Choosing a school

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

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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This month, receive almost $100 off your Recruit-Me Premium Membership.  Take action on your fall recruiting efforts now– at a huge discount.

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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

College football coach Brady HokeIf your son or daughter is going to get an athletic scholarship, you both need to know what college coaches are looking for, what they expect and how they do their recruiting.  In other words, you need to know what they’re thinking.  And especially what they’re thinking about your athlete.

First of all, know that coaches are trying to fill specific spots on their roster.  They’re looking ahead to your athlete’s year of entry, and they’re considering whether they have a spot for within the first couple years your son or daughter would be there.  If your athlete is in a sport that has position players, they’ll be recruited if the coach knows that slot will be open in their freshman or sophomore year.

You need to understand this point.  It doesn’t matter how talented your son or daughter is if there isn’t an opening for them.

*** For more insights, I encourage you to listen to my podcast interview with D1 coach Tom Kunis Episode #4.  We go into depth about what college coaches are looking for. ***

Second, is your athlete going to be a good fit in the program and college?  College coaches look at these things.  They want to know if the chemistry is there and if your son or daughter truly want to compete in their program.  If an athlete doesn’t want to go across the country, but his parents are pushing him, coaches will pick that up.  They want to eliminate as much chance as possible that your son or daughter will transfer.  They do their best on the front end to see if there’s a good fit. You should want that, too. Continue reading

Journey(Summer Recruiting Breakthrough Sale has begun.  Get $80-$100 off a Recruit-Me Premium purchase).

On this first day of summer, reality hits.

The major recruiting season is underway.  The next 60 days can be the road to an athletic scholarship.  The challenge is to stay on the road and not slide off the shoulder.

Let me share three things that you’ll need to do this summer to stay on the scholarship road.  Don’t get sidetracked and end up in the ditch.

You see, if you can keep your son or daughter disciplined this summer, it will yield huge benefits.  Athletic, academic and financial.

#1: Get out of the garage. The summer will pass you by if you don’t get started.  There’s a tendency to take it easy in the summer but recruiting doesn’t go on vacation in June, July and August.  If you stay in “park,” you’ll be left in the dust by other families that realize that summer is golden for recruiting. Continue reading

High school footballLet’s think about something together.

If you could get your son or daughter on multiple college coaches’ radars this summer, how would you feel?

Relieved … joyful … empowered … hopeful … confident?

If you could do one thing, what would you do to guarantee your son or daughter gets recruited this summer?

 

  • Produce a video and post it on BeRecruited or on another recruiting site?Women's basketball
  • Get your athlete to the top three camps?
  • Complete the online recruiting forms at 15 schools you have identified as your top choice programs?
  • Have your son or daughter call five coaches a week to personally express interest in their programs?

Remember, I’m asking you to narrow it down to one thing that would guarantee your student-athlete gets recruited this summer.

That’s a tough choice, isn’t it?  But it really does make you think.

Everything I’ve listed is valid, but not one of these is the right thing to do if you want to guarantee your son or daughter gets recruited… this summer!

Recruiting Checklist

Continue reading

Final Four 2016I’m in Houston this week.  Unfortunately, I’m leaving Saturday morning at 5:30, when all the Final Four fans arrive.

What comes to mind is the number of high school athletes that make their school choice based on who they see on TV in the big games. Parents, you know what I’m talking about.

When you consider a college education is one of the biggest choices your family will ever make, it’s important to have more to go on than watching teams on TV.  You may have to convince your student-athlete about that.

Talk to your kid about the better way of making his or her hot list of schools. Remind them that the #1 priority is to find the best fit, or match, in the end.   Let’s look at four key matches to consider and discuss.

Academic match

This is first because your kid is a student-athlete.

Your list should include schools that have your kid’s area of academic interest.  This isn’t a hard and fast rule, because their interests are likely to change after they are in school for a year or two.  But a good starting point are schools that have majors that fit their interests.

As for me, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to study going into college.  I started in communications and ended up in radio and TV.  I knew I didn’t want to pursue engineering or science, so that narrowed it down to liberal arts.  That may be all you have to go on at this point, and that’s fine.

On the other hand, if your son or daughter has strong interests in a certain major or area, be sure to take that into account when you build your list of prospective schools.

Athletic match

Can your kid compete at the schools on his or her radar?  This is important, because you don’t want to put a lot of effort into programs that are way above their talent level, and you don’t want to shoot for ones that are way below.  You want to find the sweet spot. Go after those schools that are a good match.

This is where it’s important to open your son or daughter’s eyes to good institutions they’ve never considered.  As a parent, your role kicks in here.  Do some research and get a wider variety of schools on your kid’s radar.

The athletic match also includes the dynamics of coaching staff.  You won’t know this until you meet the coaches, but have this factor on your radar.

