Am I or Am I Not Being Recruited?
Getting attention from college coaches is the dream of any young student-athlete who has a genuine desire to participate in college athletics. Yet, many prospects and parents often think colleges are recruiting them when they’re really not. How can you determine if you are actually being recruited?
You Are Not Being Recruited
a.) If you have received information about a college from that institution’s admissions office, you are not being recruited to play athletics. You are being enticed through a highly effective direct marketing program to consider attending that college your freshman year. Colleges purchase mailing lists of prospective students who may fit their specific entrance requirements from several sources, but most likely they got your name and address from the companies that administered the standardized test you took during your sophomore, junior or senior year in high school.
b.) If you have received a letter from a college coach asking for information about you in the form of an introductory letter and questionnaire, you are not being recruited. The good news, however, is that you are in the first stage of the evaluation process. Getting on the radar screen is the initial and most crucial stage of the process.
c.) If a college coach sees you at a tournament, a travel or club team event or meet, you are not being recruited. While it is rare for college coaches to discover talent at these events (they usually enter the gates with a list of players they have already evaluated on paper and on tape), keep your fingers crossed that they see you make play great.
d.) If you receive a letter from a coach saying that he or she will keep up with you during your senior year, you are not being recruited. Coaches have a long list of prospects and they will keep all their options open until they decide on the top few athletes they will select to invite to their campus for official visits.
e.) If a college coach calls your high school or travel team coach to ask for information, you are not being recruited. Again, the good news is that if a coach has gotten to the stage of calling others about your abilities, you are at the very least on their list of players to seriously consider.
You Know You’re In Recruiting Trouble When…
a.) You have only a few questionnaires (or none at all) from college coaches and they are not the ones you have in mind. There are nearly 1,000 colleges carrying most sports across the nation. How many know about you?
b.) You believe it when somebody tells you that if you are good enough college coaches will find you. That old saying no longer applies in most cases. With competition fierce for scholarships and roster spots, if your profile and videotape are not made available to a wide range of coaches, there is a good chance you will not be evaluated.
c.) You do not have good statistics and videotape to give college coaches upon their request. Most coaches make their first evaluation of prospects based on the substantiated numbers they have posted. If you pass muster there, coaches will want to evaluate you on videotape before spending money to come and watch you in person.
d.) Every year U.S. colleges award more than $1 billion to nearly 150,000 student-athletes. Over 1/3 of all NCAA athletes are on athletic scholarships. Every year talented student-athletes who desire to play collegiate sports do not get the opportunity to get noticed and miss an experience of a life time.
Most parents/guardians of student-athletes are unaware how much effort, time, and planning is involved in the recruiting process. There’s a lot of information on athletic scholarships out there. The problem is that there is too much information and most people just get overwhelmed with the process.
Where do parents turn to for help?
You email or call their high school coach and ask for assistance. Besides contacting a limited number of college coaches he or she knows, they are not responsible to organize a scholarship search for you.
You are thinking about using a recruiting service but who will be your contact person? Why trust someone who you just met to help your daughter make one of the most important decisions of her life? Will the consultant make my daughter a priority or is she just another number? Their sites want you to sign up for free, let you use a few of their online tools with limitations, and you see the message on your computer screen, “You must upgrade to use this feature.” So you move on to another website and another and so on.
Some companies boast that they help recruits in 29 different sports and over 25,000 athletes sign up every year or even a month. I don’t consider that a positive. As a parent, you need to have the confidence that whoever is working with you and your daughter is invested in your child’s future. I have invested my entire professional life to helping young people whether in the classroom or basketball court.
Each year thousands of student-athletes and parents market themselves to college coaches. Some are successful, some are not. For 99% of the student/athletes, their plans are pretty similar. I always tell my students and players to not mistake activity for achievement. Spending hours and hours preparing materials to send to coaches is a waste of time unless you get your information into the hands of coaches with the right programs and the right schools. You want to make sure you are targeting the right academic schools in the right athletic talent division.