Freshman Year: What to Expect & How to Prepare
:: FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS… within your sport and become a master of those! Don’t worry about the recruiting process; focus all of your energy on being the best player that you can be and on being a great leader and teammate. The better you play, the better your odds are of being discovered! Put 100% effort into your fundamentals—even if you are on the JV or Freshman team!
:: PLAY HARD… Nearly every school in nearly every sport relies on regional or national scouting services. Universities pay an annual fee for reports from established scouts, especially for information on top freshmen and sophomores. Each service normally provides contact info and a short 10-word-or-less description of the athletes’ style of play, and ranks them with a letter or category grade (Division I, II, III, NAIA). These reports are scanned for sizes, speeds, stats and notes from observations. Be aware that there are eyes everywhere—not just the college coaches themselves! (LOW/MID/HIGH LEVEL PLAYERS)
:: FOCUS ON YOUR GRADES… and set good study habits. Set aside time for homework each day. Your freshman and sophomore grades will be heavily evaluated when you are a junior. Get off to a great start.
:: MAKE SURE YOUR GRADES EXCEED THE ‘NCAA SLIDING SCALE’ STANDARDS
– Division I signees need to qualify academically based on their Core GPA and ACT/SAT test scores. Division II requires even higher SAT/ACT minimums. Even if you dream is to go Division I, have the grades to qualify for Division II as well, you don’t want to miss out on additional scholarship opportunities. Additionally, each university sets their own academic standards which may be even higher than the NCAA Division I or Division II standards.
FRESHMAN YEAR, GET AHEAD BY…
:: ATTENDING SUMMER CAMPS OR CLINICS… at the schools that you are interested in and combines managed by third-parties (AAU, Nike, etc). Any regional or national tournaments or exposure events you can attend will be helpful. By attending as a younger player you can get over the anxiousness and uncertainty of the drills and be more polished as an upperclassman.
:: IF SENT A QUESTIONNAIRE BY A SCHOOL… fill it out and return it promptly! It is a sign of interest, RESPOND!