College Recruiting: Where to Begin?

College Recruiting: Where to Begin?

Welcome to the Guiding Future Stars Academy College Recruiting Blog

Are you interested in playing sports in college?

Are you a prospective student-athlete or parent of a child who aspires to play in college but have no idea where to begin.  If so, you’re not alone.  The college recruiting process can be a very windy road and can be difficult to navigate if you don’t have a road map.  There are thousands of schools to choose from and seemingly endless routes for getting to to the one that will provide you with the best college experience, academically, athletically, and socially. Don’t worry.  Guiding Future Stars ( is here to help. We know that a clear road map may be all you need to go from undiscovered to highly recruitable. Guiding Future Stars Academy will:
  • EDUCATE prospective student-athletes and families about what it takes to compete at the next level and how the college recruiting process works.
  • GUIDE prospective student-athletes in their pursuit to find their College Experience Trifecta.
  • INSPIRE prospective student-athletes to chase their dream to play in college and be a successful student-athlete in the classroom, on the field, in the community, and beyond.

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Prospective Student-Athlete and Families never really know where to begin in regards to the College Recruiting Process.  Well we are going to begin at the Starting Line.  Before the gun sounds you need to be prepared for the race.   Just like any other race you know what you are about to do,  you understand the expectations,  and the demands of the race.  Well it is no different in the college recruiting process.  Except this race is a marathon not a sprint.  So here is your introduction into playing college sports. 

College Recruiting Process Snapshot 3 Things You Need to Know
  • The Recruiting Process Starts Early!
  • Being Identified by college coaches does not happen magically
  • College coaches will begin the evaluating prospects online.
3 Things You Need to Do
  • Develop a Game Plan
  • Create a customized marketing plan
  • Contact coaches and Visit Schools
Parents Role in the College Recruiting Process Since most parents play an integral part in their child’s college recruiting search lets begin with the parents expectations or role in the recruiting process
  • Be respectful of your son or daughters ownership of the college recruiting process. It is the student who will spend the years on the college campus, and therefore the decision must ultimately be theirs.
  • Be realistic regarding your child’s abilities both on and off the field
  • Give your son or daughter the benefit of your wisdom and experience, and talk to your child about any restrictions (financial or otherwise) on his/her college options.
  • Prepare your child to be an independent being. Parents want to see their children succeed in all aspects of their life.  Encourage them to start doing things on their own.
Student-Athlete’s Role in the Recruiting Process
  • Be True to Yourself!  While you should listen carefully to the advice of others, avoid being overly swayed by peer pressure or impression of others. Find the school that fits you!
  • Begin the college search process early, allowing plenty of time to research, visit schools, and weigh your options.Don’t start early to commit early!
  • Visit schools to which you are most interested in.  There is no substitute for seeing the college and getting a feel for campus.
  • Don’t let the process get you down.  Keep in mind that thousands of other students and student-athletes are experiencing the same fears and concerns you may have. Talk to friends and teammates about what they are going through and together you can help each other out.
Why Do you want to go to college?   It seems like an easy question but if you can verbalize it or write it down it can paint you a much clearer picture of what you are looking for from your college experience.  College is the gateway to opportunity, experiences, options, and financial stability.  The College experience is designed to help you begin the transition of a dependent being who lives with your parents to an independent being and a fully functional citizen in our society. The path will undoubtedly have its ups and downs, but they are part of life lessons that incorporate academics, socials skills, and growing sense of independence.  So, what is your reason to go to college?  Write It Down! Benefits of Playing in College There are many advantages to being a student-athlete. Playing intercollegiate athletics is an experience that provides student-athletes with the opportunity to excel in a sport they love while building an educational foundation for their future.  Competing at the next level will provide student-athletes with life lessons that will help them way beyond their college career.   Student-Athletes are more likely to be hired for jobs out of college over non student-athletes because of what they experienced being a student-athlete.  Being a part of a team, setting and achieving goals, good time management skills, and learning how to battle adversity are just some of the things that will help you later in life. To play in college it takes a lot of time, commitment,  energy, and perseverance but in the end it is totally worth.   As I look back at my life,  playing Division I athletics is one of my greatest accomplishments especially because many people said that I wasn’t good enough.   Demands of being a Student-Athlete Do you know what it takes to be a student-athlete?  You have to balance your school work, your sports schedule, and social life.  It is no easy task.  Playing a sport in college, at any level, is like having a 20 hour a week part time job.  Here is a an example of a breakdown of typical student-athletes week
  • 12 - 15 Credit Hours ( 4 - 5 Classes)
  • 20 Hours dedicated to their sport
  • 20 - 25 hours of school work outside the classroom (Typically 1.5 times credit hours)
  • 3 hours / day eating meals = 21 hours / week
  • 1 hour / day showering, cleaning, etc. = 7 hours
  • Minimum 7 hours of sleep / night
At this point you have about 30 hours of free time remaining , and all you have done is sleep, wake-up , go to class, eat, and play your sport.   So playing your sport requires a lot of time, effort, energy,  organization, and discipline.   If you possess those qualities than being a student-athlete will be a great experience for you.  If you do not possess those qualities its never too late to start working on them. Is College Sports Right for you? How do you determine if playing college sports is right for you and at what level.  You need to be able to answer some of these questions about your commitment to playing at the next level.
  • Are you ready and willing to make the sacrifice and commitment it takes to make your sport a priority next to your academics?
  • Why is playing your sport in college important to you?  One of the main reasons you want to play your sport in college is because of the joy it brings when you are competing.  You have to LOVE your sport!
  • Will you need your sport to get you into the college of your choice?
  • Will you need a scholarship, academic or athletic, to help you pay for your education?
  • Do you have the ability to play your sport in college? How do your abilities compare with teammates and opponents who also aspire to play in college or those you know who have already gone on to play in college?
Now, that you have a better understanding of what college sports entails its time to start your college search process.  What to do next?  There are so many factors to consider when looking for the right college.   You need to find a school that will provide you with the best college experience, academically, athletically, and socially. We call this finding your College Experience Trifecta.     As you begin searching for schools you need to look at the process from three perspectives, you as a student, you as an athlete, and you as a young man or woman. Selecting a college is a major life decision and one of the first steps to becoming an adult. Choosing a college is more than deciding where you are going to spend the next four years of your life, its about development of one’s self.  Your college decision will help shape you into the person you will become.  As a student-athlete you want to find the place where you will develop in the classroom, on the field, and in the community.  And if you do you just might have found your College Experience Trifecta.

