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Does your high schooler dream of playing sports in college?

How to get recruited as a student-athlete
Posted at 1:31 PM, Jul 13, 2023

The MA Academy, founded by Columbia and Cambridge Alumnus in Shanghai, China, has been helping both international and local students since 2008 and has grown quickly into one of the best after-school education institutes in China.

Sean Ma, President of Shanghai Leighton School and founder of MA Academy, joined us with some tips on how to get recruited as a student-athlete.

His first recommendation - start early! Ma says students should ideally start the recruiting process by their freshman year of high school. He says, "This allows them to build relationships with coaches, improve their skills, and become more visible to college programs."

Ma also told us some ways student athletes can get noticed by college coaches:

· highlight videos,
· participating in showcases, camps, and tournaments,
· joining reputable club or travel teams,
· performing at a high level in games.
· creating a personal website or online profile.
· and seeking recommendations from coaches or mentors

We asked Ma what coaches look for in recruits. He told us, "College coaches look for a combination of athletic ability, academic achievement, character traits such as work ethic, leadership and coachability."

In addition, coaches assess how recruits fit into their programs, and what they can bring to the team.

Ma also said there are some common mistakes student-athletes make during the recruiting process. Those mistakes include not being proactive enough in reaching out to coaches, not taking academics seriously enough, and limiting their options by only considering a small number of college programs.

According to Ma, a lot of parents thing as long as their kids are doing great in sports, they will be recruited automatically, which isn't necessarily true. Ma says they still need to take initiatives to get noticed.

Ma says student-athletes also need to be professional and respectful in their communications with college coaches, and be prepared to provide information about their academic and athletic achievements.

"They should ask thoughtful questions, express their interest in the programs, and be mindful of coaches' times and priorities," Ma continues.

Ma Academy can help student-athletes, you can learn more at