On occasion, I would literally have prospects in my office tell me that they were really interested in State U or Academic U but they knew they could not get into that school or run for their team. It would dumbfound me as we had a lower acceptance rate and were significantly better athletically. Know who and where you are visiting.

DO NOT ask a coach if they plan on staying. It is a question that is so often asked and has no real purpose. Every coach will say yes, they have to. Coaching is a profession and coaches will make decisions based on what is best for their families and themselves. It is imperative to choose a school where you will be happy outside of track and field/cross country.

DO track program trajectory - not every program is up and coming though many claims to be. Determine if athletes in a particular program are improving over the course of four years. Specifically, look for when an individual's PR's were set. Peruse program websites to determine how many juniors and seniors are still on the roster to discern if team members are quitting. If there are a disproportionate number of FR and SO on the roster, find out why to determine if there is high-level program dissatisfaction or an alarming injury rate. DO NOT embarrass yourself on social media. This topic has been beaten to death and hopefully does not require elaboration. Plain and simple, do not give coaches a reason to question your character or lifestyle.

DO be easily found on social media. Many coaches use your personal pages as a means of reaching out initially. Remember, most coaches are a step or two behind you and your friends in terms of being social media savvy, so leave a trail for them. Beyond Instagram and Twitter consider keeping your Facebook account -- coaches tend to look there first.

DO NOT approach this process passively. Be aggressive in your outreach and email every program that you are interested in, regardless of the perceived reach. It is up to you to not only create a compelling story but also be able to tell it. Be your own greatest advocate and take charge of your future. Consider this one of the most important competitions of your high school career and prepare accordingly! The recruiting process can be daunting. There are so many unknowns, however, if you get started early, put in the work, and take an active role you will find the right fit.

How I Made My College Decision - Gen Hirata

Gen Hirata

The college decision is a tough one, but I feel like the choice was clear for me. I have been pole vaulting for a little over two years and knew since day one that I would want to compete in the sport in college. I searched for the best schools with the best pole vaulting programs in the nation and contacted their coaches. I researched and visited several schools before I found my top pick, the University of South Dakota. When I talked to Coach Derek Miles on the phone for the first time, I knew South Dakota would be a top contender for me. After a few more phone calls with other coaches I narrowed down my choices and visited my top four schools, Virginia Tech, the University of Arkansas, the University of Virginia, and the University of South Dakota. Although all of these schools had outstanding programs, both athletically and academically, I decided that South Dakota would be the right fit for me. After meeting all of the pole vaulters at South Dakota and speaking with all of the track and field staff, I knew South Dakota would be my top choice. Coach Miles ensured me that he would do his absolute best to make me the best pole vaulter I could be and I genuinely believed him. His coaching style is similar to the way my current club coach, Val Osipenko, teaches which was something that was very important to me in my decision making process. Coach Val and coach Miles are both passionate about what they do and thoroughly enjoy coaching others to success. In the end, I knew for certain that the University of South Dakota would be my new home for the next few years. 

SOUTH DAKOTA TRACK AND FIELD

Track and Field Recruiting: Three Things To Consider When E-Mailing A College Coach

Fast Track Recruiting

Over the span of my thirty-year coaching career, I learned that communication is the most important element to reaching your goals. It is imperative that you learn to communicate openly and effectively with your parents, high school coach, and college coaches.

More specifically, when sending an initial email to a college coach expressing your interest clearly articulate yourself. Here are three suggestions to consider when emailing college coaches.

 

1. COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY

Be brief. Clearly and concisely articulate who you are. There is no need to list what place you finished at your conference meet or how competitive your high school is academically. Express your interest in their specific school and program, list your PR’s and provide your essential academic information – GPA and test scores.  Avoid phrases such as “I am confident that I can contribute greatly to your program” if you are not yet performing at a level close to the team’s current athletes.

  

2. COMMUNICATE PROFESSIONALLY

In most cases, your initial e-mail to a college coach will be your first impression. Make it impactful. Avoid slang terms, misspellings and formatting mistakes. Carefully proofread every email before hitting send. Be sure if you cut and paste that the formatting is not changed clearly exposing such. Finally, be sure that the coach’s name and school are correct. On several occasions while I was coaching at Columbia I would receive emails addressed to other coaches and/or colleges expressing interest on one of our rival schools. Send a couple of test emails to your self first to ensure there are not weird font or text size changes where you have cut and pasted new names.

  

3. COMMUNICATE EFFICIENTLY

Prior to sending your email complete the school’s online recruiting questionnaire. Your e-mails should be extremely easy to read. Avoid sending attachments – there is no reason to include them on your initial email and they will most likely not be opened. Provide clear and easily seen contact information.

The recruiting process can be daunting. There are so many unknowns throughout the entire process. However, if you get started early, put in the work and take an active role you will find the right fit.

College Track and Field Recruiting - What Should I Be Doing In My Sophomore Year In High School?

College Track and Field Recruiting

In less than a year, college coaches will be allowed to start contacting you. On September 01 of your Junior year, your recruiting process will begin. As a result, it is imperative that you devise a plan of action now.