Aspirational match

I’m talking about your kid’s desires and dreams. What’s important to him or her in a college?  You should consider athletics, academics, college life, location, etc.  Listen to what your student-athlete has to say. Take note.  You may understand more than they do what their aspirations are.  As they verbalize those aspirations, they’ll get clarity, too.

Anecdotal match

What stories are coming out of the programs on your list?  You may not hear anything in the early going, but the more you get to know a coach and program, you should hear some stories that give you a better picture about the program and institution.

Ask other athletes in the program.  Talk to students there.  If you know other people who have gone to that school, talk with them.  Get as much information as you can from what others have to say about their experience.

When your kid hears these stories, how does he feel?  Is he attracted to the school or not?  While not a scientific evaluation, this can really help the “gut feeling” about a school.

And so…

I’m one who urges my families to cast your net wide.  Don’t come up with a short list out of the gate.  So, while I’m encouraging you to develop your list from the four keys above, don’t limit your choices early on.  Use these guidelines throughout the recruiting process, especially as you narrow down your choices.

College basketballYou could call this a showcase blog post.  It’s the kind of post that hits the prime things any family needs to know about recruiting.  If you’re just getting started in the journey, this is the post you need to read. 

If you’ve been at it for a while, this is the kind of post you need to re-read.  It’s getting back to basics when your efforts get scattered.  In fact, I was re-focused when I wrote this.  It reminded me about staying true north.

As always, feel free to write me with thoughts or questions.

 

Need to Know #1: When to Start

The number one question I get from parents is, “When should we start the recruiting process?”Athletic scholarship questions

I remember getting an email from one parent whose son was a senior, asking if it was too late. A moment later, I received an email from a freshman parent asking if it was too early!

Just this week, a parent wrote me, “We have twin daughters.  They are only freshmen in high school.  Is it too early to start the process?”

So, as you can see, there is some confusion out there.

You should start early. In fact, as early as the freshman year, if that’s possible.

But, even if you start in the senior year, it’s still probably not too late. You just have to work faster.  Of course, this late in the year you really need to hustle.  You need to apply the five steps I teach and do it fast.  Now back to the subject at hand… Continue reading

TrackThe athletic scholarship world can be confusing.  Once you start down the recruiting 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 which 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 to watch out for 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.

Instead, get honest evaluations of your kid’s talent.  College coaches will tell you if you ask.  The problem is that most parents don’t want to know the truth deep down inside.  I know.  I’ve been there.  We believe our kids are better than they are, or we underestimate their talent.  Either extreme is bad.  An honest evaluation will tell you what level your athlete performs at.   You’ll have a better idea of where he or she can compete and use their talents.

You want the program and school that are the best fit athletically, academically and in college life.  There are more factors than just money when it comes to choosing a school.

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

Athletic Scholarship PodcastI’m just a couple days away from releasing the next episode of the Athletic Scholarship Podcast.  This time, you’ll get the benefit of hearing from a college coach who has been recruiting at some of the nation’s leading programs for two decades.

Here are three things he pushed during the interview.  I’ll only give you a cursory view here,  because I want you to hear the details in his own words.   Be sure to check back on my podcast page in a couple days for the release of this new episode.

  1.  Do your research.  This coach made a  big point about visiting the schools highest on your list and spending time on campus, with the coach, and watching the team work out.  This would be an unofficial visit, and you can make as many of those as you want.
  2. Academics is so important.  If you don’t have the grades, the coach can’t get you in. So work hard now so you can have a choice of schools when it’s time to make your decision.
  3. The scholarship offer is not the most important factor in your decision.  So what is most important?  This coach will talk in more detail about this in the interview.

Continue reading

Congratulations to Karina Diaz, the winner of a $75 Sports Authority Gift Card.  She entered the contest during the Grand Opening of Athletic Scholarship University.  Karina, this is a good way to start the Christmas season!

Women's basketballIf you’re a talented athlete, you’re blessed.  You have to realize that not everyone is talented.  Your talent is something that you may take for granted, but this Thanksgiving I encourage you to give thanks to the good Lord who gave it to you.

In fact, take an athletic inventory.  What sets you apart from your competitors?  Think details.  Height, weight, speed, certain skills.

Then take an inventory of your accomplishments.  Think back over the past year or two and list what you’ve done.

Say a big “Thank You” for all these things.  You are a unique individual with a set of talents and accomplishments that no one else possesses.  Never take that for granted.  Then… Continue reading

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

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:  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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(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

Athletic scholarshipLike most people, I doubt you have time to listen to a one-hour podcast on recruiting.  Many did last week, but if you weren’t one of them, then here are the cliff notes for you to take in — and hopefully apply.

Here are the top seven questions that come up when I’m talking with people about recruiting and athletic scholarships, followed by bullet point answers:

1. How can I get noticed and recruited?

• Myth: Coach will find you.

