Most basketball players take the wrong approach to recruiting. They take the “sit back and wait” approach. They sit back and wait on college coaches to come to them. When they should be taking the proactive approach. I call it the “Get Me A Scholarship” approach. When you sit back and wait, you may be waiting forever or you may end up with 1 or 2 offers. However, when you are proactive at getting a basketball scholarship, there’s a better chance that it’s a win-win for you and the women’s basketball program.
Evaluate What College Level Player You Are (The Roster Test)
One season I had my players provide me with a list of colleges they would like to play basketball for. After compiling the list and removing duplicates, the breakdown of the schools were 30 High Majors, 9 Mid Majors,1 DII school and 1 DIII school. The reasons my players said they had interest in the schools: the team’s record, the team’s style of play, the coaches, the school location and they had former players playing in the WNBA. These are all good reasons to want to attend a particular school.
The next question I had for my players – “Are you their type of player”? And that’s my question to you. What schools are you interested in playing college basketball for and are you their type of player?
To help you answer the second part of the question is what I call The Roster Test. Visit the schools’ women’s basketball program athletic websites that you are interested in. Select Roster. Find the players on the current roster that play your position. First, look at the player’s height that’s listed. Then read the player’s bio to learn the player’s statistics from their junior and senior years of high school.
You can even take it a step further. Most schools have the rosters from previous years available on their website. Go back a year or two to see if the school has a history of recruiting players in your position with similar heights and statistics.
Now ask yourself a very important question “Does your height and statistics compare to the players”? Or if you are younger (8th grader, freshman, or sophomore) do you have the potential to have similar statistics or greater?
You should perform this test on schools at all levels: DI, DII, NAIA, High Majors, Low Majors, etc. This is a great way to research whether you are interested in a school at the right level for your skill set.
Create List of Colleges
I always receive requests from players and parents for assistance with the recruitment process. One of the statements I make is to create your list of schools. I took a moment to think about what I was asking of them. Most don’t know that there are schools out there beyond the top 25 ranked teams. Plus, a large majority think they will play for a top 25 ranked team.
However, if you perform the College Wish List task from Part II and The Roster Test, generating your list of schools should be a little bit easier.
Contact the College Coaches on Your List
I read a soccer article on a recruiting website. The gentleman that wrote the article, Charlie Adams, used a speaking opportunity to talk to soccer college coaches on how they recruit. Although the article is specific to soccer, the recurring (and simple) theme in the article can help basketball players.
I spoke with one Big Ten University assistant soccer coach about what they are looking for:
“We are looking more at the sophomores and some freshmen,” the coach told me. “I will come back with a Yes or No opinion on these players that I will report to the head coach. Some of these players have contacted us. I will go see them to see whether we like them or not. I want to see a kid that no matter whether they are winning or losing is playing hard. Effort! You can’t teach heart! I can usually tell within five minutes who the best players are on the soccer field.”
Because this was an elite event, there were mainly D1 coaches in attendance. I talked with the coach of a mid level D1 soccer program.
“We really like the good players that express a sincere interest in our program,” the coach said. “We are happy to look at them. We don’t want anyone to slip by.”
There is tremendous soccer played at all levels of college sports. I talked with the coach of a NAIA power that was moving up to D2. He said families don’t understand all the opportunities out there……..
“Regarding my List of prospects to see, a priority goes to the player that has a way of contacting me. If they take an interest in me, I take an interest in them. There are two things I really look for. One is your work ratio. Do you work hard all the time? The other is how you interact with your team, how you react to questionable calls. Your character is just as important as your ability in my opinion.”
A simple, yet powerful, technique to use to get recruited is to contact college coaches. If you have applied the previous tasks, you have academic and test score information, you have an evaluation from your summer coach, you have your statistics from the summer, and you may have copies of the games to create a highlight video. You have everything you need to write up an email and introduce yourself to college coaches.