The journey is reaching its apex, your golf game is good, you are feeling the excitement and the anxiousness of the tournament season, your mind wonders: what college coaches will be at the next event, will they recruit me into their fold? Oh, wait, I better not mess up any shots or rounds or else they won’t want to recruit me!
I have witnessed hundreds of kids and families go through this scenario. It can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. How can you avoid the stress of college “recruiting”?
First, if you are in this situation, as a parent or junior golfer, make sure you start early. Inevitably, many families will wait until the magical junior year of high school. You may have heard; it is the most critical and important year of high school. Well, for a student athlete, I am here to tell you, WRONG! Every year is important. Frankly, if college is so important, starting to research and plan your journey likely begins in the 7th or 8th grade. I am not saying you must decide what school you will attend, but it is likely as a student athlete you or your parents have already made it clear that college is in your future. Therefore, you are likely laying the foundation for academic success in preparation for college, so why not begin assessing your plans as an athlete?
Second, put your “stake” in the ground. If you or your family have a “dream” school make it your goal to get there. If you aspire to play golf in college it is likely to be early in your development, 13 or 14 years old. If this is the case for you, find a great coach or team that understands this process, someone who has had success with helping players reach such an audacious goal. I would recommend reaching out to the coaches at The Golf Performance Center and going through a player development assessment, it will create an index or a measurement of where you are on your developmental journey and offer you a recommended path to success. The Player Development Index is a good predictor of your level of preparedness to play at your highest level. For example, a PDI of 80 or higher on a scale of 100, indicates a player has the skills to play at the highest level of Division I golf. Baselining your skills, gives you the best opportunity to create a plan based on your goals of playing college golf. If you work industriously towards your goal, then the only thing you need is time. Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Believe me when I tell you, getting to the college of your choice is not an easy journey, there are no guarantees, but setting a plan early is way better than hoping it will happen based on some outside agency, luck of the draw in admissions or whether you get recruited. Fact is, you are seeking the best fit for you, so whether a college coach recruits you or not, you are more in control of the process than the luck of whether a coach “pick” you out of a line up of more than 30,000 other applicants to a school. I have also found the College Checklist on JuniorGolfHub.com helpful to guide athletes and families through this process, you may want to check that out!
Put your stake in the ground, give your best effort, and aim for excellence. It is a habit, not a wish.
Enjoy Your Journey!