College Prep for Middle School Student-Athletes

Chad Dorman
3 min readDec 12, 2021


We’ve had a few parents reach out and ask about college prep for middle school-aged student-athletes and our initial advice is — at face value — simple: she or he has to continue to do their best academically and athletically.

From there, college prep and recruiting will stem from their grades, their connections (via camps, showcases, etc), and — of course — their health (no ACL tears!).

With both academics and athletics for a middle schooler in looking ahead to college (which is a great thing to do — starting early minimizes stress and allows for total understanding) we want our students to:

Develop passions >> what do you like to study? What clubs are you in outside of sports? What extracurriculars do you participate in? Do you/will you have a part-time or summer job? Starting these early will help to build a resume (perfect for the Common Application), will have the student thinking critically about what his or her future may hold (career, etc), and will give the student conversation starters when eventually chatting with coaches and admissions officers.

Progress academically >> as the student goes through high school, colleges will want to see that challenging classes and courses were taken — not those that are too hard, of course, but those that really push a student to be their best! By figuring out what subjects he or she is best at, you’ll have an idea of which ones the student can potentially line up to eventually take as Honors or AP. On the flip side, if he or she has any weak subjects, the student can use these days leading into high school to ask questions, get extra help and try to fortify his or her studies in that spot that may need it most.

Build relationships with coaches >> in any sport, student-athletes should do their best to communicate with coaches at a high level. Ask questions, learn the best practices for a skill, be coachable — a student-athlete will be able to improve as an athlete and will always have these individuals to lean on down the road for recommendations. This counts with coaches for in-season teams as well as those at camps.

Attend camps, clinics, and combines this summer and in subsequent years >> in these early years, the events will be for improving his or her game, learning, and building relationships. When the student gets to summer of freshman or sophomore year, that’s when you can begin to get involved in camps that are specific to a school or set of schools. Of course, by starting early, the student will know what to expect and will be more comfortable in the future camps!

Create your ‘database’ >> begin to track personal records, keep note of athletic achievements, and begin collecting highlight video and reels. Students can also begin to review college websites and athletic programs (for example, if there’s a game on Saturday and the student shows interest in the team…have them Google the tea school and program to learn more about them. Again…it sets the stage for future understanding). In freshman year of high school, a student could then fill out and register for the NCAA’s Eligibility Center which will verify (and maintain) the academic and amateur status of the student-athlete.

Questions on starting your college or athletic recruiting journey? Contact us today!

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Chad Dorman

Founder & Director of Leonard Andrew Consulting, Leaders in College Advisement, Athletic Recruitment, & Tutoring Services. Educator. Advisor. Entrepreneur.