Empower the Athlete - Recruiting Playbook
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Empower the Athlete - Recruiting Playbook

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“The recruiting process rewards student-athletes who start early and are proactive. Create a roadmap of what you need to do and when, then follow it!” ...

“The recruiting process rewards student-athletes who start early and are proactive. Create a roadmap of what you need to do and when, then follow it!”


Brett Nicol, Founder of Empower the Athlete
Brett@EmpowerTheAthlete.com
(415) 800-7794

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    Empower the Athlete - Recruiting Playbook Empower the Athlete - Recruiting Playbook Document Transcript

    • Empower the Athlete Recruiting Playbook
    • “The recruiting process rewards student-athletes who start early and are proactive.  Create a roadmap of what you need to do and when, then follow it!” Table of Contents Owning Your Recruiting Process! 1 Recruiting & Admissions Timeline! 2! Maximizing Your Athletic Potential! 3 Recruiting Tactics! 5! NCAA Compliance! 10 The College Admissions Process! 13 Cost of College! 18
    • 1Dear high school student athlete,The very fact that you are using this playbook demonstrates your passion and motivation to become abetter athlete and your desire to compete in athletics at a high level. Congratulations!Have you thought about playing a sport in college? The team of former college athletes at Empower theAthlete have put together the Recruiting Playbook to get you started on your recruiting process.We’ve learned a lot over the years about the recruiting process and the importance of finding the rightcollege fit. Here are the six things you need to know if you want to compete at the collegiate level: 1. If you want to play college sports, you can. Whether you are a top 100 national player or a substitute on your varsity team, you can find a college team to play on. 2. Have a plan: The recruiting process rewards student-athletes who start early and are proactive. Create a roadmap of what you need to do and when, then follow it! 3. Find the right college fit: Ask yourself this question: “If I were to suffer a career ending injury, would I still be happy at this college as a regular student?” With a 40% attrition rate amongst college athletes, this is a very realistic question. 4. What you do off the field matters. Good grades and leadership ability coupled with your athletic ability can open the doors to some of the best colleges in America. 5. College sports is a business. You will be communicating with coaches who have decided to make coaching their profession, who have enormous time and financial constraints, facing the pressure of having to win to keep their jobs. 6. Take the long view: College is a once in a lifetime opportunity to make lifelong friends, pursue your academic interests, play ultra-competitive sports, and most importantly, expand your perspective of the world and your role in it.At Empower the Athlete, we share our first-hand experience with you each step of the recruiting andcollege admissions process. If you have questions, please feel free to contact me below.Play hard this season!Brett Nicol, Founder of Empower the AthleteBrett@EmpowerTheAthlete.com ETA Empower 1/2 Hour:(415) 800-7794 Free 30 minute recruiting conversation with an Empower the Athlete Advisor
    • 2 Chapter 2: Recruiting & Admissions what to do and when to do it Summer Fall & Winter Spring attend instructional consider a club team for play sports sports camps to prepare for offseason tourneys keep your grades up high school athletics establish good grades schedule a balanced an enjoy your summer and study habits summer that involves hm vacation attend college games athletic development and schedule the PSATs for create a big college list vacation time es the fall play sports play sportsFr attend an instructional take the PSATs play on your school team es camp and/or tournaments compete in 1 or 2 fall/ finish the year strong or with your club team winter tourneys academically if you can, go visit a begin to contact coaches finalize you summer om couple of colleges sign up for recruiting scheduleph schedule the PSATs for camps and tourneys early let college coaches know the fall play sports where youʼll be playingSo begin SAT prep work meet with guidance counselor attend recruiting camps rock the SATs play for your school and and tourneys challenge yourself in be a team leader rs email coaches before course selection take the SATs again if o ni and after camps narrow your list to 15-20 necessary schools u take SAT prep course solidify summer schedule J register for fall SATs meet with guidance create athletic bio and email all coaches finish with a strong GPA email coaches Recruiting counselor make a highlight film Packet extracurricular activity play sports email coaches before take official visit/visits to finish strong and after camps and final school/schools NCAA ClearingHouse s showcases Recommendations fill out FAFSA if or narrow college list to 5-10 write a stellar college necessary ni visit colleges and essay prepare academically Se interview with coaches on apply to colleges: early or and athletically for college campus regular admissions play sports discuss financing college play sports extracurricular activity
    • 3 Chapter 3: Maximizing Your Athletic Potential Your Ability! It is important that as an athlete you are self aware of your ability and your athletic potential. Thiswill help you a lot in creating a college list and understanding where you will project at the college level.! Understanding Your Strengths and Weaknesses All athletes have strengths and weaknesses. Great athletes perfect their strengths and strengthentheir weaknesses. If you do not know what your strengths and weaknesses are in your lacrosse game ask oneof your coaches (ask them to fill out the ETA Athlete Evaluation Form), or ask a teammate for some honestfeedback. Take their comments as constructive criticism and learn to play to your strengths on the fieldand work on your weaknesses.! Implement Drills in Practice on Your Own There are many great online instructional videos where professional players and top college coachesdiscuss their favorite drills and ways to practice on their own. Take advantage of the world wide web, andwhen you practice on your own make your time as productive as it can be to help you improve as a player andtake your game to the next level. If you are having trouble thinking