College coaches

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.

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

Baseball basketball volleyball football

NOTE:  Recruit-Me Summer Sale ends soon.  Get Recruit-Me Premium for just $87.  Lifetime membership.

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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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

Track communicationIt’s been a good Recruiting Breakthrough Week. I’ve alerted you to a critical recruiting season that will happen over the next 60-90 days. Summer is huge, especially since all college sports will be out of season and the coaches are recruiting heavily.

I urge you–make this truly a Recruiting Breakthrough Week for your family. It leads to a Breakthrough Summer. Please don’t miss the golden opportunity.

Here’s your “Recruiting Breakthrough Edge of the Day #5.” It’s your last one and will indeed give you a recruiting edge this summer.

Recruiting Breakthrough Edge of the Day #5: Track your communications with coaches with excellence. It pays off. Continue reading

BaseballHere’s “Recruiting Breakthrough Edge of the Day #3″, in a daily series of 5, giving you a solid edge in the critical summer recruiting season. This is Recruiting Breakthrough Week.

Breakthrough Recruiting Edge of the Day: Send updates after every season and significant educational milestone.

The key to continued interest by college coaches is “communication.”  You must keep showing interest or the coach’s interest in your athlete will fade.  Coaches have a busy schedule and a lot of recruits on their radar, so you have to keep your son or daughter in front of them. Continue reading

FootballAs promised, here’s your Recruiting “Edge of the Day #2.”  It’s Recruiting Breakthrough Week and I want to make sure this entire summer is a breakthrough.

Recruiting Breakthrough Edge of the Day:  Make school visits.  It speaks volumes to college coaches.

Now, about school visits… Continue reading

Athletic scholarship successAny great athlete or coach enters a season with a plan.  Without it, the season would be a disaster.  In fact, a coach would be deemed foolish if he or she didn’t map out the season, set goals, define strategy and then begin executing.

The great coach Mike Krzyzewski said, “There are a lot of people who want to win, but winners prepare to win.”

So my question to you as summer kicks off, “Is your family prepared to win an athletic scholarship?”

“I’d like to…”  “I hope…”  and “I want to…” are not phrases that tell me you’re confident you’ll get an athletic scholarship.  As a parent, you’re part of this process and your confidence level is key.  As an athlete, it’s obvious that your confidence is critically important.

I will make sure recruiting happens for your family this summer.  Are you ready for a wild ride?  You’ll be in a great position by fall when several coaches are in contact with your son or daughter and your athlete is on their radar.

This is your Summer ’16 Recruiting Breakthrough I’m looking for 100 families who will get serious enough about the recruiting process that they’ll dedicate this summer to making it happen.  And make it happen with a plan that has goals, strategy and execution.

If you’re one of these 100 families, be prepared to dedicate your time and energy to this, and to act wisely.  I’m willing to set you on course and make sure the athlete in your family gets recruited this summer– the beginning of a successful journey to an athletic scholarship.If you’re one of those families, read this post and begin taking action.  Devour it.  Devour my latest podcast, too, because it will set you up for summer.

This is your campaign

You’ve got to have the perspective that recruiting is a series of events over a long period of time.  It’s not once and for all.  A coach doesn’t just discover your son or daughter and then it’s all done.

If you don’t like the word “campaign” (and many don’t this year), then use the word “season.”  Recruiting is a season in your family’s life.  Sunny days, rainy days, easy days, hard days.  Long days, short days.  Oh, there are so many factors in recruiting that will knock you around.  So be prepared.

Since it is a season, let’s talk about the plan, getting back to what I started with in this post.

First…

…set your goals and state them.  Here are some examples:

  • Long-term:  Jenny will receive three solid offers by spring of her senior year.
  • One-year:  Terry will have 10 coaches looking at him seriously by this time next year.
  • Short-term:  Fifteen coaches will contact Andy by July 15, 2016.

I believe you should have goals in each of those categories.  In fact, state more goals at other intervals, such as “By the end of fall season…” or “By the beginning of senior year…”

Goals are critical.  And as a sports family, you should be able to nail down these goals.  You can add performance goals to these, as well.  And academic goals.  Goals give you targets and rails to run on.

Your assignment:  Take time as a parent(s) and athlete and get away for a working session… this week!  Time is flying by, so get these goals spelled out early.

Remember, these are not cast in stone.  The purpose of the goals are to give you something tangible to shoot at and drive your actions.  These goals can change, and they will.  I saw a journal in the store yesterday, with the title, “Make Mistakes.”  It’s alright to set and re-set goals as time goes on.

