Athletic Scholarship PodcastThe weekly Recruit-Me Blog is now the weekly Recruit-Me Podcast…

The Athletic Scholarship Podcast: 15 Minutes That Will Change Your Scholarship Future.

I’ve been blogging for a few years.  Now I’ve decided to zero in on the stream of communication that is my most effective and where I can teach you the best stuff.

If you’ve got 15 minutes on the road, on the run (literally) or sitting in traffic, I’ve got fresh content for you every Tuesday.

Head on over there now for the latest episode.

BaseballIf our family hadn’t taken action over 15 years ago, who knows where our twin sons would have ended up in college?  It would have been unlikely that they would have received athletic scholarships.

Our recruiting experience changed our family.  And it really changed the lives of our sons.   They received fully paid educations because we, as a family, took the initiative to get our sons recruited.  Sure, we couldn’t guarantee how coaches would respond, but at least our sons’ abilities were seen by coaches.

Why don’t so many talented athletes ever get recruited?  It’s really quite simple.

If you’re a parent of a talented athlete, I’m sure you want the best opportunity for your son or daughter.  Helping them take the initiative is one of the best things you can do for them.  Come alongside them and work on this as a team.  And a word for athletes… Continue reading

Baseball

When we were parents on the scholarship trail for our twin sons, we didn’t have the resources that are available today.

For instance, college websites weren’t as complete as they are now.  I don’t think Facebook existed.  We really had to dig.  We needed personal conversations with coaches and administrative staff to really get a picture of that school.  Today, you’ve got just about everything at your fingertips. Continue reading

KhadadiOnce you have a coach’s interest, how do you keep it?

One of the mistakes that families make in the recruiting process is thinking that if their student-athlete is on a coach’s radar, he or she will always be.  It’s just the opposite. Unless your kid is a superstar, coaches will lose interest unless you keep them interested.  You see, they think you’ve lost interest if you don’t maintain contact. Continue reading

Baseball basketball volleyball football

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I remember the phone call with a parent who really understands the recruiting process, but the athletes on her son’s team don’t.  She told me that these athletes think that college coaches will just show up and start recruiting them.  That’s the furthest from the truth.

She told me she is the team mom, so she printed out some materials I sent her and handed them to the athletes.  At first, the kids thought she was totally wrong.  However, after reading the materials and going online to do more research, they realized she was absolutely right.

How about you?  If you’re a parent, do you think your talented son or daughter will get discovered?  It just doesn’t happen that way.  I like to see it the other way.  You need to discover the coaches and programs!  Taking the first step in a recruiting relationship is what leads to most scholarships. Continue reading

Student-athleteI’ve had many athletes  come to me and ask how to get on a coach’s radar.  My first response is always that “you have to make the first move.”  Specifically, it’s important that you make a good first impression, and that comes off the field.

You have to write a good introductory email or letter in order to get a coach’s interest.  Here are five pointers:

1. Make it your email. This email (or letter) must come from the athlete, because that’s who the coaches will want to build a relationship with.  We encourage parents to help craft the letter, but make sure it’s from the athlete.

2. Make it brief. The key to an effective letter or email can be summed up in one word: BRIEF.  The goal is not to share your life story or all your great athletic achievements.  That will come later, but a long introductory letter will turn off the coach quickly.  He’s only going to read the first page anyway. Therefore… Continue reading

College campusThe words of this college coach still ring in my ears.

“Visiting schools speaks loudly to college coaches.”

I probed further with this experienced D1 coach and he went on to tell me why.  And I thought that as fall approaches, this would be good for you to know.

We’re not talking about official visits.  You get five of those, paid for by the program.  Obviously, if your family has a genuine interest in the program, your athlete should make the official visit.  But remember the five-visit limit.  Five official visits.

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But you can make as many unofficial visits as you want.  And you should do that generously, especially with schools in your state or region– where there is a sincere interest.

Let’s look at the difference between an official and unofficial visit.  The NCAA states: Continue reading

QuestionWhen it comes to evaluating their son or daughter, parents usually make one of two mistakes:

  1.  They overrate them, or
  2.  They underrate them

Let’s be honest about it.  There’s usually no way we can be objective in evaluating our kid’s athletic ability. 

If that’s the case, how can we know whether they can get a scholarship?  Or, if they can, at what level?  What’s realistic?

