Here’s how to get recruited for college cross country. If you want to run cross-country in college, there are a few important steps that you must take to get noticed by college coaches, get recruited, and get invited to run for their program.
Running in college is so rewarding.
Not only do you get to go to the next level, but you get to work on your degree and getting a college education.
You get to travel the country, run in the neatest places and against the best NCAA competition.
You get to push and test yourself against elements & terrains that you normally wouldn’t in your home town.
How To Get Recruited For College Cross Country
Secret #1: You have to be a “student” athlete before you can be a cross country athlete. This is where it all begins.
I love learning, but for some reason, I didn’t like always having someone talk about grades when it came to being recruited in high school.
BUT you can not have one without the other.
If you want to get recruited this is the first thing that college start to look at.
Do you have the grades & the test scores (SAT/ACT)? The better student you are, the more valuable you are to a program. Value = highly recruited
Secret #2: You have to initiate the conversation. What ever you do, you can not sit back and wait for schools to contact you.
I don’t care how good you are or how great the times are that you have run.
You have to initiate the conversation with every school that you would love to attend.
If you don’t, do not expect to be recruited, and expect to have to settle for what’s out there (that may be great, but… why risk it when you can have a choice?).
This is not an “I told you so moment” that I would like to have in the future… please contact every program that you’d be interested in attending (& where you fit in).
Secret #3: Letters (with professional player profiles) are a great way to start the conversation. Sending letters is a great way (the best) to initiate conversation with most college programs.
You are just trying to communicate with them that you are interested in their program, a little bit about yourself what you do, where you are from and why you are interested in their program.
This step is mission critical in sports like Cross-Country because they usually have such a small “recruiting budget” and resources.
Secret #4: FAFSA is vital for more financial aid. Most athletic scholarships are partials. But schools put together “financial aid packages” that include other types of money that the school can offer you.
Many times these packages add up to being a “full ride” any how. All of this starts with filling out the “Free Application for Federal Student Aid”.
Secret #5: Play with and compete against “high-competition”… look to run on travel, all-star, & select teams. If you can find a track club or something of the like, where you get to compete against high level competition, this is a great way to increase your value to a school, and show them that you can get the job done.
This isn’t a necessity because with running, times tell the story just fine.
But it does lend to making you a better more experienced runner and thus increases your value as a runner.
Secret #6: Add another event to your repertoire. Obviously, I don’t want to take away from your specialty and focus of cross-country… but I am a realist.
If you want to run in college, and even get money to do so (scholarship) you have to be valuable.
Men’s track & field in college get 12.6 scholarships to put together a whole team. Women get 18.
If you only run high school cross country, it doesn’t add to your value.
Yes, they will still want you to run for them, but maybe as a walk-on or with a very small partial scholarship.
If you can show them that you can run a few other events like maybe the: 3000m, 5000m, 10,000m… Or if you have more speed you can add in 1500m, then you can increase your chances of being recruited & getting a NCAA scholarship.
If you like some adventure you can run the 3000m steeplechase.
Adding one or two of these events (instead of just being a cross-country specialist) will increase your value you as a runner and to the team and the program. This will help you to get recruited to run cross country in college.
Learning how to get recruited for college cross country is one thing, actually taking the steps is another.
Reading this post puts you light-years ahead of most other athletes and their families, but will you take action?
I hope you do, because your college cross-country career depends on it.
Thank you so much for reading this post, rootin’ for ya always,