You’ve dedicated years of your life to your sport. Now it’s time to take it to the next level. It’s time to start the college recruitment process.
Concordia University Wisconsin, an NCAA DIII school, offers a stacked athletic repertoire, as well as a broad range of competitive academic programs. The result is that hundreds of men and women (about a quarter of our undergraduate population) choose to learn, compete, and develop in Christian character at CUW each year.
So if you think you have what it takes to become a college athlete—and you’ve decided that Concordia blue is your preferred jersey color—chances are our coaches will want to connect with you.
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you begin the athletic recruitment process.
If you’re heading into your senior year of high school and you’re just now starting to think about what comes next, chances are you’re too late. College programs are typically looking at sophomores and juniors in high school. A great first step for you is to begin early in your high school career by making a list of the top five schools you might be interested in. Have a candid conversation with your coach(es) about what level of play they think is appropriate for you, and make sure your list matches up with their assessment of your skills.
Do your research
Please, snoop us on social media! We welcome it! And yes, do your homework in terms of our team’s record and coaching staff, but also explore what Concordia has to offer on the academic end (www.cuw.edu). Make sure we have a program that will help further your career pursuits and that our campus culture is what you’re looking for. Ultimately, if you’re asking us to pay attention to you, our coaches want to see that you’ve taken the time to take an interest us as well.
“One of the first questions I’ll ask in an interview is ‘How did you hear about Concordia?,’” says Women’s Basketball Assistant Coach AC Clouthier. “I want to know that you’re invested enough in the possibility of Concordia that you’ve taken a moment to explore your future here. Otherwise I get worried that I’m just wasting my time.”
Don’t skip the “Recruit Me” form
It’s not a formality and, rest assured, your info doesn’t just get lost in the abyss. According to Falcon coaches, it’s THE BEST way to get the process started if you hope to become a student-athlete at CUW. You can find a “Recruit Me” form that’s catered to each sport on cuwfalcons.com or linked below. This form prompts you to provide us with the exact information we need to get the ball rolling.
- Cross Country
- Hockey (ACHA D2)
- Track & Field
- Acrobatics & Tumbling
- Cross Country
- Field Hockey
- Track & Field
Follow up with a personal reach-out
But don’t just stop at the “Recruit Me” form.
Each fall there are hundreds of thousands of student-athletes who vie for a spot at one of the nation’s 1,281 NCAA DI, DII, or DIII schools. Roughly 188,000 student-athletes compete in DIII programs alone, according to NCAA figures, so the competition is fierce. Take that extra step to set yourself apart.
“More people put themselves on our radar than us finding them,” Clouthier says. “Especially if you’re from a smaller school or you’re in a smaller conference, chances are we’re not going to pay attention unless you ask us to.”
Clouthier says an email (after an athlete fills out the “Recruit Me” form) that includes who you are, where you go to school, and a link to a highlight video goes a long way.
An online profile alone won’t get you recruited
Most coaches agree, there’s no need to spend precious dollars on a third-party-produced highlight reel or to sink thousands into an outside company that will send emails to coaches that are better off coming directly from you. There are some benefits to these paid services, no doubt, but it’s definitely good to be wary and do your research to find the right ones. At the end of the day, not everyone needs to spend the extra money. A well-crafted email with just the right amount of personal touch can go just as far.
Show professionalism, personality, and persistence
Be authentic on your social media accounts because coaches like to see that your personality will lend itself to the team’s culture. But also keep in mind that everything you post on social is fair game for a coach to see, so keep it appropriate.
In your direct reach-outs to coaches, the same applies. “Make your email is personal and know something about the school,” says Head Men’s and Women’s Tennis Coach Steve Anschutz. “Don’t be afraid to email a coach twice or three times to show them you are committed and resilient.”
Ultimately, Concordia’s coaches are invested in finding the right fit for Concordia and for you.
“Concordia is an amazing Christian school with a lot to offer—truly a hidden gem in the Midwest,” says Anschutz. “But ultimately, if it’s not the right fit, neither of us wins. Trust your gut. Most people make picking out a college a really difficult decision, but if you listen to your instincts you will likely know which school is best for you.”
Let’s get started! Visit the CUW Recruit Me page to find your athletic program.
— This story is written by Kali Thiel, director of university communications for Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor. She may be reached at email@example.com or 262-243-2149.
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