Are you ready to get a jump-start on your college search process?

Let's begin the journey to find your College Experience Trifecta.   Grab your copy of the College Recruiting Playbook today and start making your dream a reality.


In 2015, the College Recruiting Playbook was published to help educate prospective student-athletes about the college recruiting process. The College Recruiting Playbook is a student-athletes workbook to finding the right college to fit their academic, athletic, and personal needs. Finding the right college for your student-athlete doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, with College Recruiting Playbook, you can navigate the five phases of the recruiting process with surprising ease. 1. Planncollege-recruiting-playbook-covering and Preparation 2. Communication 3. Gaining Exposure 4. Decision Making 5. Beyond the Decision This step-by-step guide walks parents and students through everything they need to know and do in order to find the best college athletically, academically, and personally. Written especially for high school athletes, this guide is also an essential read for parents, teachers, and coaches. By utilizing the included organizer and looking at the process from more than an athlete’s point of view, you can form the best strategy for your young athlete’s near and distant future.


Christopher Stack is the Founder and CEO of Guiding Future Stars and author of the College Recruiting Playbook. GFS is a student- development company that transforms the next generation into excellent students, great athletes, and extraordinary people. A former Division I soccer player for Mount St. Mary’s University, he holds a degree in sports management and an MBA in marketing. Stack has worked in intercollegiate athletics for over twelve years. Starting his career in college administration at his alma mater as the Coordinator of Intramurals, he also served as the assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the university’s women’s soccer team. He eventually transitioned to the academic side of college sports as the coordinator of student-athlete academic support.  In 2014, he created Guiding Future Stars.  In 2015, he published his first book The College Recruiting Playbook. Stack now enjoys using his higher education experience to help educate  high school students achieve their dreams of playing sports in college while also gaining first-rate educations.

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