I am a 7th grade basketball player who is very confused about the recruiting process. When should I start contacting coaches? Should I begin to film my games? Am I to young for this? I would also like to know what are Division 1 women’s college basketball coaches looking for in a point guard?
Thanks for the email.
Before I get into the recruiting process and what steps you might want to take I want to let you know that as a 7th grader the best thing you can do right now is focus on becoming a better basketball player every day. At your age, if you can create a plan (day to day, week to week, month to month) and stick to it you will build a work ethic that will enable you to surpass hundreds if not thousands of other girl basketball players in your age group across the country and give you the best chance to reach your goal of playing Division 1 Women’s Basketball. Girls who are the in the 10th or 11th grade right now who are just starting to figure out that they need to work harder to get better and play college ball are, more than likely, too late. You are in a great spot. Keeping the focus on getting better every day (I wrote a short post on this: http://www.goalcollegeathlete.com/what-are-you-doing-today-to-be-a-better-athlete/ ) will also help you avoid the recruiting “noise” that might be going on. Some players will get caught up in hearing about other girls talking to schools and going to showcases, etc. They will get envious and jealous and it will effect there performance and development. TALENT supersedes absolutely everything and even if you are not committed to a school by the 12th grade, but are good enough to help a Division 1 team, coaches will recruit you (You may not wait that long but I am just trying to make a point). 3 of my teammates on the University of New Hampshire hockey team received full rides the summer before the 1st day of college classes. Be patient and get better.
As far as the recruiting process goes I think you are too early in contacting coaches with the goal of drawing attention to yourself as a potential recruit. If you wanted to contact some coaches, my advice would be to take an informational approach. Tell them exactly who you are, that your goal is to be a Division 1 basketball player and ask for guidance. A good question might be: I wanted to get your advice on what I can do over the next 12-24 months to help me work towards this goal? They might be able to give you some insight on what camps/showcases you might want to attend, tips on how to get stronger and quicker, what they expect from an academic perspective, qualities they are looking for in a point guard, etc. Using the informational approach, the coaches are more apt to respond to you because you are asking for help (and not looking to sell yourself). Also, it might be an effective way to build a relationship with some coaches who can help (or recruit) you down the road.
•This might sound crazy but a good email subject line to send a coach using the informational approach might be:
NOT a recruiting email, I am a 7th grade girls basketball player looking for advice
They get so many recruiting emails that this may draw there attention and get them to read your emails
•DO NOT get discouraged if coaches don’t get back to you. I wrote a post about why coaches don’t respond to emails ( http://www.goalcollegeathlete.com/student-athlete-guide-to-be-recruited/how-to-email-college-coaches-pro-active-follow-up/) and especially in your case it is not a big deal if they don’t respond.
I would say do not make a game film yet. Wait until at least the 9th grade. It takes time and energy (and sometimes money) and I don’t think it will help you that much at this point.
I did a search of the women’s college coaches I have on my website but did not find any of them talking about what college coaches are looking for in a point guard specifically. There is a bunch of great answers from women’s college coaches in what qualities they are looking for overall:
I hope this email helps. Keep working hard and improving. If you have additional questions please let me know.
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