We are back with more college recruiting tips. This week I caught up with the New Balance Nationals Outdoor Triple Crown winner and NC State commit Ryen Frazier. She offered some straight forward and extremely helpful tips for athletes of all grade levels who want to run at the next level.
Here are some things I learned in the recruiting process that I would definitely follow if I were going through the process again.
1. Make the decision for you, not a parent, not a sibling, not a friend, because in the end you will be the one living with the decision.
2. If you get an athletic letter as a sophomore, junior, or senior, and you're interested in the school, SHOW your interest. Respond to the questionnaire. Email the coaches. Reach out. Even if you are highly ranked, if you haven't shown interest when July 1st comes around, do not expect your phone to ring off the hook.
3. Narrow down your list from freshman year. Do you really want the same things you did then? Decide what you really want and take out the schools that don't fit the criteria.
4. Don't take 5 officials if you don't need to. Take a few unofficials if you want to take a quick look at a few schools, but don't exhaust yourself on a university's dime at a college you know you won't attend. Additionally, if you visit a school and KNOW it's where you belong, cancel your other visits. They will be a waste of time, energy, and money.
5. Respectfully decline colleges you've been recruited by and choose not to attend. An email is a little cowardly. A call is more appropriate. Notify these coaches as soon as possible; they most likely do have other recruits waiting.
6. Signing in November may seem like a relief, but it is not required. You may wish to wait simply to see if anyone else shows interest. Perhaps you feel you still have much to prove - you could receive a better offer than you did in the fall. Fall signing is not synonymous with "elite" and spring signing is not synonymous with "the leftovers". Don't make a decision before you are ready and 100% confident with it.
What to consider (no particular order):
1. Academic interest (someday you will not be able to run)
2. Coaching staff (will they be there for your entire college career, attitude, male/female preference - try to know more about your coaches and prospective school than they know about you)
3. Program (how much, in the way of financial resources, does the school put into their distance program, facilities, scholarships - monies allocated for seemingly small things can make a big difference in your daily quality of life)
4. Team (you can't go somewhere where you will have conflict with the team, feel accepted/comfortable)
5. Weather (do you want to go where you may be forced to treadmill for a month…or more)