Is playing for your high school team enough? It's a complicated question. Yes, playing a club sport takes up time as a high schooler but it could be the golden ticket to getting you recruited.
Club sports are a great way for exposure. College coaches are seeking out tournaments, they build relationships with the club coaches, and you can be seen by a lot of different schools in a short amount of time.
There are a lot of benefits that come with playing on a club team. The level of play is typically higher. Since the team is sought after and they hold try-outs the athletes playing take it very seriously. This is a great opportunity to get better at your sport. Surround yourself with athletes that will push you to get stronger in your sport.
It gives you more time to play during the year. Club sports are year round which means you have more practices, skill sessions, and games. This is what will make you a more skilled athlete and get you to that higher level.
With that being said, high school sports are still important. They still help the recruiting process. They show a coach your dedication to your school, and that you can balance the student-athlete life.
It isn't impossible to get recruited from only competing on your high school team. There are many reasons why club sports may not be available for athletes. These teams can be expensive and so is the travel. Some areas don't have any club teams close enough, and that is okay. You can still get exposure.
If club sports aren't in the cards the biggest advantage you can make is to have a high-level highlight tape. If you make a tape that coaches are impressed by, they will want to talk to you on the phone, and come see you play. That is still a way to get the conversation rolling. Just because you are not on a club team doesn't mean they won't take you.
You can show your leadership skills and determination playing on your high school team. If you are a captain or someone other students look up too, that is appealing to coaches. Remember, you are trying to join a team and they want to see that you will be a good teammate. Being dedicated to your high school shows that commitment to your teammates and your school matters to you.
In 2019, NCAA surveyed thousands of athletes and asked if they competed on high school teams or club teams. The results vary depending on sports but most favored competing on both.
Here are the percentages of women who competed in both club and high school for their sport:
92 percent of Basketball
79 percent of Field Hockey
10 percent of Gymnast
81 percent of Lacrosse
88 percent of Soccer
91 percent of Volleyball
Here are the percentages of men who competed in both club and high school for their sport:
82 percent of Baseball
91 percent of Basketball
25 percent of Football
82 percent of Lacrosse
77 percent of Soccer
77 percent of Wrestling
Yes, club sports give you an advantage. Not only do the get you in front of more colleges coaches but they make you better at your sport, but you can make either work for you. As long as you work hard and coaches like the way you play, there is always a chance for you to get recruited.