June 30th, 2010 - by Chris Krause
Recruits are always wondering what they can to do improve their recruiting process. Here are 35 steps that ALL recruits can take to get one step closer to an athletic scholarship opportunity. (In no particular order)
1. Be aggressive. Don’t contact a coach one time and give up if you don’t hear back. Email a coach and wait a few weeks. If you don’t hear back from them in 3-4 weeks, try calling. If you get a voicemail, leave a message and also send an email. Reach out up to 3 different times and if a coach doesn’t respond after those attempts, then move on from that school
2. Bring up visiting a school to that coach. Don’t wait for them to bring it up to you
3. Use all the help you can get. Talk to your high school and club coaches and outside sources. They can help you with any connections and relationships they might have. Most parents do not have a network of college coaches…but trusted sources might.
4. Don’t rely too much on email. A personalized note or handwritten letter could go a long way towards separating you from other recruits.
5. Give more than just 1 word answers to coaches – show them your personality!
6. When visiting a school, remember that the current players are reporting back to the coaches so be cautious of what you say and how you handle yourself. Also, take advantage of the opportunity and ask them about the coach, school, program etc. Why did they choose this school over others?
7. The athlete should email a coach his/her information before just calling a coach. Definitely a good thing for them to be calling the coaches and being proactive but don’t just cold call coaches – they need to have some information on you before giving them a call.
8. Coaches are recruiting you – not your parents. Be sure to manage all of the communications.
9. College coaches talk to one another – maintain respectful and professional communication with all coaches.
10. College coaches want to see Varsity level film – this helps them create a better evaluation based on the level of play.
11. Coaches don’t want music and all of the fluff that is on most highlight videos.
12. Make sure that you have an appropriate voicemail greeting and email address to give to coaches – you don’t want to give coaches an email like email@example.com or have music playing for 3 minutes on your voicemail greeting.
13. Make sure you have an appropriate photo on your scouting report. Coaches don’t need to see you taking a picture of yourself in the mirror.
14. You should contact a coach before any visit to a school.
15. You should contact a coach before and after going to a camp to ensure an evaluation.
16. Take advantage of the calling rules. Coaches cannot call you or return your phone calls, and you will get VMs quite frequently—use this to your advantage. You may get a lot of voicemails, but leave a message. When you leave the message, tell them exactly when YOU will call back. This will do two things for you: 1) Better chance of getting on the phone with the coach. 2) Good idea of where you are on the recruiting board. (if you are high, you better believe the coach will be at his desk when you call in again)
17. Do not wait for a coach to contact you…initiate the contact.
18. When you open an email from a coach, make sure you respond within 12-24 hours. College coaches can track and see when you’ve opened the email, so if you do not respond for a week or two, you will not be taken serious.
19. Talk to some older athletes who have “been there”. It helps so much to learn from athletes about what playing in college at different levels is actually like. Athletes are shocked sometimes when they show up for D1 programs and were not aware of how much it actually entailed
20. Ask the coach the tough questions about where you fit in. Just because he throws a little money your way does not mean he expects you to come in and start as a freshman! You need to know how you compare to other players in your recruiting class and what the coach is expecting to recruit in upcoming years, especially if a priority is playing time.
21. Learn how the Financial Aid process works and estimate your EFC.
22. Talk with Financial Aid offices at each school you are in contact with. Your goal should be to receive as much aid (athletic or otherwise) to help offset the cost of attending college.
23. You should research at least 4 schools a month.
24. You should fill out on-line questionnaires at schools you are interested in.
25. Start thinking about these topics when it comes to schools, size, type, location, distance from home, cost, student population, majors, requirements, athletics and events, activities, special programs and your gut feeling.
26. Learn about the NCAA contact rules.
27. Learn about the NCAA Eligibility Center.
28. Understand what different associations have to offer you: NCAA, NAIA, NJCAA, NCCAA, CCCAA, NWAACC.
29. Get an evaluation from a trusted source before you spend time targeting the wrong schools.
30. Ask coaches what their recruiting timeline is.
31. Ask where you stand on a coach’s list.
32. Ask if the coach can waive your application fee.
33. Learn how to get over your nerves when speaking with coaches. Remember, they want to hear from you and you have to separate yourself from thousands of other student-athletes around the country.
