Are You Good Enough to Play for the School You Want

researching college rostersResearch doesn’t sound like something you would expect to be doing when it comes to college recruiting, but it plays a critical role in identifying the schools with the best scholarship opportunities. When looking for a scholarship, you need to find a school where you can come in and be one of the better players on the team. How do you know if you are good enough for a particular school; look at the athletes already on the team.

Where does the school typically recruit?

  • In-State versus Out-of-State. There are schools that focus on in-state recruits or out-of-state recruits. The only way to know which is which is by looking over the roster.
  • Are there a lot of international athletes? Usually international athletes are on scholarship. If you want to get a scholarship from that school, those are the athletes you will need to be better than. If you are an international athlete, a roster with a lot of internationals is a good sign that coach will be more receptive to recruiting you.
  • Are there a lot of JUCO transfers? Coaches tend to be creatures of habit; if a coach likes to recruit JUCO transfers, they probably aren’t going to change. If you are in a JUCO, these schools are good to focus on. If you are trying to get recruited from high school, understand there is more competition for scholarships.

Is the Roster Old or Young?

  • Does the roster have a lot of underclassmen? – Having a program that is underclassmen heavy usually means they won’t have a lot of roster spots for the next few recruiting classes.
  • Does the roster have a lot of seniors and juniors? – When a program is going to be losing several athletes to graduation, that usually means more scholarship money is opening up. You want to find programs that have a lot of upper classmen at your position.

After looking at the roster as a whole, you want to begin looking at individual athletes.

Do You Pass the Eye Test?

The eye test is a coach’s first impression of you. This happens when they see your first email or highlight tape. They are going to look for a couple generic numbers like height, weight, personal best times or other sport specific numbers. You want to review the roster and athlete bio’s to see if you are going to pass the eye test. Below are examples of the types of things coaches look at initially and where you should be similar to the athletes currently on the team.

Baseball & Softball – These sports have pretty established measurables  like 60 yards dash, home-first time, but you won’t get this information in an athletes bio on the school website. Instead,  look is the height and weight of athletes playing your position. Look at the teams and leagues they played in as prep athletes. If a school has a roster full of Under Armour All-American or All-Region players, you know what those coaches expect in a recruit.

Field Hockey – You want to identify the club teams and showcases the athletes on the team played in when they were in high school. What regional or national events did they compete in? Did they get any recognition’s at those events? You want to show a coach you have a resume and experience similar to the athletes on the team.

Football – Look at the heights and weights of the athletes at your position. Do you match up? Look for things like what awards and recognition’s the athletes had in high school. If they were all 3-star+ recruits it is pretty clear the coaches are looking for recruits who are active in those combines. With football, coaches are more willing to let a recruit develop, so if you haven’t fully developed (most high school boys aren’t) let a coach know how big your family is.

Basketball – After a coach looks at your height they are going to want to know what teams you’ve played for and if you have any noteworthy awards from tournaments or showcases. If you are undersized, look for opportunities to highlight where you have played well against other highly recruited competition. The facts are, the higher the level of competition in basketball, the more coaches expect you to have been playing at a high level as a prep athlete.

Track & Field/Cross Country – Look at the athletes in your events and see if your personal best times or marks match up to theirs. Another place to look are the conference and national meet results. If you can show a coach you have the PR’s to come in and compete for points at the conference level, they are going to be very interested. To get a track scholarship, you need to be one of the better athletes on the team otherwise a coach will likely only offer you a walk-on.

Tennis – Coaches look for athletes with the tournament experience and rankings that are comparable to the athletes already on their team. Specifically, you want to have a similar ITF or USTA ranking. Another thing to look for are the number of international versus domestic athletes. College tennis has the highest percentage of international athletes than any other sport.

Golf – Look at the tournaments results of the players already on the team. If a program is recruiting athletes that are routinely playing and placing in national and international junior tournaments, you will need to be that level too. If you are playing more regional tournaments, then look for a program who has athletes who played mostly at that level in high school.

Gymnastics – When reviewing the other athletes on the team, look for things like, what level they were competing in high school and what meets they were competing in. Coaches want to see that a recruit has the similar level of experience as the gymnasts already on the team.

Ice Hockey – Coaches are looking at two things when they first see an athlete. How big are you, and what junior team/league are you playing for? While coaches might identify recruits early in high school, they really use the final year of high school and two years of junior hockey to evaluate an athlete. If you want to play for a certain team and they recruit a lot of player from a specific junior hockey league, you should strongly consider playing for a team in that league.

