After the race with my good friend Wayne.

After the race with my good friend Wayne. I’m the one drenched in sweat on the left.

I ran a marathon on Saturday.  OK, it was only 5K, but for me it felt like a marathon.  The humidity was just short of stifling, the temperatures were in the 70s, and it was only 7 am.  On top of that, I was up until 1 am preparing for the launch of Athletic Scholarship University.

And on top of that … yes another “on top of that” statement, the course was a quarter-mile more than 5K!  I know because I had my running app on during the race.  Yeah, somebody had a sense of humor.

Despite all these things, I ran my best race in years!  Maybe it was because this was sea level and I live at 6,800 feet elevation.  I was mighty proud of my 8:55 miles, over 30 seconds ahead of my normal pace.  I was a gazelle.

Now let me draw a comparison to recruiting.  You’re running a marathon, not a 5K.  It can last years, and you need to be ready.  Here’s how you can train for your recruiting marathon.  And that’s how you need to look at it.

#1.  Mental preparation is key.  When I prepared for my 5K, I knew it was going to be warm and humid.  I knew the course was over 5K (I ran it last year).  So I was ready.  In the same way, you need to be mentally ready to run your recruiting course.  If you can anticipate as much as possible, then you’re ahead before you start.  Yes, there will be surprises, but prepare for things you know about in advance.

In recruiting, mentally prepare by going your homework on schools, programs and coaches.  Know in advance which schools are priorities for you.  Go online, make phone calls, place visits.  This is all part of the preparation you should do in order for the recruiting process to run as smooth as it can.  But do be ready for surprises. Continue reading

FlyingI’m in the air right now flying to a conference in Florida. I took an aisle seat, so I have to strain to see the view below. To make it even more difficult, I’m over the wing. In other words, this isn’t a seat with view.

I got to thinking about the importance of taking a view of recruiting from 30,000 feet. Are you feeling pressured, tired, distracted, even confused in your athletic scholarship hunt? It can happen when you’re in the battle. I remember those days.

You can’t see the end. It’s a struggle, things aren’t going perfectly and you never seem to be as far along as you’d like. If that’s you, then take a flight. Not a hike. A flight.

In this post, I’ll show you what I mean and how you can do three things that will absolutely get you back on the right path to that scholarship pursuit.  Here’s how…

Continue reading

EmailI want to give you three words that will get a college coach to open your introductory email.

I just completed a couple interviews with college coaches and one of the questions I asked them was, “How do you like to be contacted by a student-athlete?”

There was one thing in common from both coaches, who were on opposite ends of the country by the way.  They said they delete any emails that are not personal.  If it’s a group email or has no sign of custom touch, they’re gone.  Not only did these two coaches say that, they started getting a little excited when they told me.  I knew this was a big deal.

So, if you’ve sent emails with the subject line, “Recruiting” or something as bland as that, your email probably wasn’t read.  And, if your email starts with, “Dear Coach,” it probably got deleted, too. Continue reading

NCAAWhat’s the #1 question you wish you could ask to college coaches about recruiting?

Now’s the time to ask it and get a candid answer.

I’m about ready to start a series of college coach audio interviews and I’ll include your question in one of more of my interviews.   Once I have the audios produced I’ll make them available in my upcoming new podcast, in my blog, and more completely inside Athletic Scholarship University.

There’s no reason to walk in the dark when it comes to getting clear information from the people your son or daughter needs to have an impact on.  I hear from a number of parents who have some good questions.  I can give my answers, but there’s nothing like hearing from coaches themselves.  I think it will save you a lot of time and money as you go through the recruiting process.

So go ahead and write your question in the comments section below and I’ll bring it to the coaches.  Then I’ll let you know when I’ll be posting their answers. Continue reading

IcebergGetting recruited isn’t magic.  Coaches don’t just show up at your doorstep, or at your games, meets or matches.

However, most parents don’t realize this.  They don’t see what goes on behind the scenes to get the attention of college coaches.  That has to be frustrating.

Picture an iceberg.  What you see above the surface is minute compared to what’s below the surface.  That’s why a mighty cruise ship can be destroyed by running into an iceberg.  But you knew that.

In recruiting, there’s a lot that goes on below the surface to attract the attention of college coaches.  Let me run a few by you.

1.  Moving towards coaches.  Don’t wait for them to find your son or daughter.  Take an aggressive stand and get your athlete’s name out there.  Letters, emails, phone calls, camp appearances are all ways that y0u can get the coaches to take notice.  Continue reading

[NOTE:  The Athletic Scholarship Mini-Course is now open!  To learn the five steps to an athletic scholarship, I invite you to get started by registering for the free Mini-Course and watching the first video.  This course is a must for any family pursuing an athletic scholarship.  The course is designed for parents and is just three lessons.]

