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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

TrackI had a great conversation one night with a man who has dedicated his life to helping student-athletes land at the right school… with the right scholarship.  We agreed on a number of points:

1.  Unless you’re a Blue Chip athlete, you will likely not be “found” by college coaches.  You need to take your scholarship efforts into your own hands as a family and get out there to be seen by college coaches.  Not only that, but you must do the right things.  A shotgun approach to this will not work.  You’ll be disappointed.  You need to have a game plan, just like you do when you’re competing as an athlete. 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

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.

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

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

Jon Fugler, scholarship coachIn all the years I’ve been involved in recruiting, first as a parent and then as a recruiting coach, it is crystal clear that getting a scholarship involves three investments and three great returns.

The first investment is time.  You need to be willing to invest the time it takes to pursue an athletic scholarship. For our family, the investment yielded enormous returns.  I’m talking about both the parent and the athlete investing time.

Here are three things you must do with your time in order to capture an athletic scholarship:

  1. Pursue college coaches.  Sounds strange?  Aren’t they the ones doing the recruiting?  Yes, but if you don’t show interest, they’ll move on to the next recruit.  Build the relationships with key college coaches.  These are coaches are showing an interest in you.  Relationships take time.
  2. Keep the resume up to date.  Parents, your kid’s athletic and academic history is growing and changing every season or semester.  Be sure to take the time to go through the resume and make sure it is completely up to date.  I recommend doing this every month.  Coaches will want to see your latest information.  You’d be surprised how often that needs updating.
  3. Improve. Yes, athlete, you’ve got to be improving continuously.  Practice more, compete more, find a mentor to challenge and teach you.  Keep in mind, that other recruits are working hard to improve, and you don’t want to be left behind.

The second investment is money.  There is no free ride to get a free ride. Whether you pursue the scholarship on your own or go Cadillac with a consultant or service, you will have to invest money. Recruiting resources, camps, clinics, trips, showcases, video production, etc.

However, make wise investments.  You can go broke at this.  Don’t get caught up in activity, such as attending camp after camp.  Do it strategically, attending recruiting camps at colleges you’re interested in.  You want to be seen by the right coaches.  Parents, I would budget for 3-4 camps over the entire recruiting effort– period.

The third investment is heart.  This is not a process for the weak of heart. It’s a long haul and it can wear you out. But the rewards are well worth it. Don’t lose heart. Commit your heart to the process.

That’s why it is important not to go at it alone.  This is a team effort– parent and athlete.  you’re going to need each other.  Remember, this is a marathon and not a sprint.  Just like a season, you’ll have ups and downs and good and bad stretches.  Keep the end in mind– winning an athletic scholarship.  You’ve got to have a vision.

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.