If you are not helping your student-athletes find a list of suitable schools they should be aiming for in the recruiting process, you are not doing enough to put them into a successful position. High school student-athletes can sometimes struggle with motivation, especially when it comes to off-the-field activities like studying or recruiting. By helping them create a target list of schools, however, you can put them into a position to succeed by providing a roadmap for them to follow. Here is how you can assist your players in this endeavor.

Have Student-Athletes Create a List First

One proven method to increase the motivation of a student-athlete is to provide them with an actionable task. Much like homework or attending practice, giving players a specific, tangible assignment will result in either that player following up or facing the consequences.

One proven method to increase the motivation of a student-athlete is to provide them with an actionable task.

This same line of thinking can be applied to the recruiting process.

Recruiting is still, ultimately, a college search process for a high school student. Why not treat it as such? Starting here will solve a lot of the miscommunication and lack of motivation that can occur later.

First have your student-athlete research schools, and come up with a list of about 15-20 they could see themselves. If they are younger, that’s no worry: This isn’t a final list, but more of a starting point that will assist in shaking off the hesitation that can accompany the process.

When clubs use our platform to manage player recruiting, this player-driven first step is simple and customizable. Players can find schools that fit their preferred criteria, such as distance from home, size, division and academic selectivity. They can even use their SAT score to find the right “fit.”


Narrow This List With Them & Explore Other Options

Once your players have created a preliminary list of “Favorite Schools,” you can use your expertise and go to work. Help them by both narrowing down this list to eliminate bad fits while simultaneously expanding it with schools that fit their academic, athletic and social profile.

If a player has a bunch of Division I schools only, and they are not at that level yet, you can leave some while recommending some options at the DII or DIII level that may be a better fit. This line of thinking can work with any criteria, from size to region to academic selectivity, and club staffers on our platform have access to all of the Advanced Search features as the players have.

On our platform, you can go through their list very quickly, and “tag” schools you think are a good fit for them. After that, using the “search” feature, you can use their preliminary list to recommend schools that have similar aspects.


The result of this process is an iron-clad list of target schools for the student-athlete. Knowing they have a list that was created in conjunction with those they trust the most for recruiting assistance will serve as a powerful motivator while eliminating the chances for miscommunication later in the process.

While this is a great start, really, it’s just a game plan. Now, the execution is vital.

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Want to see how this process can work for your organization? Schedule a demo here.


Monitor & Follow Through

Creating a target list of schools has addressed many of the pain points seen in the recruiting process: It has eliminated student-athlete apathy, it has held them accountable, it has put them in a position to be proactive and succeed.

This is a pretty great start – but it means little if you are not able to monitor the progress from this point, intercede using your college coach contacts in a timely manner and amending and adjusting where necessary.


When players reach out to schools, it’s important you know when so you can supplement their outreach to the college coach. Similarly, monitoring players and knowing when they are not holding up their end of the bargain is vital: It bolsters their chances while showing your help along the way.


As you can see, creating a target list of schools is a huge foundational step for student-athletes, and is a vital component to a successful recruiting process. This is a successful way of addressing many of the problems in the recruiting process proactively, but only works when the list is built in conjunction with the club staffers, and when there is a tangible follow-through to be able to incite action on behalf of the player.