Student-athlete

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

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

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

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

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

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

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