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
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
As promised, here’s your Recruiting “Edge of the Day #2.” It’s Recruiting Breakthrough Week and I want to make sure this entire summer is a breakthrough.
Recruiting Breakthrough Edge of the Day: Make school visits. It speaks volumes to college coaches.
Now, about school visits… 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.
I was thinking about some of the big questions parents and athletes ask me about what it takes to get an athletic scholarship. Most people know so little about it.
I was there once, when I was working on getting my sons recruited. But over the years, I’ve become an expert who has helped thousands of other families.
I can’t give all the answers in one post, but I can give you one: hard work.
For example, I was reading about Lindsay Brown, who accepted a scholarship offer for volleyball. She had interest from several schools, including New Hampshire, Oregon State, Louisiana Tech, Lewis & Clark College, Dominican University, Menlo College, UC Santa Barbara and UC Riverside. She chose Sonoma State, which is near her home town. Continue reading
Athletic 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 your 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
You could call this a showcase blog post. It’s the kind of post that hits the prime things any family needs to know about recruiting. If you’re just getting started in the journey, this is the post you need to read.
If you’ve been at it for a while, this is the kind of post you need to re-read. It’s getting back to basics when your efforts get scattered. In fact, I was re-focused when I wrote this. It reminded me about staying true north.
As always, feel free to write me with thoughts or questions.
Need to Know #1: When to Start
The number one question I get from parents is, “When should we start the recruiting process?”
I remember getting an email from one parent whose son was a senior, asking if it was too late. A moment later, I received an email from a freshman parent asking if it was too early!
Just this week, a parent wrote me, “We have twin daughters. They are only freshmen in high school. Is it too early to start the process?”
So, as you can see, there is some confusion out there.
You should start early. In fact, as early as the freshman year, if that’s possible.
But, even if you start in the senior year, it’s still probably not too late. You just have to work faster. Of course, this late in the year you really need to hustle. You need to apply the five steps I teach and do it fast. Now back to the subject at hand… Continue reading
Do 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
My wife is an expert when it comes to recruiting. You see, she had as much of a role as I did in getting our twin sons their fully paid educations.
So it’s time you heard from her. She’s my featured, exclusive, expert guest on the latest episode of the Athletic Scholarship Podcast.
We tackle a topic I’m passionate about: The Role of Parents in Recruiting. Instead of listening to me go on and on, I decided to bring Noonie onto the microphone and get her perspective as a mom.
At the end of the interview, I’ll leave you with some takeaways from what she said and what I’ve learned as well. You’ll hear some principles that you can put into practice right away. As a result…
ONE: You’ll strengthen your relationship with your son or daughter.
TWO: You’ll have a smoother path to an athletic scholarship for your kid.
THREE: You’ll diminish or eliminate some of the stresses in this pursuit.