When I start working with my clients, I let them know after I review their information that we will send their videos and emails to coaches at just the right time. If we send things to college coaches too early, they may get deleted. If we send videos and emails too late, someone else might catch the eye of the coach and it could be too late.
Depending on which division of school you desire, combined with your level of skill will dictate the timing of when to send out your information. Typically division two and three schools recruit later in high school years. Ivy League schools also get more serious the junior year of high school. The higher you go up in the ranking of a school athletically the sooner they usually recruit.
Walking on versus pursing a scholarship also drives the timing of sending out information. If you let a coach know too soon that you want to walk on, it could exclude you from being seen as a potential scholarship athlete. On the other hand, if you know you can walk on to a team, but don't let the coach know, they may delete your information thinking you only want an athletic scholarship.
Another twist in recruiting can happen when coaches in college find out a current team member may not be returning. Or, when a recruit they made a verbal offer to is not going to work out for various reasons.
The key to all of these different scenarios is to start early. Do your homework and have a specific plan in place that fits the schools you want to target. This will give you the best chance to be considered for a team.
About Jill Hicks:
Jill Hicks is a former elite gymnast, Division I college athlete, club coach and Division I college gymnastics coach (Cal State Fullerton, Oregon State) and the owner of Jill Hicks Consulting, where she provides recruiting services and choreography for prospective student-athletes and their families. For further information visit: www.jhicksconsulting.com
Editor's Note: Publication of this article is not an endorsement of any recruiting service. Always check with the NCAA or your school's compliance officer for any questions regarding recruiting rules, the latest timelines, or other issues.