34. Prioritize your time. A college coach needs student-athletes who can balance their schedule NOW. If you can’t do it now, how will you do it in college?
35. Visit local colleges to get a feel for what a campus is like…it is cheap and helpful!
The 35 tips above are just a few of the proactive steps recruits can take. Do you have any tips you want to pass along? Comment below with your advice and be sure to click “like” to share these tips with other athletes and families.
It is rarely easy for a high school student-athlete to communicate effectively with an adult – I am sure the parents reading this can attest to that. It becomes even more difficult when that adult happens to be a college coach and the student-athlete is nervous. Making matters even worse is that communicating with a college coach is a critical part of the relationship building process for a student-athlete. So, what can an athlete do? What can a parent do to help their athlete?
Here are two steps that will help:
1) Start early. It might sound cliché, but the earlier an athlete begins to work on their communication skills with a college coach, the better they will be. The first step is to understand what might take place during a conversation with the coach. Mostly, the discussion will involve questions from the college coach and an opportunity for the recruit to ask their own questions. Recruits can get a list of questions they might receive from a college coach here. Preparing answers ahead of time might alleviate some of the nerves. (Try to avoid sounding scripted though!) Also, recruits should prepare a list of at least 15-20 questions that they can ask a college coach. Having a list of well thought out questions that cannot easily be found on the school’s website will go a long way towards impressing a coach. Here is a link to an article about one recruit who is asking 50 questions to each coach interested. Remember, athletes are allowed to call a college coach at any time – even as early as freshmen year. Take advantage and start early!
2) Practice. Again, this advice might not be groundbreaking, but it WILL help. How can you practice? Two ways: Mock Phone Calls with Parents – Parents should play the role of the college coach and actually go through a fake phone call. Parents can use the questions here and conduct a mock phone call with your athletes. You can even do this on your cell phone if you really want to replicate the situation. I would recommend throwing a “curve ball” or two at your athlete to see how they think on their feet and react. Also, make sure you ask your athlete asks you questions and provide answers as though you are a college coach. Pay attention to their introduction and closing to give some advice about making sure it is mature and effective.
Real Phone Calls with College Coaches – As we mentioned above, recruits can call a coach WHENEVER they want…so try it out. Pick a college close to home, preferably a DIII school since they are not restricted as to when they can talk with recruits on the phone – and give it a whirl. It does not have to be a coach at your dream school which should help limit the anxiety. If you call them at an early age, they most likely are not going to cross you off their list and might even been so impressed that they ADD you to their recruiting board. However, if you wait until you are a senior, it could be too late.
Recruits are always being evaluated by a college coach – even during a simple phone call. If a coach is talking to two athletes with similar athletic and academic ability, a phone call could make a big different. Who is going to leave a better impression? The recruit who starts practicing college coach phone calls freshmen and sophomore year or the one who waits until second semester senior year to even think about it? Start early and practice. Simple, yet effective.
Article from NCSA College Athletic Scholarships Blog June 2nd, 2010 - by Chris Krause
· Remember-all seniors should have filled out their final amateurism paperwork for the NCAA in April. You should have received an email from the NCAA if you have registered correctly.
· Final transcripts for seniors must be sent to the NCAA Eligibility Center as soon as you graduate in order to make the deadline for fall college ball (DI and DII only).
· Registered Juniors will want to send their transcripts to the eligibility center upon completion of their Junior year. This will give you early review and early status- by October of your senior year (college coaches check the site).
· For Juniors and Sophomores Read More
Now, let’s go over some questions recruits can ask to make the most of the conversation. Note that every conversation will be dictated the by current recruiting situation, but here are a few topics that should be covered and some sample questions from each… Read More
Do you want to be one of those prospects who knows how to talk effectively with a college coach? Here are my tips for communicating with college coaches:
Return their messages. If they leave a message on your voicemail or message machine, it’s vital that you call them back immediately. Even if it’s late at night, call back and leave a message. Let them know that you received their message, and that you are interested in talking to them.
Be persistent. You will see that many coaches are pretty persistent when it comes to getting your attention and trying to convince you to come play for their program. Take a page from their playbook, and make sure you are persistent in getting back in Read More