Lacrosse – When reviewing the athletes currently on the roster you want to see what high school and club teams they play for and what tournaments and showcases they played in. If you see two or three athletes on the team that all played in a certain showcase or tournament, it is a good chance the coaches will be recruiting there again.

Rowing – It would be great if a team listed the ERG for all of their crew members, but they don’t. You instead need to look at things like where they are from and some of their accomplishments. The good thing about rowing is that coaches aren’t as inundated buy emails from recruits as they are in sports like football. If you have a well put together email with your academic information and ERG, coaches will get the info they need to get started.

Soccer – First look at the size (usually just height) of the players. You can get a good idea of how important size is to a coach by looking at the size of the players on their roster. Second, look at the club teams and recognition’s of the players on the team. Specifically, you want to see how many of the players are coming from the ODP system or have other national recognition’s. Some programs will recruit almost exclusively from ODP.  Finally, look closely at the number of international players on a roster. Some schools are open to recruiting international players and others don’t (or very rarely do).

Swimming – You need to have swimming times that are going to be among the best on the team. Look at the athletes in your events and see where you stack up. You also want to review the conference and national championship meets and see if your times will be competitive there. In general, coaches award scholarships to swimmers who can score points at the conference and national level.

Volleyball – The first part of the eye test is height. You need to be close to the height of the girls on the team at your position. After that, you want to see what club teams and events athletes on the team played in. If there are two or three players on a team that all played in the same event, chances are the coach will be recruiting there again.

Water Polo – You want to see how you match up against the current team members in size and experience. To play at the highest levels in college you are going to need to match up physically.

Wrestling – You want to compare your prep results to those of the athletes on the team. If the current team members have results in NUWAY and USAW events, this is going to be what a coach expects from anyone they are going to recruit. You want to find a team with athletes who had similar results to yours at the prep level.

What To Do With This Information

Just because you don’t match up with the current athletes on the team doesn’t mean you shouldn’t contact that school. However, it does mean that a scholarship at that school is not very likely. College coaches like to see that an athlete has taken the time to learn about their program; showing that you have researched the team roster and you understand where you fit in with the athletes on the team will impress the coach.

Are you having problems finding schools? Have you looked at some teams rosters and can’t figure out if you are good enough? Leave your questions in the comments or email directly

The Truth Behind Really Early Scholarship Offers

college coaches recruiting junior high athletesEvery year there are stories of scholarship offers made to 7th, 8th and 9th graders. This year has been especially busy with stories showing up every few days. Recruiting companies (we are guilty of this as well) love to use this as a selling point that you must start the recruiting process early! While the recruiting process does start before high school, the goal shouldn’t be a scholarship offer before high school. In this article, I am going to dispel some of the myths around early scholarship offers, why they happen and what they really mean.

What Early Offers and Commitments Mean

The most important thing to remember when hearing of an athlete “getting a scholarship” before they are a senior in high school is that the offer is unofficial. This means the school doesn’t have to provide a written offer come senior year. Most of the time schools honor their commitment, but there are several reasons an offer might not materialize; the coach leaves, the recruit changes their mind, you get injured, they get a commitment from am recruit they think is better.

“I had everything figured out and it was pulled out from under my feet, but I’ve picked myself up and won’t let this bring me down.” – Daniel Gresham (SMU commit who lost his offer from Texas when coach Mack Brown resigned)

This isn’t to say a verbal commitment isn’t worth anything. The majority of college coaches and athletes honor their commitments. However, as you get to the bigger programs, especially at the elite DI level, verbal offers and commitments have come to mean very little.

“We just keep recruiting until the first Wednesday in February every year, that’s all you can do.” – Angus McClure (UCLA defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator)

Why Are Scholarship Offers Made to Junior High Athletes

If an unofficial offer doesn’t have to be honored why are they made? If you will believe the coaches, they say it is because they have to offer early or they will lose the recruit. Athletes like to commit early because it gives them a sense of security that an offer is there waiting for them. The other reason is simple, publicity. For example, how else would Maine’s Men’s Hockey team get national coverage? They take a very talented young hockey player who is already famous on YouTube, and they get free publicity for their program; regardless of if the athlete actually signs with them in 7 years or not.

