Freshman & Sophomore Checklist is designed to assist second semester Sophomores, Juniors and, to a lesser degree, Seniors in their college recruitment. Since our focus is on helping you market yourself to coaches when they are most apt to be looking for athletes like you, it is important that you recognize that our services are best used in the second half of your Sophomore year, throughout your Junior year, and the first half of your Senior year. That’s not to say, however, that you don’t have a number of things that you need to be focused on during your Freshman and Sophomore years in order to get recruited by the greatest number of college coaches. The following areas are of critical importance to you in your early years of high school:

Freshman Checklist

  • Grades and GPA are Important – A coach might love your athletic ability, but if your grades/GPA are too low, he will not recruit you. One of the first things a coach looks for is your GPA, if you’ve taken AP/Honors classes, and what your ACT/SAT scores are. Since you don’t take your ACT/SAT tests until your Junior year, you must focus your Freshman and Sophomore years on your grades.
  • Keep Accurate Records of Athletic Accomplishments – Many students and parents assume that their coach keeps accurate, up-to-date records from every game, event, and tournament. They assume that, by their Junior year, their coach will have all of the information they’ll need for college coaches. That is NOT usually the case. High School coaches rarely have the time or staff to maintain every athlete’s stats. It is up to you and your parents to keep your stats,  records and listing of your accomplishments.  This applies to high school AND club/traveling play.
  • Video Tape – Few high school athletic departments have the ability to video tape every event, game, and tournament. Many college coaches are going to want to see tape on your abilities, so it’s important that you begin videotaping even your junior varsity or Frosh/Soph athletic competitions. Make sure that whomever is filming doesn’t focus entirely on you at all times. Coaches like to see the flow and interaction of all players. In individual sports (e.g. swimming, golf, tennis, cross-country, track) the coaches still want to see your competition as well as your individual performance. Remember to catalog and keep records of what each tape includes – event, date and time.
  • Play The Sports You Enjoy – Playing one sport year-round is the easiest way to become better at your primary sport, however, many college coaches not only look for athletes who are exceptional in their sport, but also students who are good “athletes” overall.  If you enjoy playing two sports, don’t be afraid to participate in both.  Many college coaches will view that as a sign of overall athleticism.
  • Extra-Curricular Activities are Both Fun and Important – Being active in your high school, your community and your church or volunteer organizations is both rewarding and fun.  It also shows coaches and college admissions administrators that you are well rounded and an active participant in your high school and community.  This activity, combined with strong grades and athletic ability, go a long way in helping you get admitted to college.  Take advantage of activities ranging from Habitat for Humanity, Yearbook, Student Government, Debate, Peer Counseling, Church Youth Groups, D.A.R.E. programs, Community Service Organizations, and charities. Most importantly, keep accurate records of the type of activities you are involved in including dates and your experiences.

Sophomore Checklist

  • Improve Your Grades, Take AP/Honors Courses – Now that you have adjusted to your high school work load, you need to focus on continuing to improve your academics. Enrolling in select AP/Honors classes will help you maintain and improve your overall GPA and show colleges and coaches that you are capable of competing academically at the collegiate level.
  • Set a Plan for Improvement with your Coach – Every athlete has strengths and weaknesses in their athletic abilities. Be smart; identify your weaknesses and, with your coach’s help (either high school or club coach), put together a plan for improvement. It might be weight training, sprinting, agility drills, hand – eye coordination drills, or simply additional aerobic training. Work with your coach and implement a plan for improvement. Make yourself the best athlete you can be.
  • Take Practice/Pre - ACT & SAT Exams – You will be taking your ACT & SAT exams during your Junior year. To prepare yourself for them, take the practice or pre exams that are offered. If you are not satisfied with your results, you should either purchase a self-help, home study program or enroll in an exam prep class.  (RecruitU2 has negotiated a discount with Princeton Review for prep classes – click the Princeton offer for details). We advise you to take both the ACT & SAT tests. Colleges around the country require one or both tests and you have a greater opportunity to be recruited by more colleges if you have taken both tests.
  • Participate in Summer Camps, Tournaments and Major Events – Summer Camps and tournaments frequently provide you with the opportunity to compete against different or better athletes and potentially meet college coaches who help manage the programs. Club, AAU, YMCA, Nike, McDonalds, and other sponsored or even college-based programs offered in the summer can be great opportunities to showcase your athletic talents in front of college coaches.
  • Visit Colleges over the Summer – While you still probably have little or no idea of the type, size or location of your perfect college to attend, visiting four or five college campuses – all of them different – will give you a better feel for the types of schools you might like attending. Make sure to note what you like and disliked about each school, campus, and curriculum.
  • Soccer, Basketball, Hockey Players Send Your Profiles – Soccer, basketball and men’s ice hockey are sports that traditionally have an earlier and longer recruiting cycle than the other NCAA sports.  As a sophomore, you need to send your profile out during the second half of your school year.  College coaches are going to want to know where you’ll be playing during the upcoming summer between sophomore and junior year, so you need to let them know about you, where you’ll be playing and that you’re interested in being recruited.  Sign up for RU2 and send your profiles out!!!