5 Tips for Parents to Succeed in the College Athletic Recruiting Process

Five tips to help parents and high school athletes succeed in the college athletic recruiting process

1 – Understand who is responsible. Many families assume that their high school coach is responsible for their recruiting process. High school coaches are great people; they work really hard and usually don’t earn much money. Often, they are teachers who have papers and tests to grade or work other jobs to make a living, and most of them have families to take care of as well. The recruiting process is ultimately your responsibility. You are responsible for researching and evaluating schools, contacting college coaches, visiting schools and making decisions along the way. Your high school coach can help you with the process by determining where your skills might fit in with different college levels and programs, writing recommendations, and even placing phone calls on your behalf to college coaches after you have initiated contact. Don’t be the parent that senior year says, “I thought our coach would take care of the recruiting process for us.”

2 – Be proactive in the college athletic recruiting process. Now that you know the process is your responsibility, it’s important to be proactive and research as many schools as possible. The recruiting and college selection process is not something that should sneak up on you senior year. Success in recruiting is about matching up your son or daughter’s academic talents, athletic talents, and desires with a given college program. The families that come the closest to finding an athletic, academic, and social match are the ones who usually have the best success in the recruiting process. They have already done much of the work for the college coach, and the coach has confidence in recruiting a smart and talented athlete who wants to attend their school. There are over 1,100 NCAA colleges at the D1, D2, and D3 level, and 500+ Junior College and NAIA schools, most of which you have never heard of.

How to succeed in the college athletic Recruiting Process

Stay on track in the college athletic recruiting process

3 – Don’t follow the herd in the college athletic recruiting process. Many students put themselves in a position to fail by simply following the herd and applying to well-known popular schools. The problem is that everyone is applying to these schools and competition for admission is extremely difficult. Harvard annually receives over 30,000 applications and admits roughly 10% of applicants each year. Despite your academic record, Harvard is going to turn down over 28,000 students each year, some of them being incredibly smart and gifted students. Juniata, a small D3 school in Pennsylvania received just over 1,500 applications last year and accepted about 1,100 students or roughly 75%. Few have heard of Juniata because they are not Harvard and you won’t find their basketball team on TV in March Madness or their football team in a bowl game. Juniata recently appeared in the Unofficial Guide to the 320 Most Interesting Colleges, published by Kaplan Publishing and their girls volleyball team won the 2004 D3 national championship. If your list of colleges includes only those well-known schools everyone has heard of, you will find competition for athletic spots and acceptance extremely difficult.

4 – Be realistic in the college athletic recruiting process. One of the best quotes I ever saw was the following, “There are roughly 20,000 high schools in the country and thus 20,000 leading scorers on every team at every high school, but it doesn’t mean those 20,000 leading scorers are all talented enough to play college athletics.” – The love, time, money, and passion you have poured into your son or daughters athletic career can often cloud your judgment of their potential for a college scholarship. Most parents’ dream of athletic scholarships and all the money they will save and are not realistic about the chances of receiving athletic scholarship money. While your talents may garner some athletic scholarship money, after D1 football and basketball, there is very little scholarship money to go around. Most coaches, even at the D1 level, have a limited amount of money for their team that they divide up amongst 10-20 players (even more for some sports). There is far more money in the form of grants, Merit aid, outside scholarships, institutional aid, and federal financial aid, than there is athletic scholarship money. You need to explore your options at all programs at all levels, and not focus your search solely on an athletic scholarship. You also need to seek out people that can give you a realistic evaluation of your son or daughters ability and how it applies to different levels. Ultimately, only a college coach can determine whether or not you can play for them.

5 – Be Educated about the college athletic recruiting process. There are a lot of confusing topics and terms that you will come across in the recruiting process; official visits, early decision, EFC, red shirts, scholarship blending, head-count sports, NLI, Clearinghouse, Dead period, and so on. Your job is to learn the basics, understand your role in the recruiting process, understand how coaches recruit and what they look for, and understand what admission departments and schools look for. It’s not about rules; it’s about understanding and working with the process. That’s why we developed The Making of a Student-Athlete, the most complete college recruiting guide on the market today! We took the secrets out of the recruiting process and provide you everything you need to know to succeed!

