Everyone needs to start somewhere…
Recently, I have fielded a lot of questions about when the right time is to begin looking at colleges. Let’s get this straight: it is NEVER too early to begin the college recruiting process. The earlier you can get a jump on it, the better. Giving yourself more time to get your name out there and weigh your options will be very beneficial and make the entire process less stressful. An earlier start on the process will also help you make a more thought out and rational decision, instead of being on a time crunch and having to force it. Even if you’re in 8th or 9th grade, it will be very valuable for you to begin developing your college golf goals and your plan to achieve them. Ask yourself what you want out of your college golf experience, and begin to set yourself up for success in reaching your college golf goals. The earlier you have an idea of what you are looking for and how you are going to achieve it, the smoother the ride will be.
Not everyone gets off to an early start. Some juniors don’t have their goals and priorities straight until later in their high school careers, leaving them feeling discouraged about beginning the recruiting process so late. Not all is lost though, and even if it is your senior year of high school and you haven’t begun the recruiting process, you can still play college golf. If there is one message that I would like to convey to my readers, it’s this: there is ALWAYS a program that needs players, and there is almost always a place for you to play. Don’t believe me? Take this for an example: A Division II golf program that used to play with/against my team folded and no longer exists. Why? They couldn’t find 4 golfers for their roster willing to play. The program even tried recruiting players from other teams at the school, but they just couldn’t find a consistent 4 players, let alone 5. Said golf program is now defunct because they could not find enough student-athletes to play for them. Now of course there may have been other factors involved in the folding of the program, but this goes to show that there are schools out there hurting for players. And guess what? They want YOU!
Too often, I see junior golfers who don’t believe that they can play college golf because they got off to a late start, or because they haven’t heard back from a Top-25 Division I school and don’t have an offer yet. The biggest issue I see with junior golfers is that they are not aware of all the different programs and opportunities that are out there for the taking. The world is quite a big place, and just because you haven’t heard back from your dream school does not mean that all is lost. There are so many programs out there looking for good players; the problem is that you have never heard of them and they have never heard of you. You need to get your name out there far and wide, and it starts through email.
Whether you’re a freshman or a senior in high school, the best way to begin getting your name out to coaches is through email. First, you NEED to be playing in competitive summer tournaments as well as build a resume. If you’re not doing this, then you are already dead in the water. Go online and search for schools with college golf programs. If you’re trying to get your name out to as many coaches as possible, search for schools by name, division, and conference. Visit websites like Golfstat.com where data for all college golf programs is stored. Once you find a school, go to their athletic website and find the page for golf. Find the coaches email address, and begin writing your email. The easiest way to do this is to create a template that you send to all coaches, for example:
Hello Coach xxx,
My name is xxx and I am currently a junior at xxx high school in xxx. I have recently taken an interest in xxx College and I would like for you to take a look at my resume. Here are a few highlights of my career: xxxxxxxxxxx. I am currently interested in xxx for my potential major. Attached in my 2016/2017 golf resume and I would appreciate if you would review it. Feel free to let me know what you think about my game or where we could possibly go from here. Thank you.
Make sure that you attach your player resume, and send this email out to as many coaches as possible. This is the quickest and easiest way to get your name and information in front of a coach’s eyes. Don’t make the email too flashy, and be humble. Also, MAKE SURE YOU CHANGE THE COACH’S/SCHOOL’S NAME!! I have seen and actually sent resumes to a coach that had another coach’s/school’s name in the email. It is a really bad look and you most likely won’t hear back from that coach again. Also, check to see if there is a recruiting questionnaire on the athletic website. Although they don’t offer immediate feedback, they work! It’s actually how I first got in contact with my current coach when I was being recruited. There is more than one way to get it done, but this is the best way to get started!
“…there is ALWAYS a program that needs players, and there is almost always a place for you to play.”
Remember, it is never too early to begin recruiting nor is it usually ever too late. As long as you have a clear vision of what you want from your college golf experience and you realize that it is going to take some work, then you will be A-OK. Play in tournaments, make that resume, and send those emails. If you do this, you will be on a fast-track to achieving your college golf goals.