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Common Recruiting Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

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Securing a spot on a college team is a challenging journey that requires careful planning and execution. Many recruits, however, fall into traps that can hinder their chances. Let’s explore some common recruiting mistakes and how to avoid them to enhance your path to success.

1. Starting Too Late

One of the most frequent mistakes athletes make is waiting too long to start the recruiting process. College coaches begin scouting talent as early as middle school, freshman and sophomore years in high school. To avoid falling behind, start researching schools, building your recruiting profile, and reaching out to coaches as early as possible.

2. Lack Of Communication with College Coaches

Effective communication is key in the recruiting process. Many athletes fail to engage with coaches or don't know how to effectively market themselves. Remember there are over hundreds of thousands of recruits looking for a scholarship as well, and if coaches don't know about you, they will not be able to recruit you.

Be proactive: send an introduction email, highlight your achievements, follow up with updates, and always respond promptly to coaches’ responses. The NXT 1 App makes this process easy.

3. Letting Your Recruitment Run On Auto-Pilot

Successful recruiting requires year-round engagement. Building relationships with coaches during the season is important, but the real work happens in the off-season. Avoid taking long breaks or thinking your coaches or parents are going to take care of it. Consistent effort done by you is essential to maintain momentum and progress in the recruiting process.

4. Poorly Made Highlight Reels

Poorly made highlight reels can quickly end a coach's interest. Your reel should showcase your best moments, be concise (no more than 5 minutes), and be easy to navigate. Include your name, contact information, class, and other important information. Quality over quantity is the rule – make sure the footage is clear and focuses on your strengths.

5. Overlooking Smaller Programs

Focusing only on Division I schools can lead to missed opportunities. Division II, III, and NAIA programs also offer excellent athletic and academic experiences, and may lead to more playing time and development opportunities.

Also, in todays age, many D1 coaches are recruiting from these lower level programs as athletes at these levels may have more development and experience to play at the D1 level. Keep an open mind and explore all your options.

8. Not Focusing On Improvement

While recruiting efforts are very important, continuous improvement in your athletic and academic performance is vital. Extra practice, better strength and conditioning, or higher GPA and test scores will make you more attractive to coaches. It is a good idea to highlight these efforts when communicating with them as well.

7. Ignoring the Importance of Fit

Selecting a college isn't solely about the size of its athletic program. It's crucial to consider academic offerings and campus culture. A school that aligns with your personal and academic needs will provide a more fulfilling college experience. Visit campuses, talk to current athletes and college coaches about opportunities there, and conduct thorough research to find the best fit.

Never choose a college blindly. Ensure you fully understand what the college has to offer, as you may spend the next 4-6 years there. This helps avoid the need to enter the transfer portal because the school wasn't the right match for you.

9. Taking a Break On Your Recruiting After an Injury

Injuries are part of sports, but stopping your recruiting efforts due to an injury is a mistake. Inform coaches about your injury and share your recovery progress. Coaches want to see how you respond to setbacks, showcasing your character and commitment.

6. Entitled Attitude

An entitled attitude can quickly disengage college coaches from recruiting you. Confidence is important, but humility and a willingness to learn are crucial. Always be respectful and eager to show your dedication and character during interactions with coaches.

10. Not Utilizing Social Media Effectively

Social media can be a powerful tool in your recruiting arsenal. Use platforms like Twitter (now X) and Instagram to share your achievements, highlight reel, and academic successes. Follow and interact with college programs and coaches, but always maintain a professional presence online. Your social media profiles should reflect your character.

11. Being Unprepared for Campus Visits and Camps

Campus visits and college camps are prime opportunities to make lasting impressions. Be prepared with questions about the program, training facilities, academic support, and team dynamics.

For college camps, ensure you're in top physical condition and ready to perform at your best. Show genuine interest in every drill, go hard every play, engage with coaches and staff, and follow up with a thank-you note after your visit or camp.

12. Giving Up Too Soon

The recruiting process can be long and sometimes disheartening, but perseverance is key. Keep improving your skills, attending camps, creating highlight reels, and reaching out to coaches. Rejections are part of the process, but staying committed can lead to unexpected opportunities.


Avoiding these common mistakes will enhance your recruiting experience and improve your chances of getting the exposure and scholarships you deserve. Remember, the journey requires effort, dedication, and a proactive approach. By staying informed and focused, you can navigate the recruiting process successfully and achieve your goals to reach the NXT level.

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