• Take the initiative. Don’t wait for coaches to contact you.

• The fallacy that top line athletes are the only ones who get contacted.

• Most scholarships are awarded to athletes that make the first contact.

$15 off coupon• Coaches do not have the budget to travel the country or even much of the region.

• First impression usually comes from an athlete that contacts a coach. Continue reading

Baseball basketball volleyball footballIt’s a four-sport month with all the major pro sports in action.  Baseball post-season, football, hockey and soon-to-start basketball.  There are a lot of choices.

Choice is what it’s all about when it comes to the recruiting and scholarship world.  Coaches are choosing their recruits and athletes are recruiting their schools.  It’s a process that isn’t instant.  It’s a long haul.  If you’re interested in earning an athletic scholarship, you need to be willing to put your best into the process, and you’ve got to stick with it.  First, you have to get on coaches’ radars, and then you have to keep their interest.  It’s a relationship.  It’s a process.

Here are three things to do:

1.  Become better.  Coaches are looking at an athlete’s ability and potential.  Athletes that are average in their sophomore year can become hot recruits in their junior year.  You have to work at becoming a better athlete, because other recruits are doing that.  In fact, make it your goal to become the best. Take advantage of clinics, books, videos, mentors, coaches and other resources that can help you improve.  If you’re not improving, you’re likely going in the opposite direction.

2.  Keep contacting coaches.  Just as you have to continue to improve, you must make contact with coaches.  That goes for coaches you are contacting for the first time and those you already have a relationship with.  The relationship needs to stay fresh.  Coaches want to know you’re still interested in their program, or they will move on to other athletes who are.  One rule of thumb is that whenever a coach contacts you by email, letter or phone, respond. 

3.  Get help.  You can’t go through the recruiting process on your own.  Work as a team with your parent or parents.  It’s a long process, and you need encouragement.  Parents, do what you can to come alongside your son or daughter and help carry some of the load.  As a Recruit-Me member, we coach parents and athletes on specific things to do along the way.  Athletes, if your parent is not available to help, get some help from a coach, teacher, or another adult.

When I was working alongside my twin sons, we went at it for many, many months.  As a result, over a period of time, they received the offers they wanted.  And both received fully paid educations at the school of their choice.

College campuses aD1 Conferencesre about to open across the country for the Fall semester.  The TV will be swarming with football games, and every one on the field will be a scholarship athlete.  D1 schools, at least.

So how did these guys get a scholarship?  How did coaches find them?  What does it take to be a scholarship athlete?  How can my son or daughter get a prized athletic scholarship next year, or the year after that… or the year after that?

These are good questions, and they deserve answers. 

Yes, coaches of all sports are looking for scholarship athletes, and they’re looking year-round.  Recruiting is a big business, and coaches must be as good at recruiting as they are at coaching.  That’s the difference between an average program and a great program. 

How does a high school athlete, get in the cross-hairs?  In a good way, of course.  How does he or she get on a coaches’ radar?  I was interviewed by a reporter a couple days ago and told him what I tell you… take the initiative.  Don’t sit back and wait, or you’ll miss that scholarship.

Do you really think all those scholarship athletes you’ll see on TV this fall were somehow just “discovered” by their coaches?  Some yes, but most no.  They had to do some work to get noticed.  And that’s what we have been pounding into the minds of our Recruit-Me families for over a decade.   Here are some fast-start actions:

1.  Pull together a database of colleges you’re interested in.  Get the coaches’ contact information.  It is all available online on their websites.

2.  Begin crafting your introductory letter and email.  Keep it short. 

3.  Begin shooting your performance video.  You can put in on YouTube when you’re done.  That way, you can send coaches there when you contact them.

I also want to urge you to get some help.  You’ll find some resources on our website, and there are also other places you can go online to enhance your athletic scholarship experience. 

Now get started.

Let’s talk about something.

There’s no doubt that TV coverage is big for college football programs. It’s a major factor in recruiting and athletic scholarships. If a team does well, everyone watches. If they bomb, people tune out.

Tens of thousands of high school football players are watching college football this afternoon, just as I am. And they’re hoping that their favorite teams will recruit them and offer an athletic scholarship.

Plus, they’ll see teams compete that they may not have heard of before. But the TV time gets their interest and they add the school to their list of hopefuls.

Let me encourage student-athletes to go beyond what they see on TV. Look into a program more deeply. Check out the program, the coaches, the academics. You can find out a lot online. In fact, if you do a search, you may even find comments from current or past athletes.

Sure, root for your favorite teams, but don’t lock yourself into those schools. Think bigger and wider. We encourage student-athletes to cast their nets wide, and keep their options open.

What are you looking for in a school? What are the factors as you narrow down your options? Post your comments here as we have that conversation.