student-athletes

Student-athleteI’ve had many athletes  come to me and ask how to get on a coach’s radar.  My first response is always that “you have to make the first move.”  Specifically, it’s important that you make a good first impression, and that comes off the field.

You have to write a good introductory email or letter in order to get a coach’s interest.  Here are five pointers:

1. Make it your email. This email (or letter) must come from the athlete, because that’s who the coaches will want to build a relationship with.  We encourage parents to help craft the letter, but make sure it’s from the athlete.

2. Make it brief. The key to an effective letter or email can be summed up in one word: BRIEF.  The goal is not to share your life story or all your great athletic achievements.  That will come later, but a long introductory letter will turn off the coach quickly.  He’s only going to read the first page anyway. Therefore… 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

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

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

Athletic scholarship questionsYou can get duped by believing things that just aren’t true.  And in the recruiting world, this can kill your athletic scholarship.

I just finished recording the next episode of the Athletic Scholarship Podcast, and I spoke passionately about three of the most damaging myths.  Then I lay out the truth.  The podcast will release in a couple days, but here’s a sneak preview:

Myth #1:  If my kid is good enough, college coaches will find him or her.

Truth: A very small percentage of high school student-athletes receive scholarships because the coach “happened to find him or her.” Only the top-line elite athletes—the top 100 or so nationally—receive enough national media recognition that they are automatically recruited without having to make an effort. Continue reading

VolleyballRecruiting is a hard world, and if you don’t have your act together, it can beat you up.  Here are the first three of a dozen recruiting rules that I’ve laid out for families.  I hope these three help.  You can get the full dozen (and three bonus rules!) by downloading the Guide I’ve put together.

Download “12 Rules of Recruiting and Athletic Scholarships”

Recruiting Rule #1:  Know 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! 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 are in the senior year, it’s still probably not too late. You just have to work faster. Continue reading

Tomorrow night is my premier webinar and you’re invited:

5 Step to an Athletic Scholarship:  How to Get Recruited in 30 Days.

I’ll be walking you through the five steps that will give you the focus and direction your family needs in this exciting and challenging journey.  I don’t know where you’re at in the process, but I do know that you’ll come away from this webinar with solid steps of action.  When we did the recruiting thing with our sons, it was a huge blessing to have someone guide us and give us specific steps of action.  You’ll get that tomorrow night.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

9 PM Eastern/ 8 PM Central/ 7 PM Mountain/ 6 PM Pacific

My Video Invite to You

If you follow just the first two steps, your student-athlete will start hearing from coaches in 30 days or less.

How to Watch

This high-energy live video event will be presented on the LIVE WEBINAR PAGE , as well as on YouTube and Google Hangouts. Choose your way.

Watch on your computer or any mobile device. If you’re using your mobile device, you may want to watch on YouTube.

RSVP

Please RSVP by emailing me or on the Event Page and I’ll see you Thursday night, November 5. Invite other parents and athletes to attend.

Everyone attending will receive a Recruiting Checklist as a follow-up to what I teach you on the webinar.

To watch on Google Hangouts, follow this link:

https://plus.google.com/events/cgr7tavvgukf6qimdj54157avu4

Athletic scholarship questionsRecruiting can be a mess.

How’s that for an opening line?  Well, it’s true and sometimes I just need to say it.  It’s so confusing that parents and athletes are left at the starting line while the clock keeps ticking on a kid’s high school career.

How about you?  Are you confused or discouraged?  Have you been spinning your wheels or fallen into a ditch?  Or has your experience been pretty good, even excellent?  Share your experience in the comment section below.  Other parents can benefit from what you have to say.  And I’d like to know what you’re dealing with.

This quote is from a Forbes article earlier this month:

“A lot of kids think they’re being recruited, when they really aren’t,” said Kimberly Oden, a former Stanford volleyball player who now advises high-school students and their families on college-sports possibilities. Coaches may send out 150 form letters to possible prospects, Oden noted. Most of those early feelers go nowhere.

