Collegiate athletic recruiting has become a year-round phenomenon. The recruiting timeline has accelerated.

What was once a few tournaments over the summer quickly morphed into a full-on event season from Memorial Day through August. That led to series of events in the fall, which led to a handful of winter outings before resetting with the regular season in the spring.

This hectic pace has also provided a sort of cadence with how many families think about recruiting. However, not utilizing this down time may be hurting you.

Here is a common mistake, and three ways to avoid it.

Recruiting Timeline Mistake: “I’ll just wait until summer.”

Why It Happens

Save an event or two, recruiting can sometimes be an afterthought in the doldrums of the winter. The focus shifts to prep for the high school season, with recruiting put on the afterburner until summer.

This line of thinking is very common, but it can be very detrimental. By the time summer comes, it’s going to be too late to try and track down film, create a highlight reel, get in touch with coaches, etc.

Much like any game on the field, wins can be attributed to the work that was done before hand – the lifting, the sprints, the practices. The same can be said of the recruiting process.

Instead of putting things off, put a plan in place to do everything in your power to take charge of your process now.

3 Ways To Combat The Mistake

1. Amend Your Target List of Schools

Your recruiting timeline varies depending on your class year, so you may already be in touch with some college coaches. This can help inform what kind of schools you should be targeting and which you should move on from.

Short of schools beating your doors down with interest, this is a great time to amend your and broaden your list.

Include a multitude of options, ranging in division, size and academic selectivity. Let your personal situation dictate this list: If you are further along in the process, it may be time to realistically include more DIII schools than DI.

This time, when you’re free from school obligations for a week, is a great time to use wisely. Research schools, be realistic, and put a plan in place will help you be more in control of your process.

2. Gather Video

Now is a great time to track down any video from summer or fall events that you have attended. You’ll need this footage to create a highlight reel, which you’ll want to send out before attending recruiting events. Waiting until your spring season is over is not going to give you a lot of time, and will add a time element that can add stress.

Many families wait until after the spring to create a new highlight reel. While this isn’t a terrible strategy (updated footage is always best), you may need to supplement it with older clips; or, you may want to send a highlight reel to a college coach that may be heading to one of your high school games.

So, in any case, it won’t hurt you to gather this footage. While on this note…

3. Put in a Filming Plan for Your Upcoming High School Games

On the same note as above, it’s time to implement a plan to ensure at least some (if not all) of your high school games will be filmed.

Having this footage is so vital. Now is the time to put together a plan to have this footage. You can get multiple families involved to offset costs, or contact coaches to ensure that there is something in place.

You can unlock the recruiting process with highlight reels, but first you need this raw footage.