After being realistic, the first rule of helping yourself get recruited is to do your work early (aka be proactive). Today, we will look at rule #2.
The second rule is to cast a wide net. What does this mean? Simply put, we know that your dream is probably to play for a major university that competes for NCAA Division I national championships and has a ton of alums in the professional ranks. That having been said, everyone else has pretty much the same dream that you have, and powerhouse programs are limited by the NCAA in terms of how many scholarships they can award.
Does this mathematical reality mean that you should abandon your dream? Of course not. All we’re trying to say is that the more statistically unlikely your Plan A is, the more important it is to have a Plan B, a Plan C, a Plan D, etc.
Here’s a quick story about a young man named Robby Delaney. Robby wanted to play D1 basketball very badly, and many D1 schools took a look at Robby, but at the end of the day, Robby didn’t attract even a single D1 offer. However, recognizing the importance of casting a wide net and having a solid set of backup plans, Robby was smart enough to treat all D3 and D2 coaches who called with the utmost respect, and he was smart enough to initiate the application process at dozens of schools, from D1 to D3. At the end of the day, Robby’s D1 dream did not materialize, but that didn’t matter, because Robby had cast a wide net and kept his options open and not let his ego get in the way of reasonable thinking and solid planning. So, when Williams College offered Robby a chance to join their program (Williams is a D3 powerhouse, and Williams is one of the elite academic schools in the country), Robby accepted. And while Williams wasn’t Robby’s dream school, Williams is a tremendous program and school, and had Robby not cast a wide net, Williams would have never been an option because they have a January application deadline (again, Robby applied everywhere, understanding the importance of a Plan B).
Suddenly, however, the Williams coach who had recruited Robby decided to leave Williams for a D1 job. This put Robby in the unenviable position of re-evaluating everything in early May. Fortunately for Robby, he had applied to every Patriot League school already, because he was a firm believer in having a backup plan and a backup to the backup. So, when Robby called Lafayette College to inquire about a walk-on position, it was easy for Lafayette to say yes because a) Robby was a very good basketball player and b) Robby had already been admitted to Lafayette.
Robby Delaney worked his way into the lineup, eventually becoming a 2 year starter for the Lafayette Leopards. Additionally, Robby made a ton of great friends and had an outstanding overall experience. And none of it would have been possible had Robby not cast a wide net in the recruiting/college application process. Our advice to you is that you follow Robby’s lead.
Thanks very much for reading. We hope these thoughts are helpful.