News like this is tragic. Parents and athletes are under false impressions, and as I said, the clock keeps ticking.  Yet, nothing happens.

This isn’t news to me.  I’ve seen it for years.  But I am at the point where I just have to do more about this.  I am stepping up my game so families can step up theirs.

Here’s what I mean. Continue reading

BallsI’ve been looking around and no one has done it, so I decided I would.  I’m launching the Athletic Scholarship Podcast in a couple days. In the first episode, I’m starting with a couple stories.  My story and your story.  I want you to hear my experiences over the years and how they might translate into yours.

I want to help you with your story from this day forward.  That’s what the Athletic Scholarship Podcast is all about.

In the first episode, I dig into five things that will help you avoid pain, disappointment and financial disaster.  I thought I’d preview the first one here with you in writing.

#1: WHO.

Be careful who you listen to.  There’s so much bad advice out there and it can cost you.  Not only financially, but your son or daughter’s future.  Their college future is too important to mess with, and you need to be careful.

You can get a lot of information online, but how good is it?  Just because the website looks good doesn’t mean you should believe the content.  I say that even for the things you read on my site.  Verify, verify, verify.  Check the information against what you see, read, and hear elsewhere.  If there’s consistency, then it’s likely that the advice is valid. Continue reading

[NOTE:  Five Steps to an Athletic Scholarship, a Free Mini-Course from Recruit-Me, will be available in just a few days.  This is the only step-by-step course available today and will expand on some of the things in this blog post, as well as much more.  Check back in a few days and you’ll see how to get started with the first lesson.]

Signing Most people don’t understand the process that gets an athlete recruited.  The official signing is what most of us see or hear about, but we have no idea what went into getting the student-athlete in that position.

Is it a big mystery?  To most families, it is.  So let me lay out five factors that cause an athlete to get recruited:

1.  Talent.  There’s no substitute for this.  But don’t be fooled.  Your son or daughter doesn’t need to be the best in the league or on the team.  They key is that he or she has the talent to compete at the next level.  If that’s the case, there’s a good chance a scholarship is in their future.  It’s important to cast your net wide, because you don’t know which programs are looking for recruits at your son or daughter’s talent level.  Don’t get hung up on particular schools at the outset.  It will take time to see which ones are the best fit. Continue reading

A pounding hail storm that turned in to a steady rain halted any chance of me recording a video post today, so we’ll have to cover the material the old-fashioned way.  Well, I did shoot an 18-second video with my phone, but it has nothing to do with recruiting.  Check out the hail:

 

This week, I have a tough question for you to answer.

You are probably in one of three situations.

1.  You’ve been pursuing an athletic scholarship for your son our daughter for some time.  Maybe a year or more.  And you’re not sure how it will all turn out.

2.  You’ve been working on this for a very short time.  You’ve done some things, but coaches aren’t knocking the door down.

3.  You’re just getting started in the scholarship pursuit. Continue reading

How would you like to get into the mind of a college coach to understand what he or she is looking for in a recruit?  W0uldn’t that help you with your son’s or daughter’s pursuit of an athletic scholarship?

In this week’s blog post, I get face-to-face with you to share five of the most important things a coach is looking for.  I hope this helps to center yourselves as you go through the recruiting process.

NOTE:  Summer is just about here, and you need to be thinking about summer plans as they relate to recruiting.  You might want to take a few informal school visits.  Also, be looking for tournaments, showcases and camps you might want your son or daughter to compete at.

TrackI’m going to scare a lot of parents with this blog post. I’m going against the grain of a well-funded industry. And I’m going to reveal some things to you that you won’t want to hear.

I’ve heard from many parents over the years about how they were disillusioned by recruiting services and online registries. The latter are sites where you can upload a profile and video of your son or daughter.

