The recruiting process can be daunting for any thrower who is looking to get a scholarship in the NCAA. You don't know what to expect, you don't know where to start, and it feels like your world is riding on your college commitment decision. You're right it is a big decision, but you don't have to worry about getting recruited and how much scholarship money you are doing IF you are doing everything in your control to impact the outcome.
There are steps you can take, no matter how far you throw, to optimize your exposure, present yourself as a good candidate to coaches, and reach your goals whether it is getting a big scholarship or walking onto a team. Especially if you are one of the best throwers in the nation or your state, you'll want to take advantage of every one of these steps to get the scholarship you deserve.
1. Start a Social Media Account
Whether it is Instagram, Twitter, Tiktok, or Facebook, starting a social media account is the best way to get exposure for yourself and let coaches know who you are immediately. By being active on your accounts, coaches will be able to see firsthand what type of thrower you are, how much potential you have, and your work ethic before they even reach out to you. When they do reach out, the stress of making a good first impression won't matter because they've already seen what you're capable of.
What to post on social:
Anything throwing or training related
What NOT to post on social:
2. Train Consistently
So many throwers out there say they want to get a scholarship to throw or compete at a Division 1 Power Five school..... and yet THEY DON'T TRAIN CONSISTENTLY! How do you expect to compete with the best of the best when you aren't training at least 4 days a week? By training 5-6 days a week, you will not only throw further, but you can consistently post your training on social media. Coaches will not only want to recruit you because you are throwing far, but they will see your consistent work ethic and want to recruit you to be a positive influence on their team, even if you don't throw as far comparatively.
Set goals for yourself to hold yourself accountable. You can even post your goals on social media! Some examples are:
Throw 5 days a week
Lift 4 days a week
Bench X weight
Squat X weight
Clean X weight
Throw X distance
3. Network through Coaches
Know people who know collegiate throws coaches. If you have contacts that know collegiate throws coaches, it will be so much easier to have your name positively recommended to coaches. For example, throwers that have trained with us at Throws University have gotten recruited really well and many have received full-ride scholarships because we could recommend them to the appropriate throws coach.
The catch is that you have to prove to the coaches that you train with, whether it is your high school coach or a private coach, that you are deserving of a good recommendation. You need to train hard, not skip practice sessions, be respectful, and be coachable.
4. Be Interested in the Sport
If you want to compete at the collegiate level, you need to be interested in throwing as a sport and knowledgeable about professional throwers and training methods. Every football player knows the names of all the best NFL players at their position, and they all know their playbooks by heart. Imagine trying to get recruited by Penn State Football and not knowing who Saquon Barkley is! Learn who the best throwers in the world are right now and watch their throws with a critical eye. Learn the technique of the throw through and through, and understand why certain lifts and certain drills will help your throw.
The one catch is that you can't be a know it all going into college. Have an open mind about other training methods and realize that you can throw far under different systems. Just because you are successful training a certain way right now in high school doesn't mean you can't keep improving with a different style of training. If you can be as knowledgeable as possible in the throws and be open-minded, coaches recruiting you will be confident that you can jump right into their training system and start improving as soon as you get on campus.
5. Throw Far
Here's the deal, getting recruited is mostly based on how far you throw, and often how far you threw your Junior year in high school. You need to be honest with yourself. If you are throwing 30 feet in shot put during your senior year, don't expect to get a scholarship. But that doesn't mean you can't improve, get noticed by coaches, walk onto a team, and have an incredibly successful collegiate career.
We layout more specific numbers in our book The Ultimate Throwers Assessment, but if you throw the following distances by your junior year, you will be able to get a good scholarship to throw.
Women's Shot Put: >43ft
Women's Disc: >145ft
Men's Shot Put: >60ft
Men's Discus: >180ft
You can absolutely get a scholarship if you are not throwing these distances, but if you hit these numbers you will very likely find a school that will offer you a scholarship.
Getting a scholarship is difficult. The maximum number of full scholarships a school can give in track and field is 18 for women and 12.5 for men, and that is split between all of the events, not just throwers. Coaches want to be confident that you will be able to come onto their team and score points at their conference meets and make the national championships. If you believe you can compete at that level for the college you are interested in, and you are following all of the steps we laid out, you will be able to reach your college recruitment goals and set yourself up for a massive college career.
"Our aim is to provide concise and concrete education and training on the throws, helping coaches and athletes learn what they need to do to succeed and become champions."
- Dane and Trevor