Many recruits have expectations about the recruiting process that just don’t match reality. Recruiting is nothing like it was even a few years ago. If you are getting your advice from someone who isn’t staying up to date on the changing trends, you could be getting incorrect advice. In no particular order, here are some of the most common misunderstanding I see from families and recruits.
Common Recruiting Misunderstandings
- Coaches are traveling the country and watching athletes at tournaments or showcases to identify prospects.
- Coaches will recruit you if you play on the right travel team or in the right league.
- Your high school/club coach is actively contacting colleges for you.
- If my video is online and I have an online profile with a recruiting website, coaches will find me.
- I will get a scholarship if I am good enough.
Having worked with thousands of athletes in the recruiting process, I have seen every one of these myths dispelled hundreds of times. Just this past year, I worked with a young hockey player who to me epitomized what the recruiting process is like for the majority of recruits out there.
Feel free to connect with me. Google+ is where you can find my email and phone number.
Ross Mauermann was a very talented high school player in Wisconsin. He finished with 156 points in high school, first team All-State, conference player of the year, and a Wisconsin Mr. Hockey 2008/09 finalist. He had caught the attention of many notable programs including home state powerhouse Wisconsin. Ross started his NAHL Junior A career with his hometown team the Jets, destined to be receiving NCAA Division I scholarship offers . . . or so he thought.
I got in contact with Ross toward the end of his second year of junior hockey where he was going to finish his career with 100 points (50 goals and 50 assists) and two consecutive years playing in the NAHL showcase. He had a very successful junior career, had excellent grades coming out of high school, and played well in all the right showcases. Despite all of this, Ross didn’t have a single Division I offer although he had been seeing Division I coaches at his games for nearly two years.
When I spoke with Ross, I explained the three things I thought were holding him back from getting the Division I offers
- He was playing for a lesser-known team and despite great numbers and great performances against the best competition, this was holding him back.
- He didn’t have prototypical size; at 5 feet 9 inches 170 pounds, Ross was on the small side of Division I forwards.
- Coaches simply didn’t know he was interested in their program because they figured Wisconsin was recruiting him.
With thousands of players to choose from, Division I coaches are picky and can afford to begin the search for players based on size and teams they know. This leaves out thousands of athletes from ever being discovered by a coach. In addition, coaches probably only recruit 50% of the players on their rosters; the other 50% of the team is filled with players who sought them out. I immediately put together a plan for Ross to begin e-mailing Division I coaches with his remaining game schedule and career stats. In addition, Ross began calling coaches to let them know he was interested. To his credit, he jumped into these tasks wholeheartedly and never gave up despite initial setbacks.
The Two Things That Lead to His Big Break
Two things happened that led Ross on the path to playing Division I hockey. He began hearing from coaches who said, “Thanks, we know who you are and have seen you play, but we just aren’t interested.” This message came from his top choice schools like Wisconsin. That can be hard to hear, but you need to remember to stay positive. I told him “you can now move on to programs that you know have an interest in you.” Second, he found a few programs that were still considering him but were waiting to hear from recruits they had ranked above him. Again, not the ideal news, but at that point he knew where he stood with particular programs.
Ross never gave up and continued to follow up with programs for months despite being the fourth or the fifth ranked forward recruit for teams that were only going to offer one or two scholarships. Finally in a late season coaching change Ross found the program that was going to recruit him.
An assistant coach at a program that had Ross on their recruiting board was given the new head coaching job at Providence University. As soon as he got the school and took stock of his team, he contacted Ross and extended an offer to play for the Friars. Now, the undersized forward, too low on the recruiting boards for other programs, was on a Division I team and playing on the third line as a true freshman. Ross has gone on to be the leading scorer on the resurgent Providence team; his all-freshman line is the best line on the team, and he even scored an overtime game-winning goal in a major upset against then top-ranked Merrimac.
Nothing was given to Ross; he has earned every opportunity in the recruiting process. Here are the most important lessons for your to remember from Ross’s story.
- Never assume because you see college coaches at your games you are being recruited.
- If you give up in the recruiting process, you will 100% not get a scholarship.
- Contact coaches every few weeks to check in and see if anything has changed.
Do you think you are prepared to work hard on your recruiting? Are you willing to call coaches, e-mail coaches, and never give up in the face of setbacks? Contact us in the comments section below.