And many college coaches are disappointed, too. An article in the Times Herald-Record in Middletown, CT revealed some pretty candid statements by area college coaches. Check this out: Continue reading

College campusWith twin sons on their way to college over a decade ago, my wife and I were facing the prospect of huge college debt.  Our daughter was already in college and we were stretched to the max.

If it weren’t for the scholarships our boys received, I think we’d still be paying off college debt.

You may be in a similar situation, so you know how important it is for you to pursue an athletic scholarship for your son or daughter.  In fact, your student-athlete doesn’t realize how important this is.  Continue reading

FootballThe NCAA guidelines state that full-ride scholarships will cover fees and tuition, board, room, as well as all books related to a particular course. But these scholarships are only offered to students who participate in “head-count sports” such as basketball, Division 1-A football, women’s tennis, women’s gymnastics, or women’s volleyball. All other sports fall under the category of “equivalency sports”, which allows a coach to determine the allotted scholarship amount for many players. Some of these scholarships may be partial while others are full-ride.

Equivalency Sports for Men and Women

Equivalency sport scholarships can be used as a starting point to obtain a full-ride scholarship in future years, or at least an increase in funding as you progress through the program. Sports that fall under this category for men include baseball, Division 1-AA football, gymnastics, wrestling, tennis, rifle, and volleyball. The women’s list of sports includes equestrian, rowing, field hockey, softball, squash, and rugby. Equivalency sports for both men and women include cross-country/field and track events, fencing, ice hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, skiing, diving and swimming, as well as water polo. Athletic scholarships through these sports will offer monetary and support benefits that can be crucial for the development of student-athletes.

Financial Realities

Full-ride athletic scholarships are expected to cover all costs involved in the education of a student. But there remains a sizable difference between the costs of attending college and the scholarship. Students are not fully covered for things such as incidentals and travel home on vacations, but the scholarship will be a huge factor in saving a lot of money over the duration of your college career.

CheckmarkI was reading through the answers to a recent survey I took with parents and athletes.  One of the parents stated the biggest challenge in reaching the scholarship goal is “Seemingly lack of effort on my daughters part to promote herself.”

This is a statement of a bigger problem many parents face.  And that is, how to motivate their son or daughter to do what it takes to get a scholarship.  As a parent, you know the financial implications, but usually the student-athlete doesn’t have that mature of a perspective.  Continue reading

Jon Fugler, scholarship coachEnrollment for the first-ever Recruit-Me Intensive is now closed.  If you didn’t enroll, you can still take advantage of the resources in your free membership, as well as regular posts on the Recruit-Me blog.  I look forward to sharing things that can help you in your recruiting efforts.

I surveyed parents aSurveynd student-athletes earlier this month, and the responses were insightful.  From goals to needs, many people expressed their honest thoughts.  I’m thankful for the detailed responses.  Let me give you a peek at some trends I saw in the responses, then I’ll address them.

Let me start at the beginning.

The first thing that popped out to me was the goal student-athletes expressed.  By far, the most frequent answer was “A full ride scholarship.”  That’s great, because you have a clear goal, the highest scholarship goal when it comes to financial help.  Several others stated they wanted a partial or 50% scholarship. Continue reading

(Note:  The Athletic Scholarship and Recruiting Survey is now closed.  Thank you to all who participated.  I am compiling the responses and look forward to soon sharing with you what I learned, and responding to the biggest issues in an upcoming online class I will be teaching this Fall). 

Uphill bike rideToday, I rode 12 1/2 miles on my bike at over 8,000 feet elevation.  It took two and a half hours to make it to my destination.

Am I that bad a cyclist?

Not really.  Most of the ride was uphill, and at 8,000 feet, it was a huge challenge.  But I made it.  As I was riding, I was thinking about how my journey has lessons in it for student-athletes seeking athletic scholarships.  There are three things I’d like to share with you today. Continue reading

(Before you get into this post, can I ask for your help?  If you haven’t responded yet, I’d like to get your response to a few questions in our Athletic Scholarship and Recruiting SurveyI’d like to know your what you’re thinking and experiencing.  I’ve gotten a lot of helpful responses in the past few days.  Thanks for adding your voice!)