Second…

… define your strategy.  You’ve got goals, but a well-defined strategy has to be in place next.  Here’s the hard work and much of it is unknown at this point.  But there are things you have to nail down in this process.  Such as…

  • In what ways will we take the initiative to get on coaches’ radars this summer?  Map out the how.  Put the actions into your calendar so you are accountable to yourselves.
  • Which schools are at the top of our list (please have at least 10)?  We will get the contact information for each coach by June 10.
  • Plan one week this summer when you can visit 2-3 schools nearby to get the feel for college campuses.  Make an appointment with the coaches and staff in admissions.  Choose these schools even if you don’t have a keen interest there.  The purpose is to see a college campus, experience meeting with a coach without pressure, and spend time in the academic area.
  • Research the following:  (1) How to put together a dynamite intro packet, (2) How to produce a quality video, (3) How to interview a college coach, (4) NCAA recruiting rules and recruiting calendars.

Third…

… execute your strategy.  In his book Chess Not Checkers, Mark Miller lays out four elements to success in business.  The fourth one certainly applies to athletics:  Excel at Execution. 

This applies to winning an athletic scholarship.  A written strategy isn’t worth the iPad it’s written on unless it is followed by committed execution.  Execution that excels.

Your athlete may excel at running, shooting, hitting or kicking.  Well, it’s time to excel at executing your recruiting strategy.

That requires three things– at least:

  • Discipline.  You’ve got to stay at it.  This is not a short-haul effort.  You’ve got a carefully thought-out strategy and blueprint written out.  Stick with it for the long haul.
  • Evaluation.  How’s your strategy and execution doing?  Make mid-course corrections along the way based on your honest evaluation of how the process is going.  It’s a lot like competing.  If you’re not hitting, find out why and make adjustments.  If your kicks or shots hook to the left all the time, change.
    • In recruiting, if you’re not getting the interest of college coaches on your target list, make changes to solve that issue.  If coaches start contacting your son or daughter but for some reason a number of the relationships die, make adjustments to revive the relationships or strengthen the ones you do have.
  • Vision.  This is important.  Vision brings inspiration, energy and action.  If you get lost in the weeds of recruiting, it’s time to climb a mountain and take a look at the bigger picture.  You should start the recruiting process with goals and an overall vision.  What’s the big win at the end of the process?  That’s the vision.

I guarantee you’ll have ups and downs in this crazy recruiting process, but clear vision will help you make it through.  As an individual and as a family.

The Big Question

Are you ready to move out and make this a Summer ’16 Recruiting Breakthrough?  I’ll be leading you through the  process this summer through my blog, podcast and webcasts.  If you’re ready to take the summer recruiting challenge, tell me and I’ll pray for and lead your family this summer.

Let’s make the 90 days of summer count big-time as you set your goals, define your strategy and excel at execution.

How to Get Recruited in 30 Days Free Report Button

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

NashvilleWhen you think of baseball, what states come to mind?  Certainly not the home state of the defending NCAA Champion Vanderbilt baseball team.  Understand that Tennessee is not a baseball breeding ground like Florida, California, Arizona, Mississippi and several other states.  However, this team won the College World Series last year.

As I thought about what it takes to be a champion, my mind goes to thinking about what it takes to be a scholarship athlete.  And believe me, it’s a lot more than talent.

Given that talent must be present, here are three more qualities of scholarship athlete.  I’ve talked with a number of college coaches over the years, and they are looking beyond the talent to the person. Continue reading

BaseballI was thinking about some of the big questions parents and athletes ask me about what it takes to get an athletic scholarship. Most people know so little about it.

I was there once, when I was working on getting my sons recruited.  But over the years, I’ve become an expert who has helped thousands of other families.

I can’t give all the answers in one post, but I can give you one:  hard work.

For example, I was reading about Lindsay Brown, who accepted a scholarship offer for volleyball. She had interestVolleyball from several schools, including New Hampshire, Oregon State, Louisiana Tech, Lewis & Clark College, Dominican University, Menlo College, UC Santa Barbara and UC Riverside. She chose Sonoma State, which is near her home town. Continue reading

FootballAthletic scholarships don’t just happen, although it sure looked that way a few days ago on signing day.  I want to dispel that myth, because believing it will assure that your kid is left out in the cold and you’re left holding an entire college bill.

So let’s talk about what it takes to being selected for an athletic scholarship. There is a road and Softballyour family needs to know the checkpoints along that road.  If you do, and you act correctly, your kid will get signed to an athletic scholarship.

Consider it a long race.  It’s one that you have to be willing to run, because getting an athletic scholarship is a process.  It takes effort on your part as a family.  Most families wait around and lose out.  Don’t be one of those.

And don’t be scattered.  That’s another mistake families make.  The end result is frustration and no real progress.  Confusion reigns.