TrackSummer is going to end soon, and my question for you is this, “What are you going to do to be ahead of the competition this fall?”

I’m not talking about your son or daughter’s athletic competition, but I’m talking about competition for an athletic scholarship.  If you’ve seen the calendar turn to August and the urgency has hit you, that’s a good thing.

These are urgent times.  The recruiting world is highly competitive, and you need to be proactive as a team with your son or daughter.  If you’ve followed me at all, you know that I’m the guy who pushes you to get in the game.  Don’t wait for college coaches to contact your son or daughter.  It may never happen.

First, as I said up top, make sure you’re going through my free Athletic Scholarship Mini-Course I opened yesterday.  It’s a jump-start opportunity.  You go at your own speed and you can start today, right now, by registering and watching the first video lesson.  This is a 3-part Mini-Course and I teach each 20-30 minute lesson.  This is a slam dunk.  You and your student-athlete need to get registered for this online course.  Do it and you’ll be miles down the road in just one week. Continue reading

[NOTE:  Five Steps to an Athletic Scholarship, a Free Mini-Course from Recruit-Me, will be available in just a few days.  This is the only step-by-step course available today and will expand on some of the things in this blog post, as well as much more.  Check back in a few days and you’ll see how to get started with the first lesson.]

Signing Most people don’t understand the process that gets an athlete recruited.  The official signing is what most of us see or hear about, but we have no idea what went into getting the student-athlete in that position.

Is it a big mystery?  To most families, it is.  So let me lay out five factors that cause an athlete to get recruited:

1.  Talent.  There’s no substitute for this.  But don’t be fooled.  Your son or daughter doesn’t need to be the best in the league or on the team.  They key is that he or she has the talent to compete at the next level.  If that’s the case, there’s a good chance a scholarship is in their future.  It’s important to cast your net wide, because you don’t know which programs are looking for recruits at your son or daughter’s talent level.  Don’t get hung up on particular schools at the outset.  It will take time to see which ones are the best fit. Continue reading

TrackI won’t kid you.  The recruiting journey is not easy.   Let’s face it, your son or daughter is probably not in the top 100 in the nation in their sport.  Coaches are not going to flock to them.  The will have to work.

Such was the case with our twin boys.  They were not the best in the league, county or on their team.  They had to put out effort to be seen by college coaches.  Effort off the field in order to be seen on the field.

I remember spending a lot of time with them, helping them write letters, send information to coaches, put together a video, go to camps, travel for tournaments…  all those things.  And you know what?  It was worth it.  Even if they had not gotten a scholarship.  Yeah, we grew close through this experience. Continue reading

VolleyballYesterday, I was talking with a woman who recently completed her volleyball career at one of the top D2 schools in the nation.  She gave me some good insights that I wanted to pass along to you.  Her husband, also a star athlete, added to her advice.  The conversation lasted only a few minutes, but here’s what I learned:

1.  If you can’t compete at the D1 level, don’t.  She told me she was too short to play D1, so she didn’t try to get onto a team at that level.  Instead, she went with a program that was a good fit, and was a scholarship athlete on a championship team.  She had a great experience.  I’m sure she actually could have played D1 somewhere, but probably not in a quality program where she ended up.  Continue reading

2015 track“My biggest challenge is getting coaches’ attention.”  That’s a statement I heard over and over again from you when I put out the survey asking you about your biggest challenge.  Other ways you stated it…

“Getting coaches to look at me.”

“Getting coaches to notice me and be interested.”

If you’re a parent, this is the biggest challenge your son or daughter is likely facing.  In fact, I’d call it the biggest fear.

My heart goes out to you, because I know it’s a helpless feeling and I want you to be empowered.  There’s a saying that “knowledge is power,” and that’s why I’m committed to providing parents and their athletes the best knowledge to overcome the biggest challenges and succeed at getting a scholarship.

You will experience power that wipes out fear and uncertainty when you have the right knowledge.  In this post, let’s take a look at three solutions to this one big challenge. 

Continue reading

Mountain climbingA few weeks ago, I asked people on my email list, “What is your biggest recruiting challenge?”

I received a lot of great feedback that gave me insight into what you’re feeling and experiencing these days. I studied the responses and put them together into one document.  And I’m ready to take on the biggest challenges you expressed and provide solutions.

By the way, if you didn’t put in your response, go ahead and email me or weigh in below in the comments section.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to getting things going and addressing your challenges real soon.  Here’s how I’ll do it:

I’m in the process of recording a three-part mini-course on recruiting and athletic scholarships.  This will be free, by the way.  No tuition required.