One of the mRunnerost common questions I get from athletes and parents is, “When should we start?”

You’re asking the question of  “when is too early, when is too late, and when is just right?”

I recommend families start, ideally, in the athlete’s freshman year in high school.  But this rarely happens, so don’t get worried if you didn’t do that.  You can make up the time.  This is the year when, together, you want to look at possible good fits.  Research schools from both the academic and athletic standpoint.  Gather as much information as you can.

As schools rise to the surface, those are the ones you need to dig into further.  Find out as much as you can about the athletic programs and about the academic areas of interest.  I believe it is too early to contact schools because the coaches are looking at juniors and seniors that can help their programs in the near future. Continue reading

(Before you get into this post, can I ask for your help?  I’d like to get your response to a few questions in our Athletic Scholarship and Recruiting SurveyI’d like to know your what you’re thinking and experiencing.  Thanks!)

You might not be too faStadiumr from achieving your scholarship dream.  Whether you’ve been contacted by many coaches or none, let’s put things in perspective.

If you’re talented and you can compete at the next level, there are schools that want you.  And they’ll offer you a scholarship.  You need to believe that.  It’s true.  When we went through this experience with our twin sons, the day we found that perfect match was incredible.  There is a perfect match for you, too.

That lead me to my next point.  You need to compete.  I don’t mean in your sport, but for a scholarship. You can’t sit back and wait.  You need to make yourself known.  There are thousands and thousands of athletes competing for every scholarship position, so you need to make every effort to be one who is chosen.   Hope isn’t going to cut it.  Hope doesn’t win games and it doesn’t win scholarships.  You need to get to work. Continue reading

LetterIn my previous post, we took a look at the keys to an effective introductory email or letter.  You only have one chance to make a good first impression, so put your best foot forward.

Now let’s get into content.  As you know, I believe the letter needs to be brief and to the point.   Here’s what should be in each paragraph of your one-page letter or introductory email.

Who, what, where and when: Introduce yourself and your intentions with a one-sentence opening paragraph.

Athletic abilities:  Briefly tell about three or four of your athletic accomplishments and impressive stats from your most recent season. If you have participated in or received honors in other sports, mention them, but do not include highlights. Continue reading

NCAA ConferencesFor a high school student-athlete, there aren’t many things more frightening than talking with a college coach on the phone.  It can be daunting.  And it should be.  You’ve been dreaming of getting an athletic scholarship and now the coaches are calling.  You’re on the spot.

You need to prepare for these occasions.  Once you take a few calls, you’ll get more comfortable.  That is, until you get a call from a coach you really want to play for.  This school is on your A list.  You’ve been hoping he or she will call.  And now it happens.  It can really make you nervous.

When taking a coach’s call, try to relax.  He or she will understand you’re nervous.  That’s ok.

Secondly, have a list of questions ready.  If the coach is calling your cell phone, you’ll have to think quickly.  The list will have to be in your head.  Continue reading

College campuses aD1 Conferencesre about to open across the country for the Fall semester.  The TV will be swarming with football games, and every one on the field will be a scholarship athlete.  D1 schools, at least.

So how did these guys get a scholarship?  How did coaches find them?  What does it take to be a scholarship athlete?  How can my son or daughter get a prized athletic scholarship next year, or the year after that… or the year after that?

These are good questions, and they deserve answers. 

Yes, coaches of all sports are looking for scholarship athletes, and they’re looking year-round.  Recruiting is a big business, and coaches must be as good at recruiting as they are at coaching.  That’s the difference between an average program and a great program. 

How does a high school athlete, get in the cross-hairs?  In a good way, of course.  How does he or she get on a coaches’ radar?  I was interviewed by a reporter a couple days ago and told him what I tell you… take the initiative.  Don’t sit back and wait, or you’ll miss that scholarship.

