The Student Perspective on College Recruiting

Playing a sport at the collegiate level is the pursuit of many high school athletes. In many ways it is a step-up from their current athletic status. The competition increases, the coaching and instruction gets better, and in some cases, one can find themselves on national television playing the sport they love. While all of these are achievable, this path might not be right for all high school athletes regardless of ability level. Many athletes have received the message that playing at the collegiate level is what every athlete should be striving towards.

Many Patriot seniors have committed to playing collegiate sports, while others have decided it’s not the right path for them.

Patriot baseball player Jared shared that he was practically forced into pursuing college sports at a young age.

“Casual Sunday doubleheaders became showcases, long-distance tournaments, and other opportunities to play while giving colleges the opportunity to scout. Relative to baseball, ‘travel’ players are pushed into ‘showcase’ ball to pursue college attention,” Jared said.

This is the sad reality of many athletes, who feel as if pursuing athletics in college is the ‘right’ thing to do. What they aren’t always told, is what the commitment to a college team requires. It is essentially a full-time job, in the sense that you are often given a plethora of events to attend (workouts, practices, games, etc.), while balancing the workload of a regular student.

Not only is the commitment in college intense, but it starts in high school too. Multi-sport Patriot athlete Julie acknowledges the difficulties of the recruitment process.

“College recruitment is not easy and can be very stressful, but if you truly want it, set your mind to it and put in the work,” Julie said.

Earning a spot on a college team can be done and is an admirable goal but don’t be misled. Playing at the collegiate level requires a huge commitment and comes at a cost requiring discipline, time and sacrifices. Individual athletes should think through the pros and cons, and make sure it’s the right choice before committing.

Some high school athletes reach a point where they understand the reality of recruitment and the commitment of college athletics, and they truly want to pursue it. Patriot baseball player Marcus* decided to put in the work to achieve his goal of playing baseball at the collegiate level.

“Without baseball, I felt empty and incomplete. My goal was to carry on with my baseball career as long as I could,” Marcus* said.

Marcus believes pursuing baseball, his passion, at the next level is the right decision for him. These different viewpoints are not meant to discourage athletes by scaring them with harsh realities of college sports or recruitment; but rather to inform them that everyone has the decision to make of pursuing a collegiate athletic career.

“Playing ball in college is an incredible feat, no matter what school or division, however, achieving the feat takes lots of time, grind, and money to achieve and in the long run, may not be for everyone,” Jared* said.

Ultimately, if one believes it is worth all of those things to pursue their dream, then others’ opinions shouldn’t change that. On the other hand, if one decides not to pursue their sport at the collegiate level, peer pressure shouldn’t influence them otherwise.

If you’re a high school athlete contemplating playing at the college level, take time to think it through and consider the difficulties and rewards, before making a decision.