It’s a series of three lessons on video.  I’ve completed the recording and I’m laboring to finish the editing so I can release it in a couple weeks.  Man, it’s hard work and has taken more time than I thought it would.  I do know, however, that if I can do this myself, you can shoot and produce your son or daughter’s video yourselves.  It’s achievable! Continue reading

NCAA ConferencesI can’t tell you how important it is for you to really make the most of the summer recruiting season.  This is so key, because every sport is out of season on the college level.  The coaches have time to recruit and they’re doing it.

Don’t miss out.  My heart is to see every talented high school athlete get an athletic scholarship at the school and program that is the best fit for them. 

Parents, will you set aside an hour or two and begin the process with your son or daughter?  If you’ve already begun, great!  What more can you do this summer to take advantage of the opportunity to put your son or daughter in front of college coaches?

Some suggestions: Continue reading

View
As I sit here on my back patio and watch the beauty of multiple colors, ominous clouds and majestic mountains, I’m thinking out loud.  Scenes like this make it easy to think.

I’m wondering what things will look like for your family one year from today.  Will you be closer to achieving your family’s scholarship dream?  Will your son or daughter be getting ready to head off to college in a matter of weeks, a scholarship earned?  Or will you be going through a dry period where discouragement sets in?

You know, this is a journey of ups and downs.  I am here to tell you not to get discouraged if there is a dry period, because there will be.  That’s ok.  Such is life, and this scholarship journey is filled with wins and losses, victories and pain.  It’s a lot like competing in sports.

So let me give you three things to think about today, which will help you in the year ahead. Continue reading

It’s one thing to get the interest of college coaches, but how do you keep the interest up and how do you deepen the relationship?  As a parent, you can’t do this for your kids,  but you can certainly help them.

When we were going through this process with our sons, we took an active role in the relationships between coaches and our kids.  In fact, the coaches enjoyed talking with us, too, because they wanted to see what kind of family our boys came from.  While we were careful not to dominate the conversations, we did get involved.

The bottom line is that the coach wants to develop the relationship with the student-athlete, so it’s vital that your son our daughter is prepared for the conversations.

In this post, I want to take you to a clip from a video I recorded recently for student-athletes, and it addresses what to do when coaches contact the student-athlete.  I call it “closing the loop” in the recruiting process.

Parents, it’s important that you know this information, because you’ll be coaching your son or daughter in this process.  You can help him or her interact with coaches and move them further up on the coaches’ list.  So, let’s go for it…

 

Please let me know what you think of the video.  I’m recording a new video series right now, which will be part of  free mini-course on recruiting that I’ll make available in a few weeks.  Your comments and questions will help me as I finalize the content.

SummerHere we go into summer, and it’s this time of year that every college sport is out of season.  What that means is that it’s a critical recruiting window.  In fact, the heaviest season.  Every single college program in every single sport is on the recruiting trail.

This is the season of opportunity.  But opportunity doesn’t usually knock unless you knock first.  Will your family commit to taking the next three months to give your best effort to getting your son or daughter recruited?

Summer time is not idle time.  While most other families are taking it easy and neglecting this critical recruiting season, you can set yourselves apart and have your son or daughter get noticed by college coaches.

Here’s how: Continue reading

There are some important websites that will help you in your scholarship pursuit. I’d like to recommend five of them for you to bookmark and check on a regular basis.

NCAA1. NCAA. Of course, this is the daddy of them all, and it’s well worth checking regularly. They have news that often pertains to recruiting, and a number of resource pages within the site.  One of these pages is the recruiting calendar.

2. NAIA.  The NAIA is an association of schools throughout the country which have similar recruiting rules, but some key differences.  One difference is that a recruit can actually work out with the team Continue reading

A pounding hail storm that turned in to a steady rain halted any chance of me recording a video post today, so we’ll have to cover the material the old-fashioned way.  Well, I did shoot an 18-second video with my phone, but it has nothing to do with recruiting.  Check out the hail:

 

This week, I have a tough question for you to answer.

You are probably in one of three situations.

1.  You’ve been pursuing an athletic scholarship for your son our daughter for some time.  Maybe a year or more.  And you’re not sure how it will all turn out.

2.  You’ve been working on this for a very short time.  You’ve done some things, but coaches aren’t knocking the door down.

3.  You’re just getting started in the scholarship pursuit. Continue reading

How would you like to get into the mind of a college coach to understand what he or she is looking for in a recruit?  W0uldn’t that help you with your son’s or daughter’s pursuit of an athletic scholarship?

In this week’s blog post, I get face-to-face with you to share five of the most important things a coach is looking for.  I hope this helps to center yourselves as you go through the recruiting process.

NOTE:  Summer is just about here, and you need to be thinking about summer plans as they relate to recruiting.  You might want to take a few informal school visits.  Also, be looking for tournaments, showcases and camps you might want your son or daughter to compete at.

RunnersTens of thousands of talented high school athletes get passed over by college coaches every year.  In fact, I’d even say over a hundred thousand.