I know I faced each of those questions with my twin sons.  I so much wanted them to make it in college as athletes.  I believed they could get scholarships.  I’m not sure how strongly they believed it.  I led the charge and they followed … and got that fully paid education while competing in the sport they loved.

Now it’s your turn to make that call.  How far can your athlete go?  Is he or she athletic scholarship material?  Continue reading

TrackI had a great conversation one night with a man who has dedicated his life to helping student-athletes land at the right school… with the right scholarship.  We agreed on a number of points:

1.  Unless you’re a Blue Chip athlete, you will likely not be “found” by college coaches.  You need to take your scholarship efforts into your own hands as a family and get out there to be seen by college coaches.  Not only that, but you must do the right things.  A shotgun approach to this will not work.  You’ll be disappointed.  You need to have a game plan, just like you do when you’re competing as an athlete. Continue reading

NCAADon’t get caught without knowing the rules.

Whether you’re getting started on the recruiting scene or you’ve been at it for awhile, there are more rules than you can to keep track of.  Fortunately, the burden is on the coaches to abide by the rules.

However, it’s especially good to be familiar with the recruiting calendar, because it will affect your expectations.

“Why aren’t any coaches calling my kid?”  “When are we allowed to visit campuses?”

These are just a couple questions parents and athletes ask at one time or other.

The NCAA has a great resource page that answers the most-asked questions, especially about recruiting calendars.  And that’s the topic of this week’s post.

Recruiting Calendars

NCAA member schools have adopted rules to create an equitable recruiting environment that promotes student-athlete well-being. The rules define who may be involved in the recruiting process, when recruiting may occur and the conditions under which recruiting may be conducted.

Recruiting rules seek, as much as possible, to control intrusions into the lives of student-athletes.

The NCAA defines recruiting as “any solicitation of prospective student-athletes or their parents by an institutional staff member or by a representative of the institution’s athletics interests for the purpose of securing a prospective student-athlete’s enrollment and ultimate participation in the institution’s intercollegiate athletics program.”

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a contact?

A contact occurs any time a college coach says more than hello during a face-to-face contact with a college-bound student-athlete or his or her parents off the college’s campus.

What is a contact period?

During a contact period a college coach may have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents, watch student-athletes compete and visit their high schools, and write or telephone student-athletes or their parents.

What is an evaluation period?

During an evaluation period a college coach may watch college-bound student-athletes compete, visit their high schools, and write or telephone student-athletes or their parents. However, a college coach may not have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents off the college’s campus during an evaluation period.

What is a quiet period?

During a quiet period, a college coach may only have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents on the college’s campus.  A coach may not watch student-athletes compete (unless a competition occurs on the college’s campus) or visit their high schools. Coaches may write or telephone college-bound student-athletes or their parents during this time.

What is a dead period?

During a dead period a college coach may not have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents, and may not watch student-athletes compete or visit their high schools. Coaches may write and telephone student-athletes or their parents during a dead period.

What is the difference between an official visit and an unofficial visit?

Any visit to a college campus by a college-bound student-athlete or his or her parents paid for by the college is an official visit. Visits paid for by college-bound student-athletes or their parents are unofficial visits.

During an official visit the college can pay for transportation to and from the college for the prospect, lodging and three meals per day for both the prospect and the parent or guardian, as well as reasonable entertainment expenses including three tickets to a home sports event.

The only expenses a college-bound student-athlete may receive from a college during an unofficial visit are three tickets to a home sports event.

What is a National Letter of Intent?

A National Letter of Intent is signed by a college-bound student-athlete when the student-athlete agrees to attend a Division I or II college or university for one academic year. Participating institutions agree to provide financial aid for one academic year to the student-athlete as long as the student-athlete is admitted to the school and is eligible for financial aid under NCAA rules. Other forms of financial aid do not guarantee the student-athlete financial aid.

The National Letter of Intent is voluntary and not required for a student-athlete to receive financial aid or participate in sports.

Signing an National Letter of Intent ends the recruiting process since participating schools are prohibited from recruiting student-athletes who have already signed letters with other participating schools.

A student-athlete who has signed a National Letter of Intent may request a release from his or her contract with the school. If a student-athlete signs a National Letter of Intent with one school but attends a different school, he or she will lose one full year of eligibility and must complete a full academic year at their new school before being eligible to compete.

What are recruiting calendars?

Recruiting calendars help promote the well-being prospective student-athletes and coaches and ensure competitive equity by defining certain time periods in which recruiting may or may not occur in a particular sport.

Continue reading