Communication

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NCAADon’t get caught without knowing the rules.

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

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

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

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

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

Recruiting Calendars

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

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

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

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a contact?

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

What is a contact period?

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

What is an evaluation period?

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

What is a quiet period?

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

What is a dead period?

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

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

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

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

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

What is a National Letter of Intent?

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

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

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

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

What are recruiting calendars?

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

Continue reading

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

Student-athleteIt’s Recruiting Breakthrough Week, an exciting and powerful week to launch your family into a game-changing summer. This is a prime recruiting season. Don’t let it pass you by.

Here’s your Recruiting Breakthrough Edge of the Day #4:

Take ownership of your recruiting process yourselves.

Because parents know so little about the ins and outs of recruiting, they are tempted to turn over control to an outside party. This can be detrimental to your son or daughter’s future. 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

It’s Recruiting Breakthrough Week. I’ve got a few gold nuggets to blog about this week that will give you the recruiting edge as we kick off the summer recruiting season.  I’m calling it your “Recruiting Breakthrough Edge.”

Look for them here in posts this week.

Today’s Recruiting Breakthrough

Edge of the Day:

Do not send coaches your athlete’s video link to coaches as the first step.

Unfortunately, I see this strategy all the time, but there’s a better way.

First, let me address why you shouldn’t do it.

You want your son or daughter to stand out in that first contact with coaches.  If you send a video, then your athlete is just one of hundreds… or thousands that do the very same thing.  You want to do the opposite of what other families are doing.  That’s how your son or daughter stands out right away!

The better way to use video is to first send a quality introductory packet to coaches.  The intro packet is a brief email or letter from your athlete, accompanied by a player profile or resume.  It’s a way for your athlete to introduce him or herself.  It’s a handshake.

Most families don’t do this.  This is the way to stand out right away.

Then… if the coach is interested (based on what he sees in the intro packet), he’ll contact your son or daughter and most likely ask for a video link.  The key here is that the coach is reaching out and making contact and it’s no longer one way communication.  It shows interest, and that’s what you want.  The dialogue has begun.

Send the video link when the coach requests it.

This is the right way to use video and make a proper introduction.  Coaches will appreciate this personal approach.

Look for the next Recruiting Breakthrough Edge so you can get the edge this summer in your recruiting efforts.