camps

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

Thanks for the rBasketball arenaecruiting and athletic scholarship questions you’ve presenting lately.  These are questions many parents and student-athletes are wrestling with, so I thought I’d dig into a couple more in this post.

Q: “My daughter and I would like to attend local D2 tournaments games in our area. I know we can’t approach the D2 coaches, so how do we make contact with them? Send a email stating her interest in the school and that she will be in attendance watching the game? Will my daughter be allowed to hand a coach her player profile while at the game? Your thoughts would be appreciated. Thank you.”

A: The nice thing about recruiting is that the contact rules apply to coaches.  The parent and student-athlete can make contact with the coaches anywhere and anytime.  You can visit a school, meet with the coach, tour the campus, deliver information, etc.

The same is true for attending these tournament games.  Yes, your daughter can go and approach the coach.  However, it may not be very effective at the game itself.  The coach is “in the zone” before and during the game.  The best time to approach the coach is after the game.  She can hand the player profile to the coach then, but I would also highly recommend sending the complete Introductory Packet by mail or email.  A coach has a lot on his or her mind during competition.

I think it is a good idea what you have planned.  She’ll make an impression on the coach that will make a difference when he or she gets the Intro Packet from your daughter. Continue reading

Baseball basketball volleyball footballI receive a lot of questions from student-athletes and parents when it comes to recruiting and scholarships.  I remember when I was going through the process with my twin sons, and I had a lot of questions, too.  Here are a couple I’ve received that have risen to the top.  I thought it would be helpful to post them and respond to them, because you may be asking  similar questions.

Q:  I play varsity doubles and have received all-state for 2 years, but it seems very hard to get noticed at the regional/national level in doubles. Any suggestions?

A:  Your struggle is not an uncommon problem for most high school athletes. Even talented ones like yourself get overlooked. Most colleges’ recruiting budgets are limited, and the coaches cannot get out to see that many players. They rely on tournaments, showcases and camps to see large numbers of players at once. Only for exceptional prospects will a coach normally travel to see an individual game or match.

For these reasons, it is extremely important that you take the initiative to let college coaches know about you. Be aggressive in pursuing the schools where you have an interest. Once you make contact with the coaches, you open the door for continued contact. They will write back if they see that you have the tools to play on their team. Your letter, player profile, completed questionnaire, video (if they ask for one), and regular updates are those tools. Continue reading

10 Recruiting questionsHere are 10 of the top questions parents are asking about athletic scholarships.  As we close out 2015 and turn the calendar to the new year, I hope the answers to these questions will keep you pointed in the right direction.

Before we get into them, I want to remind you that my free Recruiting Mini-Course will take you step-by-step through the things you need to do in 2016.  I encourage you to watch this three-part video tutorial.

And now, here are the questions:

ONE:  What’s included in an athletic scholarship?   It depends on the offer, but a scholarship can range from a full ride to a portion of a student-athlete’s college expenses.  Your kid may be offered tuition, or room and board, or books, or a combination of these things.  Each sport has a limit on the number of scholarships it can offer, so the coach has to divide the dollars between the scholarship athletes.

TWO:  How do I get my kid noticed by college coaches?  The most important thing is to take the initiative.  Don’t wait for college coaches to find your son or daughter, because it probably won’t happen.  Sure, the elite athletes get discovered easily.  However, in most cases, kids need to take the first step in order to get the attention of college coaches.  What you should do is put together and send a good, short introductory packet that makes a good first impression on coaches at the schools you have interest in.  You’ll be surprised how this simple step can produce amazing results.

THREE:  Are athletic scholarships guaranteed for four years?  No.  Scholarships are usually awarded year-to-year, although the NCAA allows multi-year offers.  If a student-athlete performs poorly, he can lose his scholarship the next year.  Behavior and grades are other factors that can affect an athlete’s scholarship renewal.  It is important to read the language of the scholarship agreement and ask questions.

[Special Note:  I wanted to alert you to the $60 Off Sale on any Recruit-Me Premium Membership.  Check it out.  Sale ends January 5.]

FOUR:  How common is a full-ride scholarship?  Full ride scholarships are only offered in “head count sports.”  The remainder of the sports are called “equivalency sports,” where coaches divide the scholarships among the scholarship athletes.   These athletes receive “partial scholarships.”  Full-ride sports at the D1 level are  football, men and women’s basketball, and women’s gymnastics, volleyball and tennis.