Do you really think all those scholarship athletes you’ll see on TV this fall were somehow just “discovered” by their coaches?  Some yes, but most no.  They had to do some work to get noticed.  And that’s what we have been pounding into the minds of our Recruit-Me families for over a decade.   Here are some fast-start actions:

1.  Pull together a database of colleges you’re interested in.  Get the coaches’ contact information.  It is all available online on their websites.

2.  Begin crafting your introductory letter and email.  Keep it short. 

3.  Begin shooting your performance video.  You can put in on YouTube when you’re done.  That way, you can send coaches there when you contact them.

I also want to urge you to get some help.  You’ll find some resources on our website, and there are also other places you can go online to enhance your athletic scholarship experience. 

Now get started.

Baseball basketball volleyball footballAs you start the new year, are you looking for new ways to get recruited?  First, you need to come to terms with the fact that college coaches will not make the first contact.  You MUST take the initiative and contact THEM.  That leads me to the second point, the topic of this post:

Contact coaches the right way.  It means there are wrong ways that just don’t work. And taking one of those wrong approaches will probably kill a coach’s interest before you get started with them.  As we’ve worked with parents and athletes, we know there are some approaches that are just misguided. We’ve seen people trying to do these things and none of them are effective.  They are usually harmful to your chances, too. 

Let me run down a few of these for you.  The first one is sending out scores of identical “Dear Coach…” emails.  Coaches can smell out a spam campaign a mile away. If they get a non-personalized email, then they’re just going to generally hit delete.   Now let me make it clear– there is a role for email contact, but not this way.  

Highlight DVDs Another wrong way is to make the first contact by mass mailing DVD’s to coaches.  Most coaches don’t want to take the time to watch an athlete’s video until after they’ve done some screening of the athlete’s facts and stats.  It’s easy to get misled into using this DVD mass mailing approach, because there are a lot of local and national athlete video production services.  They’ll create a great looking video of you (or your son or daughter).  They’ll add that cool music, the title, the captions; these are good to have but don’t use them for introducing yourself or your son or daughter to a coach.  That comes later. 

Another wrong approach is just filling out a questionnaire on the school’s website.  These days, just about every program has that fill-it-out questionnaire.  You’re going to blend in with the crowd if you try this as the introductory approach.  You don’t want to blend in.  You want to stand out.  You’ll eventually be filling out a school’s questionnaire, but not as the first contact.  It’s really a bad approach. 

Completing online questionnaires

If your son or daughter wants to get on a coach’s radar, wants to be recruited by certain schools, how should your family do it?  The best method is something I personally learned early on with my twin boys and what I’ve been teaching families for years.  It’s this:  Create a well crafted introductory packet to send to the college coaches.  This information needs to introduce the athlete to the coach in a very personal way, one that gets their interest and makes them want to know more about the athlete. 

It should give the personal and athletic details that a coach wants to see at first glance so they can make a quick screening decision.  You should be selective on what you write, and should provide just the right information to get the coaches’ interest. It’s really important that you make a goD1 Conferencesod first impression.

For instance, there’s a kid from New York that we helped with his introductory package.  His dad was so excited about the results that he emailed us within a week.  He told us that within five days, two coaches from Division 1 schools had already contacted his high school coach to check up on him.  This family did a good introductory package, it was powerful.

So keep in mind the first two things you need to know in order to break the scholarship code: first, you can’t just sit back waiting to be discovered and, second, you have to contact the coaches the right way so they’ll begin a relationship with you.  

 This is just a small piece of the scholarship and recruiting puzzle.  Your Recruit-Me Premium Membership will provide you with all the tools and coaching you need to break the scholarship code and get an athletic scholarship.  If you’re ready to get started, then I encourage you to enroll in our Premium Membership so we can work with you all the way through the scholarship process.