How to Get Recruited – gymnastics recruiting guideline for level 10 parents and athletes to help navigate this process.
College Gymnastics Recruiting Guideline
Earning a gymnastics scholarship takes active participation from the gymnast and parents throughout the entire recruiting process. This guide is written to help everyone understand their role in the gymnastics recruiting process. Also, to better understand that to get recruited to college for gymnastics takes effort outside of gymnastics practice from both the parent and athlete.
Gymnastics Recruiting Overview for a Level 10 Gymnast
- Sign up for the NCAA eligibility center at https://web3.ncaa.org/ecwr3/ (Choose option 1 which is the only free option)
- Find a list of colleges with gymnastics at every level division 1 through division 3. A great starting point is to look at the college rankings located at https://roadtonationals.com/results/standings/
- Create a top 10 colleges of interest list (this list is based off multiple criteria; gymnastics will be 1 of the criteria along with many others like; does your daughter want travel or be closer to home, does the college have the academic program of interest, can she compete in their line-up right now, etc.
- Setup a Gymnastics only Instagram account
- Add a gymnastics picture to your profile and include in signature of all emails
- Add bio information in the about section
- Video and upload new skills in practice
- Video all competitions and upload successful routines
- Send introduction email to your top 10 colleges head coach. This email will be a brief introduction including Bio, email address, letting them know that you are interested in their school and gymnastics team, link to your Instagram handle. Make your email stand out among the hundreds that they receive. I recommend the athlete writes the initial email and the parent’s proof and edit these for them. (Parents: do not take over and change everything, the coach and your athlete will be doing most of the communication through this gymnastics recruiting process.
- Fill out the top 5-10 colleges online questionnaires. This will let the coaches and recruiters that you are interested in their school
- Continue ongoing communications with college coaches via email (they cannot respond)
How to Get Recruited – Freshman Year
- Meet with school counselors to make sure all subject requirements for university acceptance is on their high school plan
- Discuss academic requirements – class rank, GPA, ACT scores – look at college requirement guidelines (Parents & athletes)
- Encourage extracurricular activities and community service so athlete becomes well-rounded (Parents) Discuss colleges of interest; location, weather, distance from home, affordability (if a full scholarship is not available) and gymnastics programs (Parents & athletes)
- List top 10 schools of interest (athletes)
- Learn facts about different colleges on gymnast’s list (coach, athlete & parent)
- Attend 1-2 college summer camps of interest
- Continue email communications with coaches
How to Get Recruited – Sophomore Year
- Visit campuses and continue to research colleges and their gymnastics teams. Note that there is no limit on unofficial visits. So, take a few visits to start getting an idea of the types of campuses, distances from home, college safety, and other factors that will matter to you and your family.
- Research schools:
- How many graduating seniors?
- How many gymnastics scholarships they have your graduation year?
- What are their current strong/weak events?
- Academic requirements?
- What is the coaching style?
- If you could not do gymnastics, would you still be interested in this school?
- Do you feel that you would fit in with the team atmosphere?
- Email the gymnastics coach about your upcoming seasons competitive schedule and your upgrades with your Instagram updates.
- File for NCAA Clearinghouse (parents can do this for their daughters)
- Call all coaches June 15th or thereafter
- Narrow down list to Top 5 choices (athlete, parent & coach)
- Note: A high level gymnast can safely be considering 3-6 colleges; a less experienced gymnast should be considering 7-10 colleges
- Are you better than the top 3 girls on their team?
- Would you be able to compete on their team right now?
- Continue to send coach’s email updates with new skills, invite them to come and watch your practice, etc.
How to Get Recruited – Between Sophomore and Junior Year
- Summer after sophomore year send out regional and national update videos
- Call coaches and invite them to come and watch you practice, express your interest in competing on their team.
- Gymnast needs to create a list of questions to ask visiting coaches
- 5th year exhausted aid?
- How many scholarships available?
- Dorm location and if they are suites?
How to Get Recruited – Junior Year
- Gymnast begins taking SAT/ACT
- Gymnast takes recruiting trips (official and unofficial visits)
- Video updates
- There are scholarships—look, work, apply
- Apply to colleges: two “for sures” (ones you know you can get into), two “dreams” (ones you would love to get into), and a few “in-betweens”
- You are not limited on official visits. A visit becomes official if the school pays for anything
- During the official visit the school can provide transportation, housing, meals for PSA and housing, meals for parents
- Entertainment on scale comparable to normal student life within 30 miles of campus for PSA and parents
- You must provide a high school transcript and test score prior to taking an official visit
- Visits may only last 48 hours–the time starts from the moment the coach starts talking to you about the school (picking you up at the airport) and ends when the coaching staff leave your presence
- There is no limit to unofficial visits
How to Get Recruited – After you commit
- Early National Letter of Intent (NLI) signing is generally the second week of November and at this point you can sign the NLI that commits you to that university and the grant-in-aid contract that specifies the scholarship you will receive.
- Late signing begins in early April and runs until the first day of classes in the Fall. Check the NLI website for exact signing dates at http://www.nationalletter.org/signingDates/index.html
- A gymnastics scholarship contract is a legal commitment for one year, renewable at the head coach’s discretion. The school must give notice if they will not renew your contract and you have the right to appeal if inclined.
- College gymnastics coaches are allowed unlimited contact once you have signed but they can’t give you anything and still can’t talk to you at competitions until you have finished and been released by your coach.
Conclusion to College Gymnastics Recruiting Guideline
Earning a college gymnastics scholarship is a huge honor but also a large project for a young level 10 gymnast and will need their parents’ guidance. This how to get recruited guide with a task list and timeline will give you a head start to your college gymnastics recruiting.
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