Why You Should Start the Recruiting Process Early

If only the top .001% of recruits are going to get offers in junior high, then it might seem unnecessary to start the recruiting process that early. That depends on what you define as starting the recruiting process. At Athnet, the recruiting process means things like;

  • Educating yourself on rules and requirements
  • Understanding the role of academics and athletics
  • Thinking about the types of schools you might be interested in
  • Talking with high school and club team coaches about your goals coming into high school

Recruiting in Junior High doesn’t mean you are emailing and calling coaches every week trying to get noticed. It means you and your family are preparing for the journey.

If you have any questions about recruiting or would like some help in identifying potential schools you can contact me or on Twitter and Facebook.

Criticisms for Early Recruiting Missing the Mark

early recruiting in collegeThere are over 270 comments and climbing on a recent New York Times article chronicling the increased number of early commits made by college recruits. People are upset at the idea that families and recruits are being asked (some say forced) into deciding on a sport and college in the 8th and 9th grade. The majority of the criticism is aimed at the NCAA, college and club team coaches. People are frustrated at “the recruiting system” that is taking advantage of young girls and families.

Rule changes handed down by the NCAA aren’t going to fix the issues highlighted in the article. There is no system that will protect people willing to make uninformed decisions. Any decision to commit yourself to a school 2, 3, and 4 years before you will be a student there is an uninformed decision. You don’t know if the coach, recruit or school are going to be the same in four years.

These agreements between the athletes and the universities are unofficial “verbal commitments”, which in the eyes of the NCAA officially mean nothing.  Coaches have no obligation to honor a verbally committed scholarship just as the athlete has no obligation to sign with the school. Asking the NCAA to regulate the verbal commitment between an athlete and a coach is going to create more rules, something I don’t think should happen.

What would happen if coaches could contact any recruit they wanted?

The idea that the NCAA or any regulatory body could set rules that would stop a willing recruit and coach from communicating is unrealistic. They have tried to prevent early recruiting in sports like basketball and the effects are an influx of third parties who make the recruiting process worse. I think coaches and recruits should be allowed to communicate as much as they want. It is the frequent communication between a recruit, family and a coach that is going to make a more informed decision. The better you get to know a coach and how they run their program, the better chance you have of making the right choice.

If a top recruit is getting bombarded by interested coaches, then it is the family’s job to set guidelines with coaches. Look at the recruiting process for top basketball prospect Jabari Parker (now a freshman at Duke). An elite talent like Jabari had every coach recruiting him and could have committed to any program he wanted. His parents were concerned the process would be over whelming for him:

We want him to enjoy being who he is. If he wants to talk, we’ll ask him first. Right now, we don’t want him to be over-bombarded because coaches can sometimes be aggressive, and that can be overwhelming.” – Sony Parker (Jabari’s Dad)

His parents had a simple system, no coach or program was allowed to contact Jabari directly. All phone calls and text messages went through them. If a program was being overly aggressive they were removed from consideration. Simple. Effective.

Non-Revenue recruits need to behave like revenue sport recruits

For the big money sports like, football and basketball this type of early recruiting has been happening for years. Why then aren’t more 5-star football and basketball recruits verbally committed? They used to, but verbal commitments have come to mean almost nothing in those sports. Athletes routinely “committed” to a program, and continued to talk to and visit other coaches. In addition, opposing coaches began actively recruiting committed athletes.

While coaches in revenue sports might be “honoring” a verbal commitment between a recruit and a program and agree not to recruit a committed athlete, I wouldn’t expect this trend to continue. There was a time when football coaches honored the agreement not to recruit committed players, but the pressure to sign a top recruit ultimately won out and now all bets are off. It is only a matter of time before non-revenue coaches treat commitments the same as their revenue counterparts.

I don’t condone not honoring your verbal commitment. Instead, the top recruits in non-revenue sports need to understand the power they have in the recruiting process. If they feel they are being forced to take on offer from a coach, is that program really going to be the right school for them?

What can a family or recruit do now to fix this situation?

There is nothing the NCAA or any other college sports regulatory body can do to change the fact some athlete (or their parents) are going to do everything they can to play for a big name school. The competition for these few roster spots are always going to be overly competitive. Whether it is happening in 8th and 9th grade or forced to happen in the last few years of high school, the rules of the game are defined. Competition is fierce, commitments are being made extremely early and you need to accept the risks that come with these decisions.