I see it all the time.  Talented athletes with high hopes have those hopes dashed when they expect attention from college coaches but don’t get any.  What makes it worse is that they see other athletes in town get offers.  And they know that they have just as much talent as that other athlete.

What’s wrong?  Is the system broken?  Why do some of the best athletes get overlooked? Continue reading

TrackI’m going to scare a lot of parents with this blog post. I’m going against the grain of a well-funded industry. And I’m going to reveal some things to you that you won’t want to hear.

I’ve heard from many parents over the years about how they were disillusioned by recruiting services and online registries. The latter are sites where you can upload a profile and video of your son or daughter.

And many college coaches are disappointed, too. An article in the Times Herald-Record in Middletown, CT revealed some pretty candid statements by area college coaches. Check this out: Continue reading

This summer, you may be considering recruiting camps for your son or daughter, so they can be evaluated and

Basketball Camp

Hope College Basketball Exposure Camp

seen by college coaches. In talking with a parent a couple weeks ago, he was ready to sign his son up for several camps. He wasn’t sure which ones yet, but he was ready to start registering him.

I encouraged him not to.

With families I coach through the recruiting process, I advise them to be selective about camps. First of all, this is an expensive road to travel. Speaking of travel, it is just one of the expenses. You’ve got camp fees.  Then there’s food and lodging on top of that, if it’s a multi-day camp. This all adds up, and it can be a shot in the dark without a firm plan. Continue reading

Back patio viewAs I sit here blogging on the back patio, with a view in the distance of where my boys played college ball, it is a bit surreal. You see, our family lived 1,100 miles away when our sons came here. My wife and I made the treks every spring to watch them play, but never in a blue moon expected to live here someday.

All three of our kids are still at least 1,100 miles away from us, spread around the world. In fact, one son and his family are 5,000 miles away by my estimate. But, here I am, watching the sun set over the campus, nestled in the foothills in the picture.

I guess you could say I’m “dreaming backwards.” Instead of thinking ahead about college careers and possible scholarships, I’m reflecting on those days they did compete here. And, thankfully, we didn’t have to pay anything.

But, for you, the dream is ahead of you for your son or daughter. I’ve had such a good time lately talking with and having email exchanges with several parents. I’m energized about the opportunity to help their student-athlete get an athletic scholarship.

I’m committed to that.  “But how long does this crazy experience take?” you might be asking “And when should we start?”   But more importantly, I want to share with you how to get extraordinary results.

Continue reading

After Tuesday night’s teleseminar, honestly, I was exhausted.  But it was such a good event, and I’ve gotten excellent feedback on it.  The free audio download is available through tomorrow night, March 31, so I encourage you to download and listen at your convenience.

Get “Five Steps to an Athletic Scholarship” Download

How can you do the recruiting process right if you don’t know the foundational truth?  In the video at the top of this post, I reveal that truth and give you a real-life example in one family’s successful recruiting experience.

In the video, I mention that I offered a free Recruiting Checklist to everyone on the call the other night.  This Checklist will help you go deeper into the recruiting experience and is a follow-up to the five steps you’ll hear on the teleseminar.  Listen to the download and you’ll find out how to receive the Checklist.

The free checklist and offers explained on the teleseminar expire tomorrow night (Tuesday) at midnight.  I hope you’ll capture the urgency to get your recruiting program into high gear this spring.

I was just reading the other day about a local high school girl who made her verbal commitment to a major school for basketball.  I’m sure thousands of high school athletes read the same story and wondered how they could be the next success story.  Parents were asking the same question about their son or daughter.

Jon Fugler

Jon Fugler

In today’s post, I want to discuss three common roadblocks to an athletic scholarship and how to overcome them.  Then maybe your son or daughter will be a future success story documented in the paper.

Roadblock #1:  Lack of focus.   It’s amazing how much money parents will spend to try to get their kids an athletic scholarship.  It may start with less than a hundred dollars for a camp, but somewhere along the way it has escalated to thousands of dollars for multiple camps, tournament exposure, showcases, travel, consultants and services.

You can’t have a shotgun approach, thinking that the more you do the greater the chance for a scholarship.  It comes down to be strategically focused.  You’ll save your family time and money by mapping out your strategy and sticking with it.  Stay focused.  Beware of the voices of other parents and so-called experts who distract you and pull you in different directions.

Roadblock #2:  Laziness.  There, I said it.  In this day and age, people expect things to come easy.  Even as athletes and parents of athletes, we can get caught up in this trap.  As a result, we get lazy about giving our best.  That translates into our efforts to get our kids an athletic scholarship.

But, it’s not just the parent’s deal.  The student-athlete needs to put out.  If the parent is working like crazy at this, but the athlete is not, the team falls apart.  Yes, team.  The parent and the athlete are a team in this and both must avoid laziness at all costs.  This venture is too important for laziness, so have the “hard work” discussion early and often.

