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When Do College Coaches Evaluate Athletes?

By Next College Student Athlete, 06/27/19, 12:00PM CDT


How do you go about getting evaluated by college coaches? As you decide which camps and tournaments you want to attend this summer, make sure you have a game plan for your upcoming events. Here are some tips for getting college coaches to evaluate you.

The college coach evaluation process can be confusing for athletes and their families. How do coaches discover recruits? And when do they evaluate them and decide to invite them to campus for an official visit? As you decide which camps and tournaments you want to attend this summer, make sure you have a clear understanding of the recruiting process, as well as a game plan for your upcoming events. Here are some tips for getting college coaches to evaluate you.

Check out the NCAA recruiting calendar

When and where college coaches are allowed to evaluate prospects is regulated by the NCAA. The dates for contact periods, quiet periods, evaluation periods and dead periods are laid in the 2019–2020 recruiting calendar for Division 1 and Division 2. The rules can get tricky—we get it. Check out this helpful NCSA article about when coaches can contact high school athletes. 

Evaluations are made at large events

While high school teams still play a critical role in the recruiting process, the growth of club and travel teams for many sports has created opportunities for college coaches to watch hundreds of prospects at a single location over the course of a weekend. Since club teams compete in the offseason, coaches are able to attend from across the country.

Coaches discover first—evaluate second

Don’t assume you’ll get discovered by college coaches at recruiting events. Some of these events draw hundreds or even thousands of athletes. To make the most of their time and budget, coaches watch highlight videos and assemble a list of prioritized recruits before they attend events and make in-person evaluations. To make sure you’re on their radar, find out which coaches have registered for your event and reach out in advance. Share your highlight video and your schedule to help them find you at the event.

Is an event right for you?

Looking for the right recruiting opportunity? Here are few simple rules to keep in mind when deciding between camps and tournaments.

Bigger events are (usually) better

The larger the collection of athletes, the more talent for college coaches to evaluate. And thanks to Coach Packet by NCSA, our new event recruiting app, it’s easier than ever for college coaches to identify athletes and take notes from the stands. However, keep in mind it’s easier to get lost in the shuffle at a huge event with thousands of athletes in attendance. DII, DIII and NAIA college camps typically draw fewer athletes than DI camps and tend to be more affordable. 

Coaches from every division often volunteer at major DI events

It can benefit your recruiting process to attend camps based on the coaches in attendance. It is common for Division II, Division III and NAIA coaches to volunteer at major Division I camps. If you are interested in a specific program, these large camps can be an opportunity to get in front of the coach.


NCSA is the world's largest and most successful collegiate athletic recruiting network. A wholly owned subsidiary of Reigning Champs LLC, NCSA's 700 teammates leverage exclusive data, proprietary matching algorithms and personal relationships built over nearly two decades as the industry leader to connect tens of thousands of college-bound student-athletes to more than 35,000 college coaches nationwide across 34 sports every year.

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