What many families are discovering is that maybe big time college sports aren’t all it is cracked up to be. Maybe a coach with constant pressure to win isn’t going to provide you with a stable enough scholarship offer. Maybe the balance of athletics and academics at these big schools isn’t right for you.

As a family you set your priorities on what is important in the college experience. If you want sports to be part of it, look for a school that has the type of athletic opportunities you are looking for. There are hundreds of universities that offer a great balance of competition and academics, you don’t have to commit to a major athletic program as an 8th grader if you don’t want to.

September 1st and the NCAA Recruiting Calendar

NCAA Recruiting Calendar September 1stSeptember 1st is considered a big day in recruiting because it signifies important dates for when NCAA DI schools can begin contacting senior recruits. It’s important to understand what rules change September 1, but more important is understanding the NCAA Recruiting Calendar and how you can take advantage of the rules to get ahead in the recruiting process. Here is a breakdown of the rules by your graduating class.


Class of 2014 (Seniors)


  • Coaches can begin calling July 1st after your Junior year Coaches can now begin calling recruits once per week with unlimited phone calls allowed during the contact period. This means a coach can now call you instead of you having to call them. The rules still allow a coach to speak with a recruit anytime you make the phone call. If you are not talking to DI coaches on the phone by this point in your senior year it is time to reevaluate your recruiting options.
    • NCAA DI Men’s Basketball coaches can begin calling June 15th following your Sophomore year
    • NCAA DI Women’s Basketball coaches can begin calling September 1st of your Junior year
    • NCAA DI Men’s Hockey coaches can call recruits until August 1st
  • Off-Campus contact is allowed – This means coaches are allowed to begin visiting (talking to you) off of their campus. This rule is misleading because coaches are always allowed to go watch you play in tournaments, they are just restricted in the interactions they can have with you. Also, you can always go visit a coach on their campus and talk with them there (you should have been doing this since your Junior year at least).
  • Coaches can bring you in on Official Visits starting the first day of classes – This means a coach can now pay to bring you in on a visit, host you on campus and pay for meals and game tickets. Given the fact many coaches are getting verbal offers from recruits in the Sophomore and Junior years, official visits are more of a treat and not essential recruiting tool. You should have already been making Unofficial Visits to the campus you are interested in.

NCAA DII – The only thing that changes for DII recruiting is that coaches can now bring recruits in on official visits. Coaches at DII schools have been allowed to call and email recruits for over a year.

NCAA DIII – DIII coaches can now bring you in on official visits. They have been allowed to call or email you since your freshman year.


Class of 2015 (Juniors)


  • You can being receiving recruiting materials starting September 1st  – coaches can begin sending recruiting materials, basically this means they can begin sending you letters or emailing you. The rules do not prevent you from emailing coaches, something you should have been doing since your sophomore year at least.
    • Men’s Basketball coaches can begin sending recruiting material starting June 15th after your Sophomore year
  • Coaches can begin making one phone call per week starting July 1st You should still be calling coaches outside of this time period because coaches are allowed to talk to recruits on the phone if you call them; these rules only limit when coaches can call recruits.
    • NCAA DI Men’s Basketball coaches can begin calling June 15th following your Sophomore year
    • NCAA DI Women’s Basketball coaches can begin calling once per week starting September 1st of your Junior year
    • NCAA DI Football coaches are only allowed to call once between April 15 and May 31
  • There is no Off-Campus contact allowed – This means a coach is not allowed to meet with you anywhere off of their campus. This is the key, you are allowed to visit a coach on their campus and can talk with the coach there. They are not allowed to make home visits of talk with you when they come to watch you play.
    • For Men’s and Women’s Basketball coaches can have off-campus contact at the start of classes your Junior year.
    • Official Visits are allowed for Men’s and Women’s Basketball recruits only – For men, recruits can make visits at the start of the school year. For women, they can begin making visits the Thursday after the NCAA Women’s Final Four.

NCAA DII – There is no change in the recruiting rules, coaches have been allowed to call or email you for several months.

NCAA DIII – At the end of your Junior year coaches can begin having off-campus contact with you. They have been allowed to call or email you since you started high school.