Parents, be the coach in the recruiting process.  Do what you can to motivate your son our daughter.  Be positive.  Teach life lessons.  Reward them when they’re giving it their best (I don’t mean on the field).  Make this a positive experience, even to the point where you are the buffer for disappointment.  If you’re discouraged or hit a rough road in this, don’t pass that along to your child.  Have a coach mindset.

Roadblock #3:  Quitting before the breakthrough.  The recruiting process is a marathon, and there will be a point when you hit the wall.  It may be earlier for your son or daughter than it is for you.  It happened to me and it happens to most.

A series of “We’re not interested” letters or calls from coaches can cause you to hit the wall.  A period of silence can do that, too.  Exhaustion from this whole doggone process can convince you to quit.  There are a number of reason you can feel like giving up along the way.

The tragedy will be to quit before the breakthrough.  For our family, our breakthrough was when a coach discovered our sons and pursued them — after a handful of coaches had stopped communicating and had lost interest.  Was it discouraging when there was silence?  Yes, but the breakthrough came shortly afterwards.

Don’t quit too soon.  Your breakthrough could be around the corner.  Even at the last minute.  Continue pursuing possibilities and opportunities.  The coach on the other end of the equation is looking for a breakthrough, too.

Give me your thoughts on roadblocks. Are you facing one now?  Have you come through one and you’ve experienced a breakthrough?  Comment below and let me and others know.

 

Can your son or daughter really get an athletic scholarship in five easy steps?

No, but I assure you that they can get one in five simple steps.  I’ve been teaching families these five steps since 2002, and they work.

 Join me for a free teleseminar for parents:

“FIVE STEPS TO AN ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIP”
A Recruiting Seminar for Parents

Tuesday, March 24,  8:00-8:45 PM Eastern Time

I checked and there are no March Madness games that night!

Come with questions, because after I go through the five steps, I’ll open the phone lines for some dialogue.

How to Join the Call

Dial (712) 775-7031
Enter the Conference Code 415-095-289

BONUS:  Because I want you to apply the five steps right away, everyone on the call will receive my Recruiting Checklist.  I’ll let you know how to access it.

To RSVP, email me at jon@recruit-me.com and I’ll reserve your spot.  I encourage you to print out this page as a reminder of the date, time and call-in number.  I’d hate for you to miss the event.

Why Show Up?

You’re going to learn what to do right now in order to get your son or daughter recruited.  I’ll be cutting through the clutter that has left parents shaking their heads, wondering what to do and what not to do.  There’s so much information out there, but no one puts it together into a step-by-step process and plan.  I will do that for you on the 24th.

 

If you’re like most parents, you have more information that you can handle when it comes to recruiting.  Well, I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be that way.  You can indeed filter out the stuff you don’t need.

In this post, I want to get down to the core of what one thing you have to do to get your son or daughter an athletic scholarship.

“One thing?” you ask.  You can’t be serious.  Yes, one thing.  I’m passionate about it, as you’ll see in this video post.

What will you do today based on what you heard in the video?  Don’t leave this page until you’ve made that decision.  In fact, write it in the comment section below.

Today is my birthday, and I thought I’d go out on a limb and do my very first video blog post.  Be kind to me.

In this post, I’m going to let my video do the talking.  I’ve got something pretty significant to share with you as you go down the recruiting road.

Your son or daughter may already have an invitation to a showcase and to a few camps this coming summer.  If not, they will probably get some.  In this video, I’ll tell you what one D1 coach says about showcases and camps when it comes to recruiting.

I believe in staying ahead of the curve … way ahead of the curve.  The snow might be falling in much of the country, but it’s not too soon to develop your summer recruiting strategy.  Think ahead, write it down, and take action.  And remember that you have to spend your money wisely.  There are more opportunities than you need.

Since this is my first video blog post, please post your comments below.  I’d like to know if it was helpful or not.  And, what else would you like me to address in future blog posts?

Track star

Recruiting services and consultants can provide benefit for the student-athlete and parents.  I know the truth of that.  Our family benefited greatly from a recruiting coach who walked us all the way through the process.

However, it’s dangerous to give away control of your recruiting campaign.   If you do, you may be in for some unpleasant surprises.  Thankfully, our recruiting coach kept us right in the center of everything.

You can’t just step away and give the process over to someone else. You need to own it.  You need to be involved in the decisions about your son or daughter’s future.  And especially during their scholarship pursuit.  It’s too important to release, even to an expert. Continue reading

College campusWith twin sons on their way to college over a decade ago, my wife and I were facing the prospect of huge college debt.  Our daughter was already in college and we were stretched to the max.

If it weren’t for the scholarships our boys received, I think we’d still be paying off college debt.

