athletic scholarships

BaseballIf our family hadn’t taken action over 15 years ago, who knows where our twin sons would have ended up in college?  It would have been unlikely that they would have received athletic scholarships.

Our recruiting experience changed our family.  And it really changed the lives of our sons.   They received fully paid educations because we, as a family, took the initiative to get our sons recruited.  Sure, we couldn’t guarantee how coaches would respond, but at least our sons’ abilities were seen by coaches.

Why don’t so many talented athletes ever get recruited?  It’s really quite simple.

If you’re a parent of a talented athlete, I’m sure you want the best opportunity for your son or daughter.  Helping them take the initiative is one of the best things you can do for them.  Come alongside them and work on this as a team.  And a word for athletes… Continue reading

QuestionWhen it comes to evaluating their son or daughter, parents usually make one of two mistakes:

  1.  They overrate them, or
  2.  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

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

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.

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

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

NCAANational signing day is Wednesday.  It’s a day that gets an incredible amount of hype.  It elevates many but discourages more.

If your kid isn’t an elite athlete, national signing day can leave you cold, worried, anxious.  Of course, tomorrow is just football’s big day, but this kind of hype can send chills down the spines of parents whose athletes compete in other sports.

Why?

Because the air of uncertainty creeps into your mind and emotions.  What if my kid doesn’t land a scholarship?  What if all our effort isn’t rewarded?  What if we can’t afford college unless my son or daughter gets a scholarship?  What if…? 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

Athletic Scholarship PodcastI’m just a couple days away from releasing the next episode of the Athletic Scholarship Podcast.  This time, you’ll get the benefit of hearing from a college coach who has been recruiting at some of the nation’s leading programs for two decades.

Here are three things he pushed during the interview.  I’ll only give you a cursory view here,  because I want you to hear the details in his own words.   Be sure to check back on my podcast page in a couple days for the release of this new episode.

  1.  Do your research.  This coach made a  big point about visiting the schools highest on your list and spending time on campus, with the coach, and watching the team work out.  This would be an unofficial visit, and you can make as many of those as you want.
  2. Academics is so important.  If you don’t have the grades, the coach can’t get you in. So work hard now so you can have a choice of schools when it’s time to make your decision.
  3. The scholarship offer is not the most important factor in your decision.  So what is most important?  This coach will talk in more detail about this in the interview.

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