Class of 2016 and 2017 (Freshman and Sophomore)


  • For the most part coaches are restricted in initiating contact with recruits. They are not allowed to call, email or send letters to recruits in their freshman or sophomore years, the few exceptions are listed below.  This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be doing anything; you should be emailing coaches, attending camps and playing in tournaments and showcases to get your name out there and get on the coaches recruiting boards.
    • Men’s Basketball coaches can begin calling, sending letters to and emailing recruits June 15th after your sophomore year
    • Men’s Ice Hockey can call recruits once per month starting June 15th after their sophomore year
    • Women’s Ice Hockey can make one phone call to an international recruit between July 7 and 31 after their sophomore year.

NCAA DII – Coaches can begin calling, emailing, sending letters to and having off-campus contact with recruits starting June 15th after their sophomore year.  This means there is no excuse for a coach not to be responding to you unless you are contacting the wrong coaches or not contacting them in a way where they will respond to you.

NCAA DIII – Coaches are allowed to email and call recruits at any point once you begin high school. Many DIII coaches shy away from beginning the recruiting process too early because a lot can change with a recruit from their sophomore year and senior year. You should still be emailing and calling these coaches if you are interested in their school.


The most important thing to remember is that these recruiting rules almost never stop a coaching staff from establishing contact with recruits that they are interested in. College coaches can always contact your high school or club team coaches to set up a time to talk to you. The most popular reason coaches aren’t contacting recruits is because they don’t know about them. If you are reaching out to coaches but not getting a response, it is because you are either contacting schools that are the wrong fit or not giving coaches enough to evaluate you.  We have plenty of resources below to help you get started in the recruiting process.

How to email college coaches

Building a recruiting resume for coaches

How to tell if you are being recruited

Create an online recruiting profile

by David Frank

Some Schools Lose A Lot and That’s a Good Thing For You

finding a college scholarshipIt happens every year where athletes who aren’t particularly great at their sport basically walk into a scholarship opportunity or makes a team at a school. You are spending hours every week on your recruiting and it seems like you are getting nowhere. Why is it so easy for these athletes? The answer is, some schools suck, and making the team or getting a scholarship there isn’t that difficult.

Coaches have to use their scholarship money each year or they will lose it. For some schools this means coaches scramble to fill the roster and give away scholarship dollars. I’ve seen coaches who recruit at the beginning of the school year once students are back on campus. They are looking for anyone with experience, interested in playing their sport at the school. These coaches aren’t really recruiting high school students and they aren’t going to find you, you need to find them. Here’s how.

Know What You Are Getting Into

Whether it is a coach who isn’t working that hard, a school in the middle of nowhere, or just a program with a long tradition of losing, something just isn’t going right for the school and the athletic department. It might sound really unappealing to play for a terrible team or just an okay coach, but that’s the point. If a school has a lot of the other qualities you are looking for, playing for a losing team might be okay.

For certain sports I find these types of opportunities work out better than others. True team sports like football, basketball, volleyball and soccer, sports where you rely on your team within the game it’s self, being on a terrible team can be very frustrating. For sports like swimming, track, tennis and golf, sports where you are essentially competing by yourself and your performance is added together for the team, these opportunities are best. What you are getting is the chance to compete in college and earn a scholarship. As long as the score isn’t going to determine your happiness, then these types of programs might be right for you.

How to Find an Easy Opportunity

Find a school with a history of losing. Go to the conference championship website and look at the results of the last few years of the conference championship. If there is a team that is consistently showing up at the bottom, investigate that team some more. Maybe you really like the school and they have your major but the team might not be highly competitive. It can still be a great college experience.

Find an athletic program that has just moved to a new division level. When a program has just made a jump to a new division level, typically there are several teams that are lacking the athletes to be competitive. These types of schools can be great for an athlete looking to play at a higher division level then they might ordinarily be able to or an athlete looking for the best scholarship deal.

Go where other athletes don’t go. This is a generalization and not always the case, but the facts are there are hundreds of NAIA, DIII and DII programs across the south and mid-western parts of the US and not enough athletes for all of those schools. If you come from a highly populated state or region, it might seem like you aren’t good enough to play in college. But, your typical varsity starter at a competitive large high school can usually find opportunities at schools outside of their region or state.

Don’t Go Only For the Scholarship

I want to be very clear, I am not suggesting you go to a school only for a scholarship, because in the end you will be very unhappy and probably leave the school. What I am saying is, if you are someone who is looking for a balance of college and sports, is open to smaller schools, schools outside of larger states or just the opportunity to play in college, use the advice here to find better scholarship opportunities.

