Many athletes have the desire to play sports in college, but don’t know where to begin or what to do. Simply stated, recruiting is a four year process. Preparation and education are every bit as important in marketing, and those who wait until their senior year find themselves behind the curve. At SportsWorx, we know what it takes and how to get it done!

So what should you do each year in the process? Many tasks should begin in your freshman year, and these tasks should be revisited each year.

In your Freshman year, you need to learn what the eligibility requirements are for NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA competition. The NCAA requires that you take and complete a specified number of core courses, which vary from school to school. Thus it is important to talk to your school guidance counselor to learn what courses at your school are NCAA Approved Core Courses, and make sure you fulfill the requirements. You should also begin to decide what YOUR priorities are in selecting a school and begin the process of researching schools to determine what schools can meet those priorities – academically, athletically, socially, and financially. You then need to learn the academic and athletic standards that those schools require, and set specific goals for yourself to begin the process of meeting those standards. Talk to your coaches, teachers, and counselors to help you to identify your strengths and weaknesses and work to improve yourself academically and athletically. Understand that solid academic performance begins in your freshman year and lead to many more options in choosing a college. Look for a club or travel team that can help you to improve and to be seen.

As a Sophomore, you need to continue the programs you began as a freshman and keep working to improve – athletically and academically. Start preparing for the college admissions tests – whether taking the practice tests or enrolling in a Board Prep course. Begin the process of communicating with college coaches to let them know of your interest in their school and your personal accomplishments. Of course, a comprehensive resume is a must. Begin scheduling unofficial visits to those schools in which you have the greatest interest.

As a Junior, you should be in regular communication with your top schools. Continue the process of academic and athletic evaluation and improvement. Take the college boards as many times as you can. Register with the NCAA Clearinghouse. Identify those schools that offer the academic majors of interest to you, and begin the process of financial analysis. Get the federal FAFSA forms and work the worksheets with your parents. Get admission applications from schools and familiarize yourself with them. Seek the best opportunities to be seen by college coaches.

By your Senior year, you should be well into the process. You should know those schools that are the best fit for you and you should be talking to the coaches to determine their interest level. Prepare for those conversations by determining the questions you need answered to make an informed decision, and ask the coach those questions. Continue to take the college boards and to improve academically and athletically.

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If you would like to learn more about critical factors for student-athletes to consider in navigating the recruiting process, you can download the full-length SportsWorx “Recruiting 101” webinar by going to

At SportsWorx we prepare our athletes for the recruiting process, and we provide all of the tools and the comprehensive time line you need to be sure you are doing the right things. In addition, our Sports Advisors can work with you, your coach, and your family to make sure you stick with the plan. That is why we place almost 90% of the athletes we work with in the college athletic program that is right for them.