Running in College

TOHS Athletes and Parents,

It seems that more and more TOHS athletes are pursuing college competition in recent years, with many TOXC standouts signing to run in college.  Having gone through the recruiting process with my 3 kids (Kevin, Melanie, and Brian), I thought I’d share the resources I’ve been able to gather with whoever is interested.

To start, below is a list of college recruitment tips that I found which provides a nice overview.  Also refer to the links and resources you will find on the following pages.  Please let me know if you have any questions and happy hunting.

                                                                                         —  Scott Joerger

 

College Recruitment Tips

1. Where do you really want to go? Create a realistic list of the schools you are planning to apply to or attend.  Factor in such things as majors available, weather, cost, level of team (can you make their team?), etc.  Return any questionnaires that are sent to you by coaches, even if you think you won’t be going there!

2. But they haven’t recruited me yet! Once you have your list, email all of the coaches on this list to let them know you are interested in their team as a possible destination.  Be sure to include your name, PR’s, grades, reasons why you want to attend their school, and questions about their program. Remember, with all of the great runners out there, it is easy for you to get overlooked.  By getting your name out to the coach, you have a better chance of getting their interest.

3. Visit or take a tour! Winter is a great time to visit the colleges that you are interested in. Make it a priority to visit the campus of a coach who has expressed interest in you. By visiting a school you can get a good sense of the campus, the coaches, and what the team environment is like.  Continue to email/call all the coaches on your list throughout the track season. Remember, running in college is more of a business than it is in high school. So be sure to pick the place you want to go to practice at everyday, all year long!

4. Keep your options open! Remember, by applying to multiple schools, and not jumping at the first offer that comes along, you increase your chance of finding a school that is the right fit. For help in making this decision be sure to sit down with your parents and your coaches for guidance. I am sure they and others will have suggestions but ultimately, YOU are the one who is attending this school; pick the one that you will be happy at!

5. Have your paperwork in order! There are a lot of steps to going to college.  Make sure to take the PSAT and SAT.  Make sure you are eligible in college by applying through the NCAA Clearinghouse. Also be sure to fill out your FAFSA to ensure you can get the best financial aid package available.  Finally, fill out all of the applications for the schools you are applying to by their deadlines.

6. Know thy levels… Colleges come in all shapes and sizes, and so do their athletic teams.  There are many different levels of college XC and track available to you. The level of competition is a little less as you go down the list below.  Think about which level you can realistically run at, and where you would enjoy yourself the most.

NCAA Division I
NCAA Division II
NAIA Division
NCAA Division III
Community College

7. Make sure you want to run… One of the most important items for success is desire.  Athletes who really want to run in college usually will be successful.  Athletes that don’t want to put in all that time usually will find it difficult to continue on.  Remember, running in college is a full time and year round commitment.  If you are unsure if you want to run, discuss it with the coaching staff well in advance of joining their team.

Good Luck!