Tuesday night at Wolfson High School, Airstream Ventures organized the first Athletic Recruiting Seminar Presented by High School 9:12. With a crowd of high school students, parents, and coaches, HS9:12 welcomed a panel of four experts to answer any questions about the recruiting process, requirements, and more. The panelists included Matt Green, Senior Associate Director of Athletics at Flagler College, Dr. Kim Capriotti, NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative from Jacksonville University, Ali Higgs, owner of Backwards K Jax, and Michael Dunlevy, Director of Regional Recruiting at Next College Student Athlete. The theme throughout the night was to provide both information and resources to prepare athletes who want to continue their careers at the next level. Overall, the main main take-aways included: the importance of academics, the truth about social media, and how to find the right fit.
1. Academics need to be a priority
Your GPA matters. Your test scores matter. The classes you take matter. When coaches scout players, an immediate deterrent is poor academic performance. There are not only academic requirements for eligibility, but a strong transcript also conveys work ethic, commitment, and drive, which are qualities that coaches look for in athletes. The entire panel emphasized the importance of focusing on academics beginning your freshman year of high school. Additionally, the baseline eligibility requirements should not be what students are striving to achieve, but rather making their goals much higher than what is necessary (as far as GPA’s, test scores, etc.).
2. Your social media history will follow you
Before college coaches even get a chance to meet you, they will do research to figure out who you are as an individual and as an athlete. With that being said, the way you (or your family members and friends) are portrayed on social media gives insight to the type of person you are. You have to be careful with what you post, retweet, like, and what you’re tagged in, because it could reduce your chances to receive a scholarship. When you join a team, you become an ambassador for that school and its athletics program, which comes with a heightened sense of responsibility. Coaches do not want someone who might be a liability to the reputation of their school or program. Social media can be used as a tool to promote yourself and stand out amongst all the other aspiring student athletes, but it must be used correctly.
3. Choosing the right school athletically AND academically
When picking the school, it is crucial that you are choosing a school that will not only help you grow as an athlete, but as a student as well. Think of a worst-case scenario in which you suffer from a career ending injury. Would you want to be at a school that doesn’t offer the major you want to pursue in order to get the right degree for your dream job? Finding a school that has the curriculum you are interested in needs to be a major factor in your decision process. Being at the top of your game is temporary, but your education and knowledge will last a lifetime. On the athletic side of things, you need to take into consideration the level of competition, i.e. Division I, II, III, NAIA, Junior College. That not only dictates that athletic ability they are recruiting, but can also determine the amount of scholarship money you could receive.
To read more about the NCAA, click here http://www.ncaapublications.com/productdownloads/CBSA19.pdf, and to discover more about the NAIA, click here www.playnaia.org.
For more information about Next College Student Athlete, visit www.ncsasports.org.
For more information on Backwards K Jax, visit www.backwardskjax.com.
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