Every year, thousands of high school seniors bank on receiving an athletic scholarship to play their favorite sport in college. Only a fraction of those students actually receive a scholarship, showing just how difficult the process can be. There are a lot of misconceptions about college recruiting. Recruiting does not start when students are juniors or seniors, but rather when they are as little as 13 or 14 years old. College coaches at major universities start offering scholarships to high school freshmen, in some circumstances.
The majority of Division I recruits are discovered by the time they hit 10th grade. College coaches use a variety of means to discover these players, including games, camps, tournaments, and so on, but they attend these events with a list of players to evaluate. Rarely do they ever discover someone at these games, but rather go there searching for players they already know based on reliable information from people they trust. Thus, it is important to get your name out there early if you want to receive a major college athletic scholarship.
Most coaches will now watch game tape, and this too comes from reliable sources. They rarely watch tape that gets sent into them from someone they do not know, so sending unsolicited game film to a college coach probably will not help your cause to receive a scholarship.
Nowadays, academics are becoming increasingly important for student-athletes. Without respectable grades, it is no longer possible to obtain a major college academic scholarship. Not only do school want intelligent students, but coaches are searching more than ever for intelligent athletes. If you really want a college athletic scholarship, pay as much attention to your academics as your sport of choice. Then, network that athletic/academic combination to as many coaches as possible to maximize the chances of earning a scholarship.