The families I work with that are successful are ones that follow a step-by-step system.  And it always includes the chronological checkpoints I will lay out for you in this post.

Let’s go! 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.

Recruiting phone callIt could come as a phone call, email, letter or even a text. Your kid has been contacted by a college coach.  This coach is recruiting your son or daughter for an athletic scholarship. You might be feeling an adrenaline rush when this happens.

You ask yourself, “What should we do?”

Here are some words of advice:

1. Stay calm. This is just a first contact. You haven’t been offered a scholarship yet.  It’s important to realize that the coach is beginning the recruiting process with your son or daughter and there is a long road ahead.  It may or may not work out.  That’s what you are trying to find out and the coach is trying to find out.

Welcome the contact.  If the coach asks for more information, provide it promptly.  Send or email documents and video link if that’s what is asked for. Continue reading

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

workoutDo you get “Aha!” moments when you’re working out?  I mean, when your head is clear and good ideas sometimes flow in?  Say “yes.”  It will make me feel better.

Here’s the “Aha!” moment I had recently while I was working out, and it involves you.

I’m going to reveal to you the secret to getting recruited by college coaches.

I’ve been presenting “the five steps to an athletic scholarship” for years, but often it falls on deaf ears.  It has had me perplexed, because what I share are the step-by-step actions a family needs to take to get an athletic scholarship.  Seems pretty straightforward, doesn’t it?

What’s even more frustrating is that it works for families who apply the five sequential steps!  Frustrating because I know most families are missing out because they don’t apply the steps.

“Why don’t more families do it?”

I’m glad you asked.  Here’s why… 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

Thanks for the rBasketball arenaecruiting and athletic scholarship questions you’ve presenting lately.  These are questions many parents and student-athletes are wrestling with, so I thought I’d dig into a couple more in this post.

Q: “My daughter and I would like to attend local D2 tournaments games in our area. I know we can’t approach the D2 coaches, so how do we make contact with them? Send a email stating her interest in the school and that she will be in attendance watching the game? Will my daughter be allowed to hand a coach her player profile while at the game? Your thoughts would be appreciated. Thank you.”

A: The nice thing about recruiting is that the contact rules apply to coaches.  The parent and student-athlete can make contact with the coaches anywhere and anytime.  You can visit a school, meet with the coach, tour the campus, deliver information, etc.

The same is true for attending these tournament games.  Yes, your daughter can go and approach the coach.  However, it may not be very effective at the game itself.  The coach is “in the zone” before and during the game.  The best time to approach the coach is after the game.  She can hand the player profile to the coach then, but I would also highly recommend sending the complete Introductory Packet by mail or email.  A coach has a lot on his or her mind during competition.

I think it is a good idea what you have planned.  She’ll make an impression on the coach that will make a difference when he or she gets the Intro Packet from your daughter. Continue reading

NCAANational signing day is Wednesday.  It’s a day that gets an incredible amount of hype.  It elevates many but discourages more.

If your kid isn’t an elite athlete, national signing day can leave you cold, worried, anxious.  Of course, tomorrow is just football’s big day, but this kind of hype can send chills down the spines of parents whose athletes compete in other sports.

Why?

Because the air of uncertainty creeps into your mind and emotions.  What if my kid doesn’t land a scholarship?  What if all our effort isn’t rewarded?  What if we can’t afford college unless my son or daughter gets a scholarship?  What if…? 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

10 Recruiting questionsHere are 10 of the top questions parents are asking about athletic scholarships.  As we close out 2015 and turn the calendar to the new year, I hope the answers to these questions will keep you pointed in the right direction.

Before we get into them, I want to remind you that my free Recruiting Mini-Course will take you step-by-step through the things you need to do in 2016.  I encourage you to watch this three-part video tutorial.

And now, here are the questions:

ONE:  What’s included in an athletic scholarship?   It depends on the offer, but a scholarship can range from a full ride to a portion of a student-athlete’s college expenses.  Your kid may be offered tuition, or room and board, or books, or a combination of these things.  Each sport has a limit on the number of scholarships it can offer, so the coach has to divide the dollars between the scholarship athletes.

TWO:  How do I get my kid noticed by college coaches?  The most important thing is to take the initiative.  Don’t wait for college coaches to find your son or daughter, because it probably won’t happen.  Sure, the elite athletes get discovered easily.  However, in most cases, kids need to take the first step in order to get the attention of college coaches.  What you should do is put together and send a good, short introductory packet that makes a good first impression on coaches at the schools you have interest in.  You’ll be surprised how this simple step can produce amazing results.

