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College sports recruitment during COVID

A student athlete’s junior and senior years of high school are some of the most crucial time periods for seeking college recruitment. Following the COVID-19 outbreak, these student-athletes were forced to adjust their pursuit of college recruitment. Within a matter of days, schools were closed, club-sports and tournaments were postponed, and Individual Development (ID) camps were canceled, where these athletes planned to showcase their talents. 

Because of the pandemic, the means of getting noticed by college coaches have become increasingly popular through online resources rather than in person. The use of online recruiting services allows young athletes to post highlight videos as well as personal information. 

“During quarantine, I made a few highlight videos of me playing in earlier tournaments and games and sent them to all of the colleges that I was interested in,” said junior Brianna Cassidy, who is an uncommitted soccer player at Godwin. 

Popular websites like NCSA, Captain U, and Sports Recruits allow athletes to set up a profile with step by step instructions on how to maximize their online presence and get in contact with coaches. 

Keeping in contact with coaches at schools of interest is a key factor to success. Whether it be through emails, phone calls, or text messages, communication is vital. 

“College coaches have a multitude of people that they get emails from and have to keep an eye out for. I make sure to contact them every two weeks to stand out,” said Cassidy.

Photo courtesy Brianna Cassidy
Godwin Junior Brianna Cassidy playing soccer from Godwin’s women’s soccer team

Having school sports get canceled for the season created an immense roadblock for most students. Whether it be training by yourself, or in small groups, keeping fit during quarantine is necessary when working to grow as a player and individual. 

“During the beginning of COVID-19 I was practicing strictly on my own, but since September, I have been able to practice with my travel team at RVC,” said Godwin junior Kaitlyn McNeel, who is a University of Dayton volleyball commit.

 Sports practices have had to undertake a dramatic change in structure due to Governor mandates and protocols. These practices consist of social distancing, wearing masks while playing, and the restriction of shared equipment. Along with practices are the changes for games and tournaments, where players must answer a series of questions regarding their health and maintain distance from other teams while continuing to wear a mask. 

Every student, whether an athlete or not, wants to have an enjoyable time at college. However, picking the right college can often be difficult, especially at a time where most colleges are only doing online tours or limited in-person tours. 

“Due to the new NCAA rules,  I was unable to do a regular in-person visit, when looking at colleges. So, I toured campuses with my family, without meeting the coaches or going inside of facilities in person,” said McNeel.

Photo courtesy Kaitlyn McNeel
Godwin Junior Kaitlyn McNeel repping a University of Dayton t-shirt after committing to play on the volleyball team

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