Below are three suggestions for you to consider during your sophomore year of high school to optimize your college recruitment experience:

DETERMINE THE BEST FIT FOR YOU

Create an expansive list of schools/programs that meet your specific needs and desires.  Among factors to consider are affiliation level (NCAA I, II, III, NAIA, and JUCO), competitiveness of the program, cost of attendance, quality of education, geographical location, intended academic major, enrollment size, public vs private, and other factors that matter to YOU.

Do not be mesmerized by the name of a school. See beyond the prowess of their football and basketball programs or their academic reputation. Make sure the schools you choose meets your needs for reasons beyond it simply being cool to tell the world you will be running or studying at a particular school. There is much more to college track and field than simply Division I.

Create a list of schools that you would be happy at without track and field - just in case your athletic career does not go as planned.

TAKE CHARGE 

Do not be passive. Start reaching out to college coaches now from the schools on your list. In my personal dealings with high school student-athletes, I often heard prospects state that the schools on their list were comprised solely of programs that contacted them. If a program you’re interested in does not reach out to you, reach out to them! You will be surprised at how effective personally reaching out will enhance your recruiting experience.

Start to visit colleges during your sophomore year. Take a campus tour, check out the athletic facilities and eat lunch at a local restaurant. Start to get an idea of what it is you want in a college. You can’t sit down and speak with the coach until your Junior year, but you if you happen to bump into them you can say, hi.

COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY

Over the span of my thirty-year coaching career, I learned that communication is the most important element to reaching your goals. It is imperative that you learn to communicate openly and effectively with your parents, high school coach, and college coaches.

Because it is only your sophomore year college coaches are not allowed to respond to your emails and other forms of communication, but now is still a good time to start reaching out. Fill out their online questionnaire. Send an email expressing your interest in their program and give them a brief overview of who you are as an athlete and student.

Your sophomore year is a great time to begin readying yourself for the process that is about to begin. You should view this time as your pre-season training. Although there will be no meets during this time the work and preparation that you do now will be critical to future success.

For more recruiting information click below:

What Should I Be Doing in My Senior Year 

What Should I Be Doing in My Junior Year 

 

College Track and Field Recruiting: What Should I Be Doing In My Junior Year In High School?

Track Recruiting

RECRUITING ADVICE FOR CURRENT JUNIORS –

Your Junior year of high school has arrived. With the new NCAA recruiting rules in place, coaches were allowed to start contacting you on September 1st. Many programs are in the midst of finalizing their recruiting classes for this year and will begin focusing their efforts on next year’s class – this year’s juniors.

To ensure that you take full advantage of this process, here are a few suggestions to help you find the right fit for you.

1. Cast A Wide Net

Your junior year is about seeing what’s out there and what kind of school might be a good fit for you. If you have not yet done so create an expansive list of schools/programs that meet your specific needs and desires. Among factors to consider are affiliation (NCAA I, II, III, NAIA and JUCO), competitiveness of the program, cost of attendance, quality of education, geographical location, intended academic major, enrollment size, public vs private, and other factors that matter to you.

Think about what may impact your athletic experience the most like coaching style, athlete retention, and success of the program. Determine if you are a good fit athletically – many schools post their recruiting standards online.

Know what the academic requirements are for the schools you are considering to determine if you are potentially admissible.

Continually revise your list. During my coaching career, I often saw recruits close doors too early. They would rule out programs in their junior year of high school based on a variety of factors and then end up scrambling in the end when Plan A did not work out. Make sure to keep Plan B in play as to not have to settle for Plan C at the last minute.

2. Fill Out Online Recruiting Questionnaires

The online recruiting questionnaire is a good first and simple means to initiate communication with a program. It allows the coach to assess if you are a good fit for their program. In a recent interview with the Recruiting Code, Duke University Head Women’s Cross Country Coach, Rhonda Riley was asked, “What are the important steps for an athlete to get noticed by you?” She responded, “The two ways to get on my radar are to fill out our online questionnaire and to follow up with an email. When a high school athlete takes the time to send an email with their contact information, personal best marks, academic information etc. it means they are serious about considering Duke as a potential university.” Online recruiting questionnaires are typically very easy to find on individual schools’ track and field websites.

3. Contact College Coaches

Over the span of my 30-year coaching career, I learned that communication is the most important element to reaching your goals. If you have not yet started - start reaching out to college coaches from the schools on your list. You will be surprised at how effective personally reaching out to coaches will enhance your recruiting experience.

Proofread every email before hitting send. A great deal of communication in the early phases of the recruiting process is going to be cut and paste on both sides, however, making a simple mistake can dehumanize the process and render the remainder of your communication less credible. Make sure you are addressing the proper institution and coach. I cannot tell you how many emails I received from recruits specifically addressed to a rival coach expressing their interest in a rival school.

Send updates on a regular basis. Most coaches receive dozens of emails from recruits each day so it’s important that you keep yourself on their radar.

