Want to Get Recruited to Your Dream School? (Here's the Formula for Going Power 5)

You need to be in the top 0.01% to play at a Power 5 school. Luckily, there's a tried and true formula.

I remember being 12 years old and dreaming of playing basketball for Coach Dixon at the University of Pittsburgh.

The Peterson Events Center was packed to the brim, I was hitting threes left and right. What a feeling!

I'm sure you've gone through this same routine in your head. Maybe you're playing for Alabama football, Oklahoma softball, or Stanford soccer.

The point I'm getting to is that this will just remain a dream for most of us. Only a few hundred kids each year will have the opportunity to play college sports at the highest level.

We're talking about the 1% of the 1%.

A Motivational Reality Check

Before I get in to how you can optimize your chances of playing at the highest level collegiately, I'm going to put you through a gut check.

You're probably not good enough. Your parents gave you shitty genetics. You're too short, slow, and un-athletic.

And at the time of reading this, you're probably too old because the elite colleges usually know who the top players are going to be by their freshman year of high school.

The chances of you getting recruited to that dream school are as likely as you winning the lottery.

So what makes you think you're good enough?

I Tried and Failed (sort of)

My senior year of high school I averaged 21 points/game, took my team to the 6A state championship, had 5 dunks that year, and even played a solid game against a future top 20 NBA draft pick.

But not one Power 5 school even gave me a look. I really wanted to play for Pitt and did everything I could to maximize that chance.

From reaching out, to going to their camps, talking with their coaches, sending them updates when I got other offers, and even debating a year of prep school to give me one last shot at making it a reality.

But guess what, it wasn't meant to be and that's alright.

I went to bed at night knowing I did everything I could to try and make playing at Pitt a reality.

I shot for the stars and landed on the moon, which was Boston University in my case.

And in the end, it turned out to be the MUCH better spot for me.

In my four years at Boston University, we went to the NCAA tourney one time and Pitt went zero times.

Getting To Your Dream School

Where there's a will there's a way.

Just because I fell short of playing for my dream school doesn't mean you will. And even if you do, you'll still probably end up at a high-level spot.

These are going to be the main barriers in your way:

  • height

  • athleticism

  • strength

For me, it was athleticism. My quick twitch and speed was just a little bit too slow for Power 5 schools. Everything else was Power 5 level - height, strength, mindset, skill.

If I could go back I would put more time into developing my speed and lateral quickness.

We all know those kids who aren't that talented, but have huge offers because they are physical freaks. Genetics plays a huge piece to this puzzle.

Optimizing Your Workouts

If you want to have any chance, you need to evaluate your game objectively and find the weaknesses.

Skillset and mindset should never be an issue if you're truly dedicated. Daily practice and repetition will get you to where you need to be in those areas.

With those taken care of it, it all comes down to your body and athletic ability. 

If your genetics suck - I'm sorry. Being short makes this a lot harder, but not impossible.

You need to hit the weight room like a maniac and develop your all around athleticism.

The core athleticism traits:

  • speed

  • agility

  • acceleration

  • quick twitch

  • change of direction

  • broad jump

  • vertical leap

The nice thing is all of them go hand-in-hand. When you're training for one, you are secondarily training the others.

My Realization

In 10th grade, I realized that being able to dunk greatly increases your chances of getting recruited for basketball.

So I made it a mission that by 11th grade I would have an in-game dunk. 

I bought a vertical jump program after seeing it on YouTube and followed it religiously. My vertical jump went from 24 inches to 31 inches in 6 months.

11th grade came and in our very first scrimmage I had a monster two-handed dunk. 

If you’re wondering, this is the same program I used 6 years ago 👇

Vert Shock Vertical Jump Program

Create a Plan

The point I'm trying to make is that with some daily discipline and dedication, you can even improve your athletic ability. 

Most people just accept that they are slow or can't jump high, and do nothing about it. 

Identify the weakness, do some research, find a program, tidy up your nutrition, and commit to it for 15 minutes everyday. 

Being an elite athlete, along with a high-end skillset and motor - is the only way you'll get to a Power 5 school. 

The Recruiting Side of Reaching Your Dream School

Ok, so now you have the skill, mindset, and athletic ability needed to play at the highest level. 

But, what about recruiting?

Mac McClung was from a small town in Virginia, but once his in-game dunks went viral every school in the country offered him a scholarship. 

This leads me to my point about social media. 

If you're not using it to post clips and promote your ability then you're doing yourself a great disservice. 

Swiping Right on Your Dream School

Our team at AIR has designed the app to allow athletes the chance to be seen by all of their dream schools. 

If playing at the University of Texas is your dream, you should at least have the chance to show you're interested in them.

Swipe right on them or use the "Dream School" feature to show just how interested you are in them. 

But keep in mind, the market is the market. That's how we designed the app. 

I wasn't good enough for Pitt, but Boston University swooped in and it worked out even better. 

The same applies for you and your recruiting process. AIR is putting the power back in the hands of recruits and their families.

Where to Go From Here

There's a lot to unpack from this article. 

Here's are the main things you should walk away with:

  1. Playing at a Power 5 "dream school" is extremely difficult

  2. Three things will hold you back: height, athleticism, and strength

  3. Skillset and Mindset should never be the issue

  4. There are ways to improve your athleticism 

  5. There are ways to boost your recruiting


I’ll leave you with this….