I get this question at least once a week if not more. “My child can beat or did beat that other junior several times last year. How did they get recruited to that team?”
The Answer: Every situation is different. You never know who might have known someone. It is possible that that junior wrote and called and kept showing up at events where the coach was located. Maybe the coach had a roster change. Maybe the other junior has great grades. Maybe that junior visited many years before and stayed in touch. Or better yet, why guess… Go politely ask the parents. Maybe they will share their experience and you can get some ideas or helpful hints. Remember, there are never any guarantees. Things are very fluid with the rosters.
I’ve shared a few of my experiences from college coaches below.
When I was coaching, I asked many coaches how the above scenario happened with them. Here are a couple responses:
Coach A responded: “I saw Junior A randomly when I was out recruiting another junior and they just caught my eye. I happened upon Junior A again and again. The family visited several times so that we could develop a relationship. After getting to know Junior A, I decided to take a chance. I just had a good feeling and Junior A surpassed my expectations, worked harder than I imagined, made our line-up during the spring term, made the honor roll and the rest is history.”
Unfortunately, I heard this as well from Coach B: “I needed another player to fill my roster and got a call from a friend who thought Junior B would develop. Junior B had a high academic profile. We talked about what was possible on the phone. I thought we were both on the same page. Junior B struggled athletically, academically and became a disruption for the team. I will be more careful next time, but for now I am going to trim my roster.”
As you just read, there is a little bit of luck involved in becoming Junior A with Coach A. Nothing wrong with being lucky in the right place at the right time. You can increase your odds of being in the right place at the right time by getting in front of the college coach more. (If you do not see their recruiting schedule, ask me to ask them for it.) Let the coach know you will be at the same event and ask them to watch you for a few holes.
Make more options for yourself and prepare to be surprised. Please make sure you are being seen by coaches of teams at your level or even at a level where you will shine. Keep as many options open as possible by playing in front of and visiting schools of all levels.