If you have questions about how to do this please feel free to leave them in the comments or contact me on Google+

Insider Secrets to Finding Scholarships and Opportunities at the College Level

finding athletic scholarshipsThis article describes specific situations that happen in the recruiting process where you as a recruit have an advantage. These are situations where the athletes I have worked with have taken the opportunity to get scholarships or roster spots at their dream schools.

When a New Coach Comes In

When a program brings in a new coaching staff there is almost always high turnover on the team. The new coaches are trying to bring in players to fit their style and are typically letting go of a lot of current players. This means there are more scholarships available in the first two years of a coaching change. Additionally, when a coaching change happens it is late in the recruiting process and they are scrambling for players.

As a recruit it is going to be very uncomfortable to have to wait late in the process and watch other athletes signing scholarships but late season coaching changes are great opportunities for the right recruit. The type of athletes these opportunities are best for are an athlete who might have an offer already and is looking to move up a division level.

When a Coach Recruiting You Leaves the School

The other side of coaching changes are the schools the coaches are leaving. These coaches are at a huge disadvantage at their new job because they have spent the whole year recruiting players for a school they are no longer working at. For a recruit, the advantages are the coach already knows who you are, they probably have a short list of recruits they are considering and most likely you are on that list. If you contact that coach and let them know you are interested in their new program, it is a quick way to move up the recruiting board and get good offers.

Look for Weaknesses in the Program

This involves a little more work, but can pay off huge. If you can find programs that have a specific weakness at a position you play or in an event you specialize in, chances are better you’ll find an opportunity there. You should look over rosters for undersized athletes, a poorly ranked defense or offense or maybe there are specific events (think Track & Field, Swimming, and Gymnastics) where a team isn’t getting any points. It’s all about finding the school that needs you and beginning with schools weak at your position is a great place to start.

Wait to See Who Hasn’t Signed Any Athletes

For every program that lands a top recruit, there are 10 schools that didn’t. This means there are 10 schools still looking for players at that position. If a school hasn’t filled their roster within the first couple weeks of signing day that means they are having trouble finding the right recruits and this is an opportunity for you. How do you find these opportunities? Almost every team has a small write up on the athletes they’ve signed on their team website. Research the schools you are interested in the days and weeks after signing day. If the school isn’t reporting any signings, contact the coaches and see if you would be right for their team.

Are you having trouble finding schools? Are you not sure where to begin when looking for a scholarship opportunity? Feel free to leave your questions in the comments below or contact me on Google+.

The Mistake 90% of Athletes Make When Emailing College Coaches

What to write in an email to a college coachOne of the dirty little secrets about recruiting is that it is easier than it has ever been for college coaches to find recruits. What hasn’t changed, is that they don’t have the time to sift through all of these recruits in order to find the few that are actually right for their school. This is why coaches rely heavily on qualified athletes contacting them.

If coaches are relying on athletes to contact them, why is it so difficult to get a coach to respond to you? The majority of recruits aren’t actually showing interest in a school, they are telling coaches they are interested. Coach’s get thousands of emails from recruits telling them they like their school. The key is, showing them you actually did some research by writing personal emails and showing knowledge of what it takes to play for their program. Here are the common ways coaches decipher the generic emails from the legitimate ones. Use these tips to get coaches to respond to your emails.

“I am interested in your great school.”

You think, you are telling the coach you like their school and are interested in their program. Coaches think this is one of the exact same emails you sent to hundreds of other coaches. Add the school’s name and tell them something unique as to why you like their school. For example, “I am interested in Lewis and Clark University because is located in Portland, a city I have always thought I would like to live in.” This sentence cannot be part of a generic email and shows a coach you took time to address them specifically.

“I think I could be a good member of your team.”

When coaches here this, they are thinking why do you think you could be a member of my team? This is a generic statement and you need to let them know specifics. Take 15 minutes to look at the bio’s of the athletes currently on the team. Are there seniors at your position? Are your accomplishments comparable to theirs in high school? Try something like this; “Coach I noticed you have three seniors at my position and would appreciate consideration as a member of your team for the class of 2014. I reviewed some of the high school accomplishments of your current team members, I play in many of the same tournaments as they did and think I have what it takes to compete within the Atlantic-Sun Conference.”

“I am looking for a scholarship opportunity.”

