The recruiting process for everyone can look really different. Some athletes are able to connect with the right school for the right situation very quickly and easily and other athletes might spend months just trying to connect with a coach.
Regardless of what your process looks like communicating to college coaches what your recruiting timeline looks like and what your plan is going forward is important. Here are a few things to think about when it comes to your timeline.
Are you prepared for your timeline?
Talking with many in the almost-junior class, something I encourage them to do is look ahead. Take a look at your fall high school schedule - are you going to be able to make any visits and when? How many camps can you realistically attend? Are you going to have to move possible campus visits to the club season? What does that look like?
If you want to be done with your recruiting process in November, as a college coach I am pretty excited. My first questions will be, "When can you come on a visit?" Visits, as much as we have realistically minimized them recently, are still really important to college coaches across the country. Most college coaches are still only offering ON a visit and not before. Coaches want to know you are really interested BEFORE they offer you.
"We aren't in a hurry" is a phrase that gets tossed around by both athletes and coaches alike. I find this usually isn't true in almost all cases. Most college coaches aren't in a hurry until their #1 recruit, the one they thought the didn't have a chance to get, is interested and wants to come on a visit. Athletes aren't usually in a hurry until their top choice becomes an option, then they are ready to commit without a phone call or a visit. It goes both ways, as many other things do during this process. It's why talking to college coaches that are really interested is important.
Are you talking to the right coaches?
One of the biggest detriments to your recruiting process is reaching out to and even talking to the wrong coaches. Talking to college coaches is always great. Regardless of where you are in the process, anytime you can connect with a college coach is good and positive. Touching base and asking questions is always important. But are you talking to the right coaches? Coaches are always talking to athletes, they are always recruiting. The biggest question is if they are recruiting you or not. Most schools want to bring athletes they like on campus. Most would rather do it sooner or later. It is potentially the case that if a school is talking to you occasionally and they aren't talking about a visit, they are not really that interested in you...at least in that moment. So, are you talking to the coaches that want you to come on a visit? Or are you talking to the coaches that are talking to you while they are bringing other athletes on campus?
Maybe you aren't in a hurry. That's totally fine. In some ways it just means that some of your options might not still be there when you flip the calendar over to the next year. There are usually still places to play, but they might not ALWAYS be at your top choice.
Do your timelines match up?
That's why I think that getting on the same page with the college coach about what your timeline looks like. Maybe making a visit just isn't going to work in the here and now. If the school isn't in a huge rush, then both sides can usually figure that part out.
But every school is going to be in a different spot. Maybe they are only willing to wait 2 weeks...1 month...or maybe longer. It's always hard to know. If you aren't ready to make a decision pretty quickly after making a visit, you should have a plan on how to handle that. many coaches believe that you wither LOVE the school or you don't; and you know that pretty quickly. Waiting too long can be a negative. Maybe you want to visit another campus! Something that I think almost every coach would support. When is that visit? Do you have it planned? Are you talking to any coaches that are going to help you set that up sooner than later?