Financial

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

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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

Going brokeYou can go broke trying to get your kid a scholarship, and that’s the opposite of what you’re after for your family. You want net gain, not net loss.

The amount of money parents spend on things that they think will guarantee or increase their kids’ scholarship chances is often based on emotion and not logic. What I’ve found is much of this money is spent out of fear or from peer pressure.

In its most recent survey of college pricing, the College Board reports that a “moderate” college budget for an in-state public college for the 2015–2016 academic year averaged $24,061. A moderate budget at a private college averaged $47,831.

Yes, when it comes to the end of the recruiting journey, you want $10,000 … $20,000 … $30,000 or more each year staying in your pocket! Parents, I know the financial strain of paying for college. But spending a ton of money on things you hope will get your kid a scholarship is no guarantee at all.

Here are three things you can do to spend less in your scholarship efforts and still be successful.

1. Cut back on lessons. I sent my kids to hitting and pitching lessons, and paid quite a bit. But I was selective. It wasn’t an “until further notice” contract with the instructor. Be strategic. I would bet that you could cut your costs in half and still not sacrifice your kid’s future and improvement. You could save hundreds, even thousands, of dollars a year. 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

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

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.

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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.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

College Life

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

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

RunnerIMPORTANT:  Make plans to attend the Free teleseminar, The 7 Most-Asked Recruiting and Scholarship Questions by Parents and High School Student-Athletes.

Tuesday, April 29, 8:00 pm Eastern Time

Call-in number: (605) 475-4700
Access Code (Pin Number): 450246#

Please RSVP to support@recruit-me.com so we are sure to have enough lines open.

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So how much money is really out there for athletic scholarships?  The number may astound you, but keep in mind that this is divided among tens of thousands of athletes:

NCAA Division I and II schools offer athletic scholarships. Division III schools offer academic scholarships only.  NCAA members provide more than $1.5 billion in athletics scholarships annually.

NAIA members provide more than 60,000 student-athletes with opportunities to play college sports, earning $500 million in scholarships.

If you read my previous post, you saw how these dollars are divided by sport.  And in most cases, the scholarships are not full rides.  However, student-athletes can combine athletic scholarships with other grants.  As stated by the NCAA:

“Thousands of student-athletes benefit from academic scholarships and need-based aid, such as federal Pell Grants. In addition, there is money available from the NCAA’s own Student-Athlete Opportunity Fund. Sometimes student-athletes cannot accept Continue reading