Since my DD is starting this process, and since the information exchange seems pretty asymmetric with all the information tilted toward the programs I thought I would start this thread to see if others would want to compare notes, observations, experiences, and opinions. My DD is a freshman in high school, multiple-year L10. Some observations and opinions: (I will admit I am more focused on DI)
- Several of her gym mates are 2024 graduates. It really surprised me how quickly the recruiting process comes up. For whatever reason, I was thinking the Junior year of high school is when you really need to focus on recruiting, but that seems to start at least a year earlier.
- My observation is that the summer after the sophomore year of high school is when the official visit invites and scholarship offers go out, and its a trickle-down process. If you don't get an invite it doesn't mean you have no chance, it just means you have to manage your expectations and work the process more.
- The 2024 girls that have gone on official visits imply that programs break recruits into 3 categories, the ones we want, the ones that are walk-ons or next up, and the ones to keep on the radar. And that is where the trickle-down occurs. All 3 categories seem to get official visits.
- Many times programs offer official visits even though they do not have a scholarship offer to give. One of the 2024s lamented that she didn't ask prior to scheduling one of 5 allowed visits and now clearly asks programs that offer OVs if they have a scholarship available.
- Not all programs have 12 scholarships to give, another eye-opener here just kinda assumed all DI schools had 12 scholarships but it is up to the athletic department to fund scholarships and not all departments have the money to put into olympic sports. And to clarify the NCAA limit is 12 scholarships across ALL 4 years of athletes so any given year programs generally have 3-4 scholarships to offer incoming freshman.
- While colleges cannot directly contact DD, they have been indirectly contacting her through social media, its not just following her. While she has been followed prior to this year, they now interact with her on social media through likes and hearts, direct messaging, and private group invites.
- The 2024s have stressed how important it is to be prepared with whatever decision criteria because it is a quick and stressful process. They have told stories of schools that have offered spots but wanted a response in 24 hours. Regardless they talk about how out of the blue they could get a call from a program expressing interest so it can be a very up-and-down ride (one moment no one loves you, the next the sky is the limit), but all the more important to have a good sense of where you want to go and what you are looking for.
- The gym coach can play a very significant role in the process (I can see good and bad with this) but I have seen them serve as a conduit between the programs and the athlete, advisor, and one to schedule opportunities for programs to come into the gym and observe practices. So like it or not, if college is DD goal, better make sure they are in a gym where they and you have a good relationship with the coach.
- My opinion is that NIL is going to open up more opportunities for walk-on spots at larger programs since it would provide access to scholarship-type funding.
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