You may be in a similar situation, so you know how important it is for you to pursue an athletic scholarship for your son or daughter.  In fact, your student-athlete doesn’t realize how important this is.  Continue reading

TrackIt’s that time of year again.  In January, you can almost hear the engines starting as parents and student-athletes decide to go for it.  They have a fresh perspective and new energy as the year starts in pursuing an athletic scholarship.

However, fresh energy and the will to go for a scholarship for your son or daughter doesn’t cut it alone.  You’ve got to have knowledge and the tools to succeed.  Just like an athlete, attitude is critical, but without talent he or she will not go very far.

When it comes to leading your family to an athletic scholarship, I encourage you, as a parent, to do three things this month. Continue reading

SurveyI just received this comment and question from a student-athlete.  His question is not uncommon, and his thoughts about his situation are not uncommon either.  I thought that his question was so important that I’d answer it here for you, too.

Q:  I’m going to be a Sophomore next year and I might go for Varsity football. I play quarterback and I’m almost 6’0.  I have good grades.  What do I have to do to get a scholarship to a D1 school? Where I live is a small town and our Division is D4, so it harder to get scouts to look at you and to get scholarships. I would do anything to get to a d1 school.  I always work hard and try to be the best that I could. What should i do?? Continue reading

BaseballIt was Christmas over a dozen years ago that we launched our recruiting efforts for our twin sons.  You might think that’s a strange time to get started.  Well, there’s NO bad time to get started.  It actually worked well for us, because our boys were on vacation and we had blocks of time to work on the front-end work we had to do.  It was also mentally great to start the new year with our recruiting campaign in gear.

How about you?  Are you planning to maximize Christmas break? Continue reading

college athletesThe athletic scholarship world can be confusing.  Once you start down this road, you get bombarded with options and opportunities.  As you may have experienced, it’s hard to know what advice to follow and what options to pursue.  And what advice is just plain bad.

The window of opportunity is limited.  No matter what year your athlete is in, he or she only has so much time to get on coaches’ radar, get recruited, and then get scholarship offers.  You have to make the most of the time.

Here are three red flags on your scholarship journey.

1.  Consultants or services that make scholarship promises.  No one can ever guarantee that your son or daughter will get a scholarship.  Outright promises or strong suggestions to this end should set off alarms in your head.  Avoid these people. Continue reading

FootballThe NCAA guidelines state that full-ride scholarships will cover fees and tuition, board, room, as well as all books related to a particular course. But these scholarships are only offered to students who participate in “head-count sports” such as basketball, Division 1-A football, women’s tennis, women’s gymnastics, or women’s volleyball. All other sports fall under the category of “equivalency sports”, which allows a coach to determine the allotted scholarship amount for many players. Some of these scholarships may be partial while others are full-ride.

Equivalency Sports for Men and Women

Equivalency sport scholarships can be used as a starting point to obtain a full-ride scholarship in future years, or at least an increase in funding as you progress through the program. Sports that fall under this category for men include baseball, Division 1-AA football, gymnastics, wrestling, tennis, rifle, and volleyball. The women’s list of sports includes equestrian, rowing, field hockey, softball, squash, and rugby. Equivalency sports for both men and women include cross-country/field and track events, fencing, ice hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, skiing, diving and swimming, as well as water polo. Athletic scholarships through these sports will offer monetary and support benefits that can be crucial for the development of student-athletes.

Financial Realities

Full-ride athletic scholarships are expected to cover all costs involved in the education of a student. But there remains a sizable difference between the costs of attending college and the scholarship. Students are not fully covered for things such as incidentals and travel home on vacations, but the scholarship will be a huge factor in saving a lot of money over the duration of your college career.

Baseball basketball volleyball footballIt’s November 1.  Do you have a 60-day recruiting plan?

“What’s that?” you ask.

Scholarships don’t happen.  Parents, you need to lead your son or daughter in the recruiting process.  It starts with a plan.

I challenge you to establish a 60-day plan, which will carry you through the end of the year.  This is a good time to do that, with the year-end as your finish line.  Your finish line to an athletic scholarship?  No, your next yard-marker.

Here are some things that you need to include in your 60-day plan: Continue reading

College CoachesThere are 3 things that you and your son or daughter can do to keep the coaches’ interest over the long haul. The first and most important one is that you keep communicating with the coaches. That may sound obvious but you would be surprised at how often families just sit back and don’t do anything after the first contact. We talk to coaches and they tell us if you stop communicating, they will assume you have lost interest and your son or daughter moves off their list.

So above all, you have to keep communicating.  I don’t mean calling or writing the coaches with no purpose, but by having some substance when you do contact them. There are some key documents that you can send coaches on a regular basis that they welcome and it works great to keep their interest. Continue reading

CheckmarkI was reading through the answers to a recent survey I took with parents and athletes.  One of the parents stated the biggest challenge in reaching the scholarship goal is “Seemingly lack of effort on my daughters part to promote herself.”

