Some athletes and parents have the notion that if you are good enough, coaches will come to you. Unfortunately, that isn’t how recruiting works. Today’s recruiting game is all about being proactive. Student-athletes, especially seniors, should not sit around and wait for coaches to call or come to them.
Be proactive in the process and start early. Coaches like the persistence because it shows the prospective college rugby player is serious about playing at the next level.
Be studious. The better your grades and standardized test scores, the more options you will have. If you have both academic and athletic ability, your chances of getting into the college of your choice are enhanced, and your chances of enjoying the experience are too.
Do your research. The best way to find out whether a school is right for you is to take a campus visit, tour the facilities, watch a game. Research the college program you are interested in so you can tell the coach why you want to attend that college.
What are you doing to proactively pursue your dreams?
Tips for Prospective College Rugby Players from Coaches
1. How do you hear about players? How do they get on your "must contact" list?
We hear about players through club coaches, high school coaches, recommendations from officials, emails we receive from interested players and by our own evaluations.
2. What do you look for in a player? What catches your eye the most?
We look for talented rugby players who can compete physically at our level but also who have the psychological components that will allow them to develop and reach their potential (Work-ethic, competitiveness, focus, self-motivated).
3. When do you typically start looking for potential players?
Typically we will start watching potential student-athletes in their junior year, although the recruiting timeline is getting earlier. It is never too early, and rarely too late.
4. What is the worst thing a prospective player can do, that can make you stop the recruitment? The best thing?
The best thing a recruit can do is to express interest in the program, follow up with their schedule so we can evaluate them, send us their transcripts and be very proactive if they truly have an interest.
The worst thing a recruit can do is probably have grammatical errors/spelling errors in their email or to leave another coaches name on the email because they are sending out mass emails.
5. Do you ever look to social media sites (Facebook, Twitter) to find out about recruits?
We are starting to look at social media more to make sure there are no red flags.
6. Any advice for players just starting to evaluate potential college rugby programs?
My advice would be to talk with your high school or club coaches to get an idea of what level is realistic for you and then reach out to some of those programs to express interest. Do your research to find programs that best fit your academic and rugby goals.