If you are talking about scholarships in your first email to coaches, it is a red flag. Whether it is the truth or not, when you mention a scholarship in the first email to a coach, they are going to think you are primarily interested in a scholarship and not their team. The majority of college athletes aren’t on scholarship. Most coaches have very limited scholarship money and they need to know that an athlete is contacting them with interest in being a college athlete first, committed team member second and scholarship athlete third. Everyone knows getting a scholarship is great and is important, but it doesn’t need to be talked about in your first email.

“I am a hard worker and love the sport.”

Being vague in the description of your abilities makes it very difficult for a coach to know how good you are. If you make it difficult for a coach to evaluate you, you increase the chance they ignore your email. Use hard stats related to your sport to show your ability. For example, if you are a basketball player and you don’t tell a coach how tall you are, don’t expect a response. If you run track and don’t list your best times or play soccer and can’t name a team or league you’ve competed in, don’t think a coach will look it up. You would rather show a coach how good you are and have them say they aren’t interested, then continue to send emails and hear nothing back.

It can be very difficult to get the hang of researching schools and writing good emails to coaches. If you are having problems, feel free to contact me on Google+ or by leaving your questions in the email below.

What Your Local College Recruiting Story Isn’t Telling You

local sports sectionAll across the country newspapers publish stories about the local star athletes who are getting recruited by the top college coaches. These are great stories meant to fill communities in on what’s happening with their top local prep athletes. Unfortunately, these are also the stories that many parents and athletes use are their bases for understanding how the recruiting process works.

For 99% of recruits, your process will be nothing like the all-everything star DI recruit. I recently came across one such article written in the Las Vegas Sun about start quarterback Drew Doxtator (here is the article) and wanted to use it to explain some of the recruiting myths it promotes.

“Still waiting for a written scholarship offer”

Do you know why he is waiting for a scholarship offer, because the written offers can only be made during the national signing period. The first official offer can’t be made until February 5th of 2014 when the signing period for football begins. Anytime you hear about a scholarship offer or commitment from an athlete not in their senior year, it is unofficial, which means it officially means nothing.

“Has been contacted by more than 40 schools including Stanford, Wisconsin, UNLV…”

Most recruits will probably only have serious recruiting interest from 5-10 schools if they are proactive in contacting the coaches first. Chances are you do not have the raw athletic potential and combination of stats that is going to get college coaches trying to reach you. For many most of the players on college rosters, they were the ones who let the coach know they were interested in that school before the coach started recruiting them.

“He confirmed his status as an elite recruit… passing for 450 yards per game in a three game stretch…”

Too many recruits and parents are stats obsessed. We are always hearing complaints about not getting the minutes, looks, or opportunities to put up the numbers. The reality is your stats are only part of what coaches look at. There are major DI basketball players who scored under 10 points per game in high school and DIII athletes who averaged over 20 per game and were the best in the history of their school. Coaches recruit on ability and potential, stats don’t matter as much as you think.

“The kid gets a ton of mail, the college coaches all know who he is…”

You don’t need a ton of mail and every college coach to know who you are in order to have a successful recruiting process and receive a scholarship. Technically, you only need one coach to know about you, the right one. Don’t get caught up in stroking your ego with how many coaches you have contacting you or how much mail you receive. These are just for vanity; you want to use your time finding the school that is right for you. Make sure you establish a good relationship with the coaches that matter, not getting yet another school you will never attend to try and contact you.

“Recruiters are always calling…”

Too many athletes assume college coaches are going to be calling all of the time. This couldn’t be further from the truth. College coaches very rarely call just to see if an athlete is interested. When you hear situations like this where coaches are calling all of the time, it is because they have already sent letters, communicated over email and are just following up to continue to develop the relationship with a recruit. For the majority of recruits (this means you) the responsibility to stay up to date with coaches is yours.

This article might sound cynical but it is important you understand what recruiting is like for the majority of recruits. Being successful in finding a scholarship and getting recruited doesn’t require every coach know your name. You need to find the right school and find out if that coach is interested in you.

Do you have questions about what to do next? You can contact me on Google+ here.

Are You Ready to Learn About Recruiting Profiles?

Recruiting Profile
What you need to know before creating a recruiting profile.