THREE:  Are athletic scholarships guaranteed for four years?  No.  Scholarships are usually awarded year-to-year, although the NCAA allows multi-year offers.  If a student-athlete performs poorly, he can lose his scholarship the next year.  Behavior and grades are other factors that can affect an athlete’s scholarship renewal.  It is important to read the language of the scholarship agreement and ask questions.

[Special Note:  I wanted to alert you to the $60 Off Sale on any Recruit-Me Premium Membership.  Check it out.  Sale ends January 5.]

FOUR:  How common is a full-ride scholarship?  Full ride scholarships are only offered in “head count sports.”  The remainder of the sports are called “equivalency sports,” where coaches divide the scholarships among the scholarship athletes.   These athletes receive “partial scholarships.”  Full-ride sports at the D1 level are  football, men and women’s basketball, and women’s gymnastics, volleyball and tennis.

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

VolleyballRecruiting is a hard world, and if you don’t have your act together, it can beat you up.  Here are the first three of a dozen recruiting rules that I’ve laid out for families.  I hope these three help.  You can get the full dozen (and three bonus rules!) by downloading the Guide I’ve put together.

Download “12 Rules of Recruiting and Athletic Scholarships”

Recruiting Rule #1:  Know When to Start. 

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

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! 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 are in the senior year, it’s still probably not too late. You just have to work faster. Continue reading

BallsI’ve been looking around and no one has done it, so I decided I would.  I’m launching the Athletic Scholarship Podcast in a couple days. In the first episode, I’m starting with a couple stories.  My story and your story.  I want you to hear my experiences over the years and how they might translate into yours.

I want to help you with your story from this day forward.  That’s what the Athletic Scholarship Podcast is all about.

In the first episode, I dig into five things that will help you avoid pain, disappointment and financial disaster.  I thought I’d preview the first one here with you in writing.

#1: WHO.

Be careful who you listen to.  There’s so much bad advice out there and it can cost you.  Not only financially, but your son or daughter’s future.  Their college future is too important to mess with, and you need to be careful.

You can get a lot of information online, but how good is it?  Just because the website looks good doesn’t mean you should believe the content.  I say that even for the things you read on my site.  Verify, verify, verify.  Check the information against what you see, read, and hear elsewhere.  If there’s consistency, then it’s likely that the advice is valid. Continue reading

Basketball in hoopGetting an athletic scholarship isn’t all about the money.  Parents and student-athletes can let their pride get in the way of the best choice.  They put the scholarship offer at the top of the list and the kid ends up at a college and program that aren’t the best fit.

In my case, I transferred after just one year.  I really enjoyed my first choice, the University of Minnesota.  But it wasn’t the best fit athletically or academically.

I have to admit that I transferred to Indiana University for athletic reasons, but other factors fell into place to make IU the best fit overall.  I’m glad for my Minnesota experience, but I’m thrilled for my Indiana experience.

I could have saved myself and my parents a lot of stress and expense had I known then what I know today. Continue reading

QuestionsHow can you be sure you’re getting the right advice when you’re in the recruiting process?

That’s an important question, because you may be hearing as many voices as we heard when we got involved with our sons.  You hang around other parents and athletes, you read books, blogs, websites and talk to reps from services.  There’s a lot of information out there, and it’s not all right.

In fact, I’d expect you to check me out before believing everything I say.  That’s the right thing to do.

Here’s some things you can do to make sure you’re getting the right information.

  • Look for consistency.  If you’re checking websites, talking with other people and reading books and blogs, then see what advice is consistent.  That’s probably the truth.  In fact, you can spot wrong information by comparing it against consistent information from a number of other sources.  In other words, if something stands out, it is probably wrong.
  • Talk with college coaches.  That’s right.  Try to connect with a few and see what they have to say.  I’ve done quite a few college coach interviews over the years and have learned tons from them.  You see, these are the people you want to impress, so hear what they have to say in your recruiting approach.  It may take several phone calls and some visits (the latter is better), but if you work at it you’ll get some good information.
  • Talk with other families.  Find out what’s working for them.  If it’s working for them, it is likely to work for you.  Especially talk with families whose kids have gotten scholarships.  You know that they did some things right.  Model their approach.

I know these are not the how-to’s spelled out for you.  But you should take the initiative to check things out.

I don’t want to promote myself, but I do want to give you access to three resources that do spell things out clearly.  First the Athletic Scholarship Free Mini-Course.  It’s packed with a lot of info and practical steps.  It will be a good benefit.

Second, read the Parent’s Guide to Athletic Scholarships.  If you haven’t downloaded it, you can do it now.  (See the sign-up on the left).

Third, view this video blog post that will help you in your journey to do the right things.

I hope these help clarify some things in your recruiting efforts towards your athletic scholarship dream.

 

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

 

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

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