As we all know recruiting is happening earlier then ever before. As a recruiting advisor I receive phone calls every week from parents panicking over the possibility that their daughter is only a first year Level 10 freshman and wondering if its too late.
Parents are hearing that many of the top 20 Division 1 schools are done with 2016 and working on 2017 recruits. Assuming these schools only want Level 10 gymnast with 10.0 start value and able to compete these skills under pressure consistently brings about a natural question. Have we missed the opportunity for a scholarship?
I spoke with a Division 1 head coach from a top 12 program this past weekend. She is very concerned about the direction of recruiting. She does not want to see Level 10 gymnast get discouraged who are coming up through the JO programs at a normal pace. She does not want them to give up or let go of their dream of receiving a scholarship.
Yes, the reality is that top programs are looking outside of our country for recruits. The elites who drop back to Level 10 do swallow up many of the scholarships first, however that still leaves all the other Division 1 teams and many unpredictable situations that pop up every year.
Some of the openings for scholarships occur later in high school years due to many different scenarios. While these are rare they do happen. Here are just a few:
~Club gymnast and coaches change their minds on their verbal commitments ~Scholarships are renewed yearly and sometimes coaches do not renew athletes ~Current college gymnast unfortunately have career ending injuries Not all Division 1 programs recruit earlier then junior year of high school ~Division 2 and 3 typically wait till athletes are seniors to recruit ~Ivy league schools have to wait till senior year of high school to commit because of ~Current college gymnast realize their freshman year that they are not at the right fit for various reasons: not making line up or academic major not available ~Many Division 1 coaches look for the “late bloomer” who has the skills and passion for the sport. They are often healthy and not “burned out”
My encouragement to all gymnast and parents is to stay calm and try to enjoy the process. There are many opportunities available. It may look a little different then you expect. The timing may be a little later then you thought, but it will come together.