Understanding Recruiting Profiles

A recruiting profile can be your link to communicating with college coaches. This is where you can tell college coaches all about yourself both academically and athletically. As a potential recruit, it’s your job to make your recruitment happen. Below you will learn how recruiting profiles are used and how they benefit you during your recruitment.

Creating a Recruitment Profile on Your Own

If you have not taken the time to create your very own sports resume than get started right now!This should be your guideline when it comes to reaching out and communicating with college coaches. It’s important to include ALL your sports specific information along with your grades and SAT or ACT test scores too.

How Recruiting Profiles Can Increase a Recruit’s Exposure

The purpose of recruiting profiles is to make college recruitment easier. Online profiles make it easier for recruits to get their information out to college coaches, plus recruiting profiles are easier for coaches to search through and review quickly.

Updating Recruiting Profiles is a Must

Recruits who are enthusiastic about setting up a recruiting profile must make sure to complete it and to continue to update it throughout their recruitment. Updating profiles should happen often, and include grades, test scores, stats and current video footage. Most of the time, updating information will be the job of recruits. It’s up to them to keep current and maintain all profile information to ensure college coaches take notice.

Services that Create Recruiting Profiles

There are many recruiting services out there. Once you decide having an online profile will be the right choice for you it will be extremely important that you learn as much as you can about the service and how it will assist you in getting recruited.

Questions to Ask as You Learn About Companies Who Host Recruiting Profiles

  • How much will the service cost?
  • Can you send out your profile to college coaches of your choice?
  • Are college coaches you are interested in members of the hosting website?
  • Will you be able to see which college coaches reviewed your profile? How will you be notified?
  • What is the success rate for recruits in your sport making it to college competition when they have their profile on a specific website?
  • How many college coaches will have access to your online recruiting profile?

Recruiting Profiles Are Not a Guarantee

Just because you create an online recruiting profile do not think that you will be recruited by a college program. Recruiting profiles are an easier way to gain exposure, but ultimately your recruitment is up to you and how much time and effort you dedicate to the process.

Additional Recruiting Tips:

If you have additional questions about recruiting profiles then leave your question below and connect with us on FacebookTwitter, and Google+!

This is How to Start Getting Recruited

This is How to Start Getting Recruited
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Athletes, you are one of a kind; you are dedicated, you are hard-working and you are competitive. You understand that if you want something bad enough you have to work hard to achieve it- which is exactly what you should do when it comes to your recruitment. Be ready to take on your recruitment just as intensely as you have taken on your athletic and academic challenges.

Just like when you learn any new skill, it will take time to master- get ready to put your time in and practice.

Practice, practice, and practice

Start by creating a game plan; have an idea of what you want to accomplish each year, month, and day of your sports recruitment. The more time you dedicate to your recruitment, the better success rate you will have.

Your recruiting checklist:

Create a School List (Freshman Year)

Make a list of colleges you are interested in. This list should be long. You should have at least 20 target colleges you are eager to attend or at least learn more about. If you want to have the best college opportunity you need to be willing to reach a lot of coaches and play at any division level.

Fill out Recruiting Questionnaires (Freshman-Junior Year)

This task will take up a lot of your time, especially if you have a long college list. Taking time to fill out colleges’ recruiting questionnaires may seem boring and uneventful, but it will pay off. By filling out recruitment forms, coaches will have your name in their recruiting system- allowing them to email you important happenings and dates relevant to your recruitment class.

You don’t need to fill out all the forms at once; this is why prioritizing is important. Once you have your college list, start working down the list and fill out the forms for all the colleges you’re interested in- if you begin this task as a freshman you will have plenty of time later to spend building relationships with college coaches and focusing on more detailed parts of recruitment.

Sending out Your Sports Resume and Video (Sophomore- Senior Year)

Locating the best college opportunity will depend on many things; make sure you are doing your part by reaching out and contacting college coaches early. Contacting coaches can intimidate athletes, so before you try to get in touch with your top choices, practice! Begin your initial send outs to coaches at the bottom of your list. This will give you an idea of the types of questions they are going to want to know from you and will help you prepare for the coaches you really want to play for.

Calling Coaches (Senior Year)

Now that you have been working hard at getting your resume and video out to coaches, you need to continue to build those relationships and start calling coaches directly. You may think coaches should be the ones calling you, but when it gets down to crunch time (your senior year) you need to do all you can to stay on their radar.

If you have any other questions about keeping on top of your recruitment then leave your comment below and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+!