This is a statement of a bigger problem many parents face.  And that is, how to motivate their son or daughter to do what it takes to get a scholarship.  As a parent, you know the financial implications, but usually the student-athlete doesn’t have that mature of a perspective.  Continue reading

RunnerYou’d like to gain ground in your scholarship efforts this Fall, and that’s a good thing.  I want you to get closer to your scholarship, too.

This is an important season in the recruiting calendar.  Here are three things you can do right away to maximize the Fall recruiting season:

1.  Cast a wide net.  How big is your prospective list of schools?  If it is less than 40, it’s too small.  Whether you’re getting started now or you’ve been at it for a while, you need to expand your list to 40 prospective schools so you can pursue a relationship with the coaches from those programs.

You might be saying,  “I’m being recruited by some schools.  Why do I need more?”  You just never know where things will land, and you need to have as many recruiting relationships as possible.  There are other schools you don’t yet have on your list that will be your top choices a few months from now. Continue reading

Jon Fugler, scholarship coachEnrollment for the first-ever Recruit-Me Intensive is now closed.  If you didn’t enroll, you can still take advantage of the resources in your free membership, as well as regular posts on the Recruit-Me blog.  I look forward to sharing things that can help you in your recruiting efforts.

I surveyed parents aSurveynd student-athletes earlier this month, and the responses were insightful.  From goals to needs, many people expressed their honest thoughts.  I’m thankful for the detailed responses.  Let me give you a peek at some trends I saw in the responses, then I’ll address them.

Let me start at the beginning.

The first thing that popped out to me was the goal student-athletes expressed.  By far, the most frequent answer was “A full ride scholarship.”  That’s great, because you have a clear goal, the highest scholarship goal when it comes to financial help.  Several others stated they wanted a partial or 50% scholarship. Continue reading

(Note:  The Athletic Scholarship and Recruiting Survey is now closed.  Thank you to all who participated.  I am compiling the responses and look forward to soon sharing with you what I learned, and responding to the biggest issues in an upcoming online class I will be teaching this Fall). 

Uphill bike rideToday, I rode 12 1/2 miles on my bike at over 8,000 feet elevation.  It took two and a half hours to make it to my destination.

Am I that bad a cyclist?

Not really.  Most of the ride was uphill, and at 8,000 feet, it was a huge challenge.  But I made it.  As I was riding, I was thinking about how my journey has lessons in it for student-athletes seeking athletic scholarships.  There are three things I’d like to share with you today. Continue reading

(Before you get into this post, can I ask for your help?  If you haven’t responded yet, I’d like to get your response to a few questions in our Athletic Scholarship and Recruiting SurveyI’d like to know your what you’re thinking and experiencing.  I’ve gotten a lot of helpful responses in the past few days.  Thanks for adding your voice!)

One of the mRunnerost common questions I get from athletes and parents is, “When should we start?”

You’re asking the question of  “when is too early, when is too late, and when is just right?”

I recommend families start, ideally, in the athlete’s freshman year in high school.  But this rarely happens, so don’t get worried if you didn’t do that.  You can make up the time.  This is the year when, together, you want to look at possible good fits.  Research schools from both the academic and athletic standpoint.  Gather as much information as you can.

As schools rise to the surface, those are the ones you need to dig into further.  Find out as much as you can about the athletic programs and about the academic areas of interest.  I believe it is too early to contact schools because the coaches are looking at juniors and seniors that can help their programs in the near future. Continue reading

(Before you get into this post, can I ask for your help?  I’d like to get your response to a few questions in our Athletic Scholarship and Recruiting SurveyI’d like to know your what you’re thinking and experiencing.  Thanks!)

You might not be too faStadiumr from achieving your scholarship dream.  Whether you’ve been contacted by many coaches or none, let’s put things in perspective.

If you’re talented and you can compete at the next level, there are schools that want you.  And they’ll offer you a scholarship.  You need to believe that.  It’s true.  When we went through this experience with our twin sons, the day we found that perfect match was incredible.  There is a perfect match for you, too.

That lead me to my next point.  You need to compete.  I don’t mean in your sport, but for a scholarship. You can’t sit back and wait.  You need to make yourself known.  There are thousands and thousands of athletes competing for every scholarship position, so you need to make every effort to be one who is chosen.   Hope isn’t going to cut it.  Hope doesn’t win games and it doesn’t win scholarships.  You need to get to work. Continue reading

FootballFor many high school athletes, they make their college choice for the wrong reasons.  Here are my top 5 wrong reasons for choosing a particular program:

1.  My father (or mother) went there.

2.  They’re my favorite team.

3.  I like the campus. Continue reading

LetterIn my previous post, we took a look at the keys to an effective introductory email or letter.  You only have one chance to make a good first impression, so put your best foot forward.

