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How to Get Your Child Noticed by College Wrestling Coaches

by Stephanie Dube Dwilson

Getting recruited to a college wrestling program depends on more than raw athletic ability. To help your child capture the attention of coaches requires an understanding of how the recruiting process works, an open mind -- and the cooperation of your child. Before you get started, keep in mind that colleges cannot recruit student-athletes until July 1st -- and only after a child completes his junior year of high school. While this is the beginning of the official recruiting process, there is plenty that you and your child can do before then to enhance his chances of wrestling in college.

Watch your child's grades -- and hire a tutor if necessary. Division I uses a sliding scale to match test scores and core GPAs. Your child’s guidance office can provide these scales, or you can review them at the eligibilitycenter.org website. Division II requires a minimum SAT score of 820 or an ACT sum score of 68. The ACT score used for NCAA purposes is a sum of the English, mathematics, reading and science sections. Division I schools require a grade point average minimum of 2.0 to receive athletics aid and practice on or after August 1, 2016 and a 2.3 GPA for competition eligibility on or after August 1, 2016. The Division II core GPA requirement is a minimum of 2.0. The NCAA GPA is calculated using NCAA core courses only. Don't think you can get around these baselines without documented evidence of a learning disability; there is no wiggle room. In addition, poor grades make your child a less attractive candidate to the coaches, who will likely hesitate to offer a coveted scholarship to an athlete who might not remain eligible.

Register with the NCAA Clearinghouse. Anyone hoping to play college sports must be do this. You can help your child complete the form online. NCAA Clearinghouse paperwork verifies that your child is an amateur athlete and eligible for college athletics.

Submit online recruiting forms for the schools in which your child is interested. These online forms often go directly to the coach and are a great way to spark some interest. If you receive any follow-up paperwork or a recruiting questionnaire, fill it out and return it promptly.

Encourage your child to compete in high profile meets. High profile national and regional competitions provide a chance for coaches at various schools to see your child compete. Even if he doesn't place, it allows coaches to put a face with a name, and it only takes one coach who sees something in your child to get him into a college program.

Enroll your child in summer camps at the colleges that interest him. These camps provide a wonderful opportunity to get one-on-one attention from the coach.

Create a highlight reel and personalized flyer. Upload the highlight reel to recruiting websites and send old-fashioned flyers via snail mail to coaches at the colleges that interest your child. Include your child's career highlights and cumulative grade point average on the flyer, as well as his SAT or ACT scores if he is happy with them.

Keep an open mind. If a college that is not on your list approaches your child, take the time to talk to them. No one will ask for a commitment first thing, but if you say, "No" too soon, you might shut the door on an amazing opportunity for your child.

Follow up. If you child wins a significant award or improves his rankings, let the coaches at the appropriate schools know. They have a lot on their plates with recruiting, and, while you don't want to be a pest, it doesn't hurt to keep them up to date on your child.

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