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Tips from College Coaches on How to Get Noticed by a DIII School

Posted by: Jackie Myers, Assistant Professor, Physical Education and Athletics Director Get Free College Essay Tips
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Two Meredith College soccer student-athletes going after the ball in a game.

In today’s society, sports tend to be more popular among youth than ever before. More and more travel teams exist than previous years. Highly competitive sports development programs are becoming increasingly common. All of these opportunities are created in an effort to improve an individual’s talent level and hopefully help the student-athlete land a spot in a collegiate program.

Fortunately for young athletes, there are many opportunities to play at the college level – NCAA Division I, II, and III, as well as NAIA and NJCAA, which means there are more than 400,000 student-athletes competing annually in college athletics. The opportunities are nearly endless if you have the desire to compete.

As the athletic director at Meredith College, an NCAA Division III institution and a member of the USA South Conference, I understand the work that goes into recruiting the best and brightest talent.

So, if you’re interested in being a part of a college athletics program, I want to provide you with a few tips from our coaches on how you can get noticed by a Division III institution.

1. Research

When thinking about where you want to continue your athletic career, research the schools that best fit your interest. Where is it located? Are there things to do off campus? Do they have your major? How many students are enrolled? These are just a few questions to keep in mind as you start your search.

2. Go to Camp

Most schools offer athletic camps that are open to youth of all ages. If you are interested in attending a school that offers camps, GO. Attending camps or clinics is a great way to express your interest in that program, and coaches get an opportunity to look at your talents and abilities early. They can provide feedback and evaluate how you might fit into their program. If you aren’t already on their radar, it’s a great way to get there.

3. Play the Game

Do what you do best. Play the sport that you love. Contact the coach at your school of interest and send them your game schedule – school, travel ball, etc. Play in as many local and state tournaments as possible to give coaches a better opportunity to attend. Give them a glimpse of your talent by sending links to any game film or video clips that you may have. And it doesn’t hurt to have your local or high school coach contact the school that has sparked your interest.

4. Initiate Contact

Don’t be shy. If you are interested in a program, reach out to the coaches. Send an email with a letter of interest including information about yourself. Include athletic and academic accomplishments. And provide a link to video footage of you in your sport. A student-athlete who initiates contact with a coach has a much better chance of being evaluated than one who sits and waits for others to do it.

5. Schedule a Visit

Attending a college sight unseen is not always the best choice. You want to be sure that the school you choose is right for you. Once you have decided on a few programs that interest you, schedule a campus visit. Complete a recruitment questionnaire before arriving to allow yourself the opportunity to meet with the coaches and potentially watch a practice or game. At Meredith, our recruitment questionnaire can be found on our athletics website at goavengingangels.com.

6. Be Proactive

College coaches want prospective athletes to be proactive in their approach to recruitment. If you’re interested in a program, you need to get on a coach’s radar by your sophomore or junior year. Let the coaches know that you’re interested. And follow up with them after you have made contact. Don’t rely solely on your high school or travel team coaches to do the work. Coaches like an athlete who shows initiative.

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In order to play at the next level, you must catch the eye of college scouts. What many prospective student-athletes don’t realize is that not all of the work falls on the parents, coaches, and tournament directors to bring the scouts to you. You play a significant part in the recruitment process and can help them take notice of you.

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