High school male student athletes are put under pressure by recruiters sometimes from a very young age. Students feel pressured to commit to a school early by recruiters who come in contact with them and attend their games on a regular basis sometimes even before they reach high school.
The pressures of the recruiting process can hurt a student athletes ability to be successful in school and choose the right school for them which is a decision that can shape the rest of their life.
Background: Early recruiting has taken a sharp rise in the past few years with a large percentage of student athletes getting contacted by schools (81% of lacrosse players and 63% of basketball players) and getting offered by colleges (38% of basketball players) before they even reach their junior year of high school. In some cases the student athletes are not even in high school before they get contacted or offered by certain schools.
This rise in early recruiting can be attributed to the new hyper competitive culture that has been developed around youth sports. College sports have become increasingly more popular, which results in making it more difficult for student athletes to get a scholarship offer. Also, the digital world has made it easier for student athletes to gain popularity and exposure which leads to more and more young players being sought after by athletic programs who watch these videos and want these players. Some universities actually use interns to look over social media to find athletes that they can recruit. College coaches are under pressure to have a highly competitive team, so they will try and scoop up talented young athletes as soon as they can, so they will contact these kids at an early age and eventually they will offer them.