Continue reading

ChristmasFirst of all, Merry Christmas!  I hope your family will experience the joy of Jesus’ birth, God’s gift to a needy world.

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.

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. Continue reading

After the race with my good friend Wayne.

After the race with my good friend Wayne. I’m the one drenched in sweat on the left.

I ran a marathon on Saturday.  OK, it was only 5K, but for me it felt like a marathon.  The humidity was just short of stifling, the temperatures were in the 70s, and it was only 7 am.  On top of that, I was up until 1 am preparing for the launch of Athletic Scholarship University.

And on top of that … yes another “on top of that” statement, the course was a quarter-mile more than 5K!  I know because I had my running app on during the race.  Yeah, somebody had a sense of humor.

Despite all these things, I ran my best race in years!  Maybe it was because this was sea level and I live at 6,800 feet elevation.  I was mighty proud of my 8:55 miles, over 30 seconds ahead of my normal pace.  I was a gazelle.

Now let me draw a comparison to recruiting.  You’re running a marathon, not a 5K.  It can last years, and you need to be ready.  Here’s how you can train for your recruiting marathon.  And that’s how you need to look at it.

#1.  Mental preparation is key.  When I prepared for my 5K, I knew it was going to be warm and humid.  I knew the course was over 5K (I ran it last year).  So I was ready.  In the same way, you need to be mentally ready to run your recruiting course.  If you can anticipate as much as possible, then you’re ahead before you start.  Yes, there will be surprises, but prepare for things you know about in advance.

In recruiting, mentally prepare by going your homework on schools, programs and coaches.  Know in advance which schools are priorities for you.  Go online, make phone calls, place visits.  This is all part of the preparation you should do in order for the recruiting process to run as smooth as it can.  But do be ready for surprises. Continue reading

2015 track“My biggest challenge is getting coaches’ attention.”  That’s a statement I heard over and over again from you when I put out the survey asking you about your biggest challenge.  Other ways you stated it…

“Getting coaches to look at me.”

“Getting coaches to notice me and be interested.”

If you’re a parent, this is the biggest challenge your son or daughter is likely facing.  In fact, I’d call it the biggest fear.

My heart goes out to you, because I know it’s a helpless feeling and I want you to be empowered.  There’s a saying that “knowledge is power,” and that’s why I’m committed to providing parents and their athletes the best knowledge to overcome the biggest challenges and succeed at getting a scholarship.

You will experience power that wipes out fear and uncertainty when you have the right knowledge.  In this post, let’s take a look at three solutions to this one big challenge. 

Continue reading

NCAA ConferencesI can’t tell you how important it is for you to really make the most of the summer recruiting season.  This is so key, because every sport is out of season on the college level.  The coaches have time to recruit and they’re doing it.

Don’t miss out.  My heart is to see every talented high school athlete get an athletic scholarship at the school and program that is the best fit for them. 

Parents, will you set aside an hour or two and begin the process with your son or daughter?  If you’ve already begun, great!  What more can you do this summer to take advantage of the opportunity to put your son or daughter in front of college coaches?

Some suggestions: Continue reading

RunnersTens of thousands of talented high school athletes get passed over by college coaches every year.  In fact, I’d even say over a hundred thousand.

I see it all the time.  Talented athletes with high hopes have those hopes dashed when they expect attention from college coaches but don’t get any.  What makes it worse is that they see other athletes in town get offers.  And they know that they have just as much talent as that other athlete.

What’s wrong?  Is the system broken?  Why do some of the best athletes get overlooked? Continue reading

This summer, you may be considering recruiting camps for your son or daughter, so they can be evaluated and

Basketball Camp

Hope College Basketball Exposure Camp

seen by college coaches. In talking with a parent a couple weeks ago, he was ready to sign his son up for several camps. He wasn’t sure which ones yet, but he was ready to start registering him.

I encouraged him not to.

With families I coach through the recruiting process, I advise them to be selective about camps. First of all, this is an expensive road to travel. Speaking of travel, it is just one of the expenses. You’ve got camp fees.  Then there’s food and lodging on top of that, if it’s a multi-day camp. This all adds up, and it can be a shot in the dark without a firm plan. Continue reading