How Important Is Exposure in the Athletic Recruiting Process

What is the most important factor in the college athletic recruiting process?

Can I increase my exposure in the college athletic recruiting process?

If I asked you who Phillip Phillips, Carrie Underwood, or Kelly Clarkson are, that might be an easy answer for you. They were all American Idol winners and immensely talented singers who have gone on to successful music careers since the show. But can you tell me who Shannon Magrane, Paul Jolley, or Andrew Garcia are? They finished in the top 10 of American Idol in the last several years out of a pool of millions of contestants. While some contestants are still in the music business in some capacity, you probably won’t find them performing at any large concert venues or award shows.

Each week I seem to come across the latest and greatest in recruiting services and apps and widgets to help high school athletes connect with college coaches. Most of them are based on some form of social media, web, or email app. The underlying theme: EXPOSURE

Is exposure the most important factor in the athletic recruiting process?

It is true; you cannot get recruited unless a college coach knows your name or unless you are exposed to them somehow. But a college coach knowing your name is hardly the deciding factor in whether or not you get recruited. Each week the three top ten finishers listed above sang in front of not only millions of viewers on TV, but in front of every music executive in the country if not the world. The tenth best singer out of a pool of possibly a million people that show up at the American Idol auditions wasn’t offered a record deal or a job in the music business after the show. How can this be, as they had more EXPOSURE than any musician in the world could possibly ask for??

There is no magic bullet to recruiting. Exposure is not a path to success. To succeed in recruiting, you have to have a unique set of skills (academic, athletic, social, work ethic, desire) that other recruits do not have. Then you have to find a college and a college coach that has a need and a desire for your skills. Then you need to personally communicate with that college coach. And after all that, you might fail to get recruited. You might be a great goalie, but if a college has three already, there will be no need to recruit you. You might be a great center, but if your grades are sub-par, the ability for the coach to recruit you will be diminished. You might be fast, but the coach needs someone faster. You might be big, but the coach needs someone bigger.

The last service I came across said the following…

“It does not matter how good you are, to be recruited and be in line for a college scholarship, you need to aggressively reach out to college Coaches and Recruiters.”

Yes, and after you reach out to them, the next thing that matters is HOW GOOD YOU ARE! And it matters a LOT! How good are you on the field, how good are you in the classroom, how good of a person are you? How good you are matters! Anyone can reach out to any coach, their email is plastered all over their school’s website or through a recruit contact form. But that will get you nowhere if you don’t have several other things going for you.

Exposure and the college athletic recruiting process

Exposure and the college athletic recruiting process

What factors do college coaches consider when evaluating high school athletes and recruits?

1 – Can this recruit get accepted to my school based in their academic record?
2 – Does this recruit possess the athletic skills to play for our program?
3 – Do I have the ability to evaluate their skills to make a fair evaluation?
4 – Is this recruit truly interested in playing for my program?
5 – Can this recruit afford to come to our school?
6 – Does our school offer academic programs this recruit is interested in?
7 – Will this recruit be happy and successful at our school?

If the answer to ANY of those questions is NO, then your recruiting process is probably over for that school. You can expose yourself as much as you want to as many schools as you want to, but no amount of exposure will get you recruited if those questions above are not met by you!

The most successful families in the recruiting process work backwards. They research the colleges that are a potential fit athletically, academically, socially, financially, and even geographically and then they make personal contact with the college coach to discuss a potential fit. They do the grunt work for the college coach. Then when they hear twenty “thank you but no thank you” from college coaches who work at colleges that might have been a perfect match for “the recruit”, they move onto the 21st school on their list because it only takes one yes to succeed in this process. Every “no” they hear is a chance to move on and succeed at another school. Exposure is their goal, but exposure is the last trait on a long list of traits that will lead them to success in this process.

Your college recruiting process is extremely important. Don’t leave success in the hands of an app, or widget, or website that promise the world; that promise to make things easy! It’s a personal process that takes a lot of time, dedication and research to succeed in.