Now let’s get into content.  As you know, I believe the letter needs to be brief and to the point.   Here’s what should be in each paragraph of your one-page letter or introductory email.

Who, what, where and when: Introduce yourself and your intentions with a one-sentence opening paragraph.

Athletic abilities:  Briefly tell about three or four of your athletic accomplishments and impressive stats from your most recent season. If you have participated in or received honors in other sports, mention them, but do not include highlights. Continue reading

Although most athletic scholarships are one-year renewable scholarships, there is a move towards four-year guaranteed scholarships.  That’s good news for student-athletes.  According to the Indiana Business Journal, the Big Ten made a startling announcement late last month:Track

“The Big Ten Conference said [Tuesday] that it supports guaranteed four-year scholarships and improved medical coverage for its athletes.

“The league announced in a statement signed [Tuesday] by its 14 presidents that it proposes working within the NCAA structure to provide greater academic security for its athletes by guaranteeing scholarships for four years, even if an athlete can no longer compete or has left for a professional career. Athletic scholarships are typically awarded on a one-year renewable basis. Continue reading

Marathon runnersI’ve always told our Recruit-Me families that the scholarship pursuit is not a sprint.  It’s a marathon. And if you’re in your freshman or sophomore year of high school, it’s like running multiple marathons.  For that reason, you can lose your enthusiasm and energy.  Discouragement can set in when things don’t happen as fast as you’d like.

That’s normal.

But do everything you can to fight that discouragement.  A marathon runner hits the wall and winners run through that wall.  Finish the course.  Stay with it.  Keep moving along, step by step.  Here’s a pivotal approach you can take.  Leaders in life know this and that’s why they are leaders: Continue reading

Cell phoneIn my last post, I went through a number of questions athletes should ask college coaches when the coaches call.  Or when you call a coach.  Recruiting is a two-way street.  While the coach is recruiting athletes, you are recruiting schools.  You should take the initiative to find out as much as you can about the program, coach and school.  That way you can make an informed decision.  Let’s continue from last week’s discussion.

College Life

What is a typical day for a student-athlete?
You will learn a typical schedule that will include courses, practices, meal times, study times, etc. This will give you insight as to how to manage your time and assist you with needed adjustments.

What does the institution’s services entail?
You will be informed of any study hall hours that may be required of you during your tenure. Also, this is a good time to ask about the availability of tutors. Continue reading

NCAA ConferencesFor a high school student-athlete, there aren’t many things more frightening than talking with a college coach on the phone.  It can be daunting.  And it should be.  You’ve been dreaming of getting an athletic scholarship and now the coaches are calling.  You’re on the spot.

You need to prepare for these occasions.  Once you take a few calls, you’ll get more comfortable.  That is, until you get a call from a coach you really want to play for.  This school is on your A list.  You’ve been hoping he or she will call.  And now it happens.  It can really make you nervous.

When taking a coach’s call, try to relax.  He or she will understand you’re nervous.  That’s ok.

Secondly, have a list of questions ready.  If the coach is calling your cell phone, you’ll have to think quickly.  The list will have to be in your head.  Continue reading

FacilitiesI read a fantastic article published by the NCAA and I wanted to share it with you.  The author lists 10 benefits athletes receive by competing in sports in college.  Whether you receive a scholarship or not, you can receive some of the benefits.  Parents and athletes alike will be pleased by what you read in this article.

The first three benefits are:

1.  A college education.  This seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many high school students never go to college.  A college degree has a direct impact on a person’s quality of life.

2.  Academic success.  The NCAA’s most recent data indicate that more than eight out of 10 (82 percent) Division I student-athletes are earning their degrees.

3.  Scholarships.  More than 150,000 student-athletes receive $2.7 billion in athletic scholarships each year from NCAA member colleges and universities.

For the complete article and some surprising information, continue reading.

BaseballHigh school athletes across America are preparing for a summer full of competition.  Many of these athletes are scholarship caliber and are hoping that college coaches will come see them compete.  Indeed, this is a great recruiting season, because all college coaches are out of season.

However, you must have a plan in order to be seen.  A month ago, we started preparing you for the summer recruiting season.  Now here are a few non-negotiables in order to be seen:

1.  Put together a one-sheet profile and your summer competition schedule, then send it to coaches at schools you are interested in.  This is by far the most important thing you need to do.  This recruiting season is short, so get started right away.  This is a good way to grab a coach’s interest.  I recommend sending to 40-50 schools, either by mail or email.  You cannot expect a coach to find you unless you raise your hand.  This is one way to do that.  If you’re already in relationship with certain coaches, then all you need to do is send them your schedule and a short note. Continue reading