NCSA Athletic Recruiting Shares Tips for Student Athletes to Make the Most of the New School Year

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High School Athletes As students across the country prepare to return to the classroom in the coming weeks, the start of a new school year is one of the most important times for high school athletes wanting to play collegiate athletics. To help with all the confusion and frustration involved in the college recruiting process, NCSA Athletic Recruiting has prepared a checklist to help student athletes and their families stay organized and maximize their recruiting options.

“Every athlete needs a game plan for recruiting success.  Unfortunately, most recruits are unsure which steps to take and when to take them. We prepared the checklists for each class so student athletes can make sure they are on the right track,” says Director of Recruiting, Randy Taylor. Here are a few of NCSA’s tips for each class:


  • Meet with high school guidance counselor to inform him/her of your goal to play college athletics and make sure your core course curriculum matches with NCAA approved core courses.
  • Fill out an Initial Target List with 25 schools you want to pursue (5 DI, 5 DII, 5 DIII, 5 NAIA, 5 Junior College (if applicable).
  • Research athletic benchmarks for your sport and use Recruiting Guidelines to set specific athletic goals.
  • Introduce yourself to 3-5 college coaches at levels at which you meet the recruitment guidelines. Start off low and you can always move up divisions. 


  • Maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average and take Pre-ACT and Pre-SAT classes.
  • Update your Target List to include 40 schools across all divisions.
  • Join a team or club outside of high school that will provide more competition and additional coaching.
  • Introduce yourself to 5-10 new coaches and keep track of contacts in a Correspondence Log.


  • Begin ACT/SAT preparation and use Division I core course worksheet to review and update specific academic goals. Be prepared even if you don’t think you’ll play DI sports.
  • Get phone number and email addresses of all coaches and ask them for references.
  • Review the recruiting timeline for each division in your sport and make sure your recruiting process matches the levels you are targeting.
  • Update priority list and re-rank Target List of 40 schools. Consider how interested coaches seem in you.


  • Complete FAFSA form.
  • Request ACT and SAT be sent to NCAA Eligibility Center by marking “9999” in code box where indicated.
  • Narrow down Target List to 10-20 schools you are seriously considering. At least five should be schools that are heavily recruiting you.
  • Schedule official visits, unofficial visits and game day visits. If a coach has not extended an official visit, ask the coach if one will be extended.
  • Prior to signing day, ask top coaches where you stand on their recruiting list.
  • Begin scholarship negotiation early, and consider what you will say if an offer is extended during an official visit.
  • If you are corresponding with less than 15 schools, call at least 10 new coaches at level where you are receiving attention. Introduce yourself and ask if they are still recruiting. 

For the complete checklist for every class, please visit:

I'm a former 7th grade Science teacher turned stay-at-home mom that lives in Houston, Texas. I am married to my college sweetheart and have a beautiful daughter named Riley, who definitely keeps me on my toes! I am also involved in starting a small business which would both manufacture and sell an invention that I've patented, called Toothpaste 2 Go. I love interacting with my readers and hope to learn as much about you as you learn about me!

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