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Five Tips to Help You Get Recruited by a College in America

In the latest edition of our feature, SMUSA are going to give you five key tips you need to follow to get recruited by a college in America.

When it comes to standing out from the crowd and figuring which college or university is for you, you need the help and guidance from reputable people, who have gone down the route themselves.

The scholarship pathway is like nothing you will experience back home in the UK or Ireland, and it is one that can open up endless opportunities - whether that is playing, coaching or using your degree after graduation.

Nevertheless, during the process of recruitment, not only will you be very organised, but, for example, you must have things like video footage to help a college coach know what sort of player you are.

In this feature, we sat down with SMUSA Senior Scholarship Consultant Mikie Rowe - who spent five incredible years as a student-athlete at Young Harris College - and found out five valuable tips to help you get recruited.

1. Video Footage

On your profile, it is really important to get video footage of you playing, whether that is from you playing at a football club that you're with now or by attending one of our assessment events – which are all filmed.

It’s very important to have video footage because that’s really going to be the first thing that the coach sees of you playing. If your footage stands out to a coach, then that will put you above so many players, who are all wanting a scholarship.

Having video footage and raising your playing profile, along with your playing CV, is probably one of the most important parts of you getting recruited.

2. Academics Are Just As Important

This is absolutely vital to understand, that the academic side of things is just as important as the playing side. Not only during the recruitment process, but also to get in the mindset that you’re going to become a student-athlete.

Whatever level of education you’re currently at, whether that’s secondary school or high school, it is important to get the best grades possible because it can only help you. It’s one of those things where the higher your GPA is going over, the more academic scholarship you can get.

If you can go over to America, having already had the experience of balancing your football and academics, then you’re going to have a massive advantage going over there - as you’re setting yourself up for success as you already know how to handle both sides of it.

3. Choose Your Consultant Wisely

It is absolutely crucial that you do your research before you commit to a scholarship consultant. Make sure you know who you’re going with and what they’re going to provide for you.

The massive part of this side of things, with players looking to get recruited, is trust. If you can get honest feedback from scholarship consultants, and they don’t beat around the bush, then that is key.

It’s important that you can trust them because you are going to be working with them for a major decision in your life to get you over to America, and over the four years, they’re going to assist you as well.

My advice is to do your research, talk to people in the game and make sure you choose the right consultant for you. Look at how long they’ve been established, recommendations from past clients, parents and college coaches, and make sure you can trust that they have the best interests for you.

4. Start The Process Early

This is another key part of being recruited. Some kids might be looking to go out in August for example and may only start the process in June, and that is no good. At that stage, it is very difficult to get the offers you want.

You’ve got to be proactive and look ahead. If you’re looking to go to America, and take up the offer of a life-changing experience, then you’ve got to start the process at least a year in advance, maybe 18 months.

This will give you the best opportunity to know what you’re getting into, to find the right consultant, to get the right offers, and to also help you prepare accordingly for things on and off the field.

5. Be Proactive and Engaged

This is also a very important part because the large part of going to America isn’t just what you can do on the field, but your character off it. It’s very easy for coaches to find out your character in the early stages of recruitment.

In those early conversations, it’s easy for a coach to separate the players that are proactive and engaged, and ones that communicate effectively, to the ones that don’t. That could be the difference between you getting a scholarship and you not.

Communication between players and coaches that you’re potentially going to go and play for is huge, so be proactive, ask questions - don’t just leave it down to your parents to ask questions to coaches and consultants.

Be your own person, communicate effectively and really get ahead of the game. Don’t just react to what coaches tell you to do, really go and search for how you can get things done.


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