4. Take The ACT / SAT

Register and take the SAT/ACT during your junior year. If you feel adequately prepared, I would suggest taking the test in the fall of your junior year. This will allow you plenty of time to take it for the second time in the spring. Everyone's test prep is going to vary based on their own strengths, weaknesses, schedule, and goals. At the very minimum, though, all students should try to put in 10 hours of focused test prep, at least to get familiar with the format and timing of the test. Realistically, you would need to put in much more time over a sustained period to do well.

However, if you are not ready to take the test do not view it as a test-run. Do not take the test until you have prepared to do so at a level that is reflective of your academic potential.

If you are considering attending a highly selective academic institution taking the test earlier will significantly enhance your recruitment. Most selective schools will not vigorously pursue a potential-student athlete without test scores to determine admissibility.

5. Utilize Unofficial Visits

Unofficial visits can help you gather significant information about individual programs and schools. This time will allow you an opportunity to meet the coach in person, tour the college, check out the athletic facilities, and possibly meet current team members.

Do your homework - know who and where you are visiting. Have a keen understanding of the unique strengths of each school and team, as it will show the respective coaching staff how serious you are about their program.

Use this time to learn as much as you can about the program and coaching staff. Identify the factors that will be most important to you in determining if you will return for an official visit. Have a short list of specific questions ready that address the most critical factors in your college decision.

There is no imposed limit on the number of unofficial visits you may take, so take as many as possible. There is no better tool to help you hone in on the best school/program for you.


In summary:

Do not be passive – start reaching out to college coaches now. Be aggressive in your outreach and email every program that you are interested in, regardless of the perceived reach. Be your own greatest advocate and take charge of your future.

SENIORS - What should you be doing? CLICK HERE

What Should I Be Doing Now That I Am A Senior? College Track and Field Recruiting

College Track and Field Recruiting

This is your senior this year and if you want to compete in college but are not being recruited, you need to change your approach. You either need to start a more vigorous outreach campaign or redirect your focus to generate more interest in you as a recruit. Take advantage of the next few months to get noticed, recruited and to find the best fit for you.

Your first step should be identify the why’s behind your current non-recruitment status. If coaches from the schools on your list are not responding to your communications, they are most likely not interested. If you have yet to hear from programs not on your list, they either do not know about you or they are not interested. Do not be passive – find out which it is and try to rectify the situation.

Unfortunately, if they are not interested in you as a recruit there is very little that you can do other than improving upon your current marks during the indoor or early outdoor season. . However, if it is because they don’t know about you – there is a lot you can do.

If you want to compete in college here are six things you should be doing now that your Senior year has arrived!

1.        Try, try again – and, then move on.

Send another e-mail or make one more phone call to the programs you have an interest in who have not yet contacted you or responded back to your previous communications. I would suggest an email expressing your sincere desire to attend their school and compete for them directed to both the Head Coach and the event coach who would be coaching you. If you still don’t hear back from them it is probably time to cross them off of your list.

2.        Reach out to schools that have reached out to you.

Go through your old e-mails, letters of inquiry, questionnaires, generic correspondences and create a list of every school that has contacted you.  Reach out to these programs and start a dialogue if you haven’t yet. You may be pleasantly surprised and find a good fit for you at a place you are not currently considering. At this point in time, you are trying to create a list of options – you can always say no at a later date. Ideally, it would be nice to have choices and to be in a position to say no to a few schools. Concentrate your efforts on programs that have shown an interest in you.

 

3. Expand your search

If you are not being recruited, you have three primary options. The first would be to have a great senior year and wait it out. However, this could prove extremely stressful and place a lot of pressure on you. The second option would be to contemplate not competing in college. In my opinion, this is a terrible choice if you enjoy competing! Thirdly, you can expand your search and find a school where you can compete. Reevaluate your goals and desires and be realistic. Identify different types of schools and different levels of programs than you have previously been considering. Because you are a senior, you should do this immediately. Identify numerous new schools that match your current athletic and academic levels of achievement.

4.        Create a different means of outreach

If e-mails are not working, try Twitter, give them a call, send a letter or visit the campus and stop by their office to introduce yourself. Do what you have to do to get noticed. The goal is to start a conversation.

5.        Enlist the Help of your High School Coach

If you are not making progress on your own enlist the help of your high school coach.  Ask your current coach to review your list of schools and to offer truthful and critical feedback on what programs/schools are viable options for you. Also, ask them for suggestions to expand your list. After you reach out to these programs ask your coach to send a follow-up email on your behalf identifying your personal strengths and potential as a runner. Be sure to make it easy for your high school coach to do this for you. Provide them with the contact information of the college coaches and all of the pertinent information they will need speak on positively your behalf.

  

6.        Enlist the help of a third-party

If you are still not generating the type of response you are looking for try to find an additional source of help. Contact current college runners you know at schools you have an interest in, alums who ran in college with a keen understanding of current recruiting trends, family friends with direct contacts to coaching staffs and recruiting services with real connections and access to the inside. Enlist all of the help you can get – you are competing for your future.