of ways to work on your game (especiallyyour weaknesses) ask a coach or mentor, or contact your regional Empower the Athlete Advisor (we’realways happy to give pointers).! Strength and Conditioning! Being physically fit is one aspect of being a great college athlete that is always attainable regardless ofnatural ability. It’s important that if you want to be a college athlete that you train and condition your bodyfor the next level of play. Stay active in the offseason, compete in other sports, and implement strength andconditioning into your athletic routine to increase your physical toughness on the field and to help preventinjuries.! Maximizing the Offseason Most college coaches are partial to multi-sport athletes. It should not necessary to quit your othersports to focus on one sport year round in order to become a better college prospect; very few sports are theexception. You will achieve greater athletic development competing in a variety of sports in the offseasonthan you will just lifting weights and practicing your sport on your own. College coaches want athletes first,and usually feel that they can coach you up where your fundamentals are lacking. If your sport is your onlysport, it’s important to maximize your development in the offseason by staying active, fit, and continue todevelop your sport specific skills. If you are playing other sports, find time during that sports season tocontinue to develop your skills in your primary sport.
    • 4ETA Athlete Evaluation Formask coach to give you honest feedback
    • 5 Chapter 4: Recruiting Tactics Communication With Coaches! As an athlete you need to understand that there are more and more high school student-athletesevery year vying for a limited, or in some sports decreasing, number of college roster spots. There arealso a limited number of college coaches, and they do their best to try and evaluate as many players aspossibly when they are on the recruiting trail. As a result, gone are the days when athletes will get noticedby schools just on their ability. You need to make the coaches’ job easier for them by contacting thecoaches of the schools/programs you are interested in, and provide them with the information about youthat they need: your GPA, SAT scores, course selection, highlight film and recruiting schedule (when andwhere they can watch you play).! We encourage athletes to be proactive in their recruiting process and contact coaches early andoften. Creating a dialogue with college coaches will also allow them to give you feedback as to whether ornot they think you would fit in at their school and on their team. Getting this feedback will allow you to berealistic about your college search process and create and narrow your college list.! At any time in your high school career, per NCAA rules, you are allowed to email, call, orinterview with a coach on their campus. Contact Empower the Athletic for advice on creating your ownAthletic Resume; an Athletic Resume serves as a valuable tool that makes contacting coaches much easier.! A Sample EmailHello Coach Smith,My name is Joe Student-Athlete and I am a sophomore at Washington High School in Sportstown,USA. I play offense on our varsity team where I am leading scorer and captain as a junior. I’m writing tointroduce myself and express my interest in playing for your program.This coming summer I am planning to attend a few recruiting camps and tournaments. I was wonderingif there are any specific events you would recommend that would be the best for me to attend in order toget evaluated by you and your staff.I recently participated in the College Showcase Tournament, and I also play football and basketball inthe offseason. I also hold a 3.5 GPA at my school and scored an 1850 the first time I took the PSAT thisfall. I plan to take the SAT this spring.I have attached my Athletic Resume that includes my GPA, PSAT scores, and a link to my highlightvideo on YouTube. Please let me know if there is any more information I could send you. Thanks Coach, -Joe Student-Athlete
    • a 6 Gauging a Coach’s Interest ! Throughout the recruiting process you will likely receive different levels of interest from college coaches. Depending on what stage you are in your high school career and in the recruiting process, the level of contact from from a college coach can have varying implications. It is important to remain realistic during your recruiting process, and gauge what the implications are of the contact you have received from a coach. ! ! ! ! The Form Letter ! ! This letter is typically a typed letter from a program (sometimes an email) that may be signed ! by the coach. It is not personalized, and is generally sent to a high number of prospects. This may ! be the first contact you receive from a program. This is a program’s way of saying, “you are one of ! many athletes we might be interested in, and we want to learn more about you. You are on our ! radar.” The form letter will also often come with a Recruiting Questionnaire in the envelope and ! note to fill it our and mail it back to the lacrosse office (or a link to fill our their online ! Questionnaire). This so they can start a file on you, so always send it back! ! ! The Handwritten Letter ! ! A handwritten letter or personalized email is a direct way for a head or assistant coach to ! contact you and sincerely express their interest in you as a player. Receiving a handwritten letter, or ! a personalized email, from a coach can be flattering and exciting. It is important to respond to all ! forms of communication with the coach, and generally a handwritten not should be responded to ! with a handwritten thank you note, and an email with an email back. ! ! The Phone Call ! ! Starting July 1st after your Junior Year, coaches may call you once a week - per NCAA rules. ! You and your parents may call a coach at any time during your high school career. A phone call from ! a coach is generally an indicator of a high level of interest from their program. Coaches will have a ! call list of high school athletes that may be anywhere from two to three times larger than the number ! they will bring in for a recruiting class. ! !
    • a 7 Preparing for a Campus Visit and Interview ! Your offseason is a great time where you can get ahead and build relationships with coaches through campus visits and phone calls. Nothing shows your sincere interest in a school and it’s Sports Program as much as your willingness to visit the school and meet with the coaches on their own turf. ! ! ! ! Plan Your Schedule ! ