I have been working with, and hearing a lot from, high-level high school athletes about the stress they are going through when it comes to getting recruited right now. Getting recruited at any point is stressful, so trying to do so during a pandemic can be incredibly overwhelming. Many of these athletes feel lost and like they have lost control of the recruitment process. They are nervous about not getting recruited by the right college, or not getting recruited at all, as seasons continue to get cancelled. I had been hearing this question of “what can I do right now to best prepare myself as a potential college athlete?” so often that I decided to write this blog post on five things that high-school athletes can do during Covid-19 to best set themselves up for success.
- Manage your time effectively
The difference between good and great high school athletes coming out of this will be determined by how you used your time during this pandemic. Did you use this “down” time to your advantage or did you play video games and not work on getting better? To set yourself up for success during this time, you have to effectively manage your time. For the first time for most elite high school athletes, you do not have everything planned, so it’s up to you to plan the things on your calendar that will get you better.
- Remember everyone is going through this at the same time
It can be lonely and it can be scary trying to get recruited during a pandemic, there is no doubt about that. It’s also important to remember that every other perspective college athlete is going through the same thing. Nobody gets to have D1 college coaches at their games so it is not like you are at a disadvantage compared to others. It’s important to keep this in perspective when you are letting the negative thoughts snow ball in your head.
- Pay attention to the rule changes
It seems the rules are changing weekly in what college coaches can and cannot do. This only adds to the excess stress that high school athletes are going through right now. It’s important to find a way to stay in tune with the different rule changes. At Athlete Roadmap Coaching, we have a dedicated expert staying up to date on all the up to the minute college recruiting rule changes. Understanding the rules will help ease the anxiety when you are, for example, not getting a response from a college coach that you were previously in touch with.
- Work on what you can
Games weren’t happening for many months and for some sports in some areas, they still aren’t happening. This sucks and it’s not fair, and now once we accept that, let’s focus on what we can control. We have been given a huge opportunity to take a step back and either further improve our strengths or work on our weaknesses. Perhaps this is your opportunity to work on the mental side of the game, or get into the best running shape of your life. The athletes that take advantage of this period (as opposed to complaining about it) will be the ones that end up setting themselves up for success.
- Be proactive now more than ever
A lot of players used to think, and some continue to think, that you can just show up and the college coach of your dreams will find you. Right now college coaches do not have the ability to travel to watch you play, so it’s up to you to be proactive about what you’re doing to stay in top shape and leverage videos you can easily create during your games/practices. You’re going to have be more proactive than ever before by focusing on two things; video and references. Utilize your high school and travel coaches as references because they will have the relationships with the college coaches, and will be able to serve as a reference for if you can play at that level.