Gabriella Ade-Onojobi, LIU Brooklyn ’16
Starting sooner rather than later, and therefore being prepared, is key not only in your journey to being recruited to the right college for you, but also in your everyday life. Doing well in school and preparing well in your sport will make your recruiting journey and transition to university easier. Starting sooner gives you more time to be noticed by college coaches, and reduces the chances of last-minute recruitment, which has many issues.
Achieving good grades is an important part of the recruiting process! The US academic system may be different, but this doesn’t mean your GCSE and A-Levels (or equivalent) are any less significant. Having good grades and higher test scores could enable you to apply for a certain caliber academic school, and may also qualify you for academic scholarships. Even if you think academics aren’t your strong suit, they still play a major role in your recruiting process!
This means your efforts even at the beginning of year 10 when you start your GCSEs will make a difference to your process. When you apply to university in the US, your GCSEs will be the last official grades you have, so make sure they are a good reflection of your academic achievement! Maintaining these efforts is equally important, as colleges will be interested in your academic trajectory and progress. Think about what you would like to do and what you excel at: “Do something today that your future self will thank you for.”
To be eligible as an NCAA student-athlete, you must take a range of subjects at GCSE. Check out our FAQs for further information, so you can keep one step ahead of the game. Some top academic institutions will also require you to take a certain selection and number of courses for admission. Being aware of these criteria and preparing early on will avoid having to play catch up academically.
Preparing well in your sport will expand the pool of universities available to you and make your more attractive as a prospective recruit to college coaches. What’s your goal? How will you get there? Set aside time to think, visualise and write down your ambitions. Once you have clear goals in mind, you (and your coach) can devise a plan and make the necessary adjustments to get the best possible outcomes. College coaches will look at your trajectory over time to learn more about your potential, so beginning this process early will only serve to strengthen your recruiting position.
The earlier you start the recruiting process, the better. Starting early – we recommend in year 11 – will give you time to forge relationships with coaches, prepare for and sit the necessary admissions tests, and explore your many university options. With over 5000 universities to choose from, starting earlier will give you the competitive advantage and will make your journey and transition easier, more enjoyable, and ultimately more fruitful. A rushed process and rushed decision could mean you miss out on scholarships, and the right school for you.
Lastly, find fun in the process! Going to university is a big yet exciting step in life. The NCAA experience is unmatched and we want you to have the best experience possible. Being well prepared is paramount, so focus on your education and sport performance as they will benefit your recruiting process. Find the right balance between studying, your sport performance and test prep. Remember, there’s no such thing as too soon. It’s never too early but it can be too late. Plan ahead and stay ahead. Prepare and get ready to take off.