The weekly Recruit-Me Blog is now the weekly Recruit-Me Podcast…
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.
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
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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
When it comes to evaluating their son or daughter, parents usually make one of two mistakes:
- They overrate them, or
- 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
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
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.
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.
If 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
Here’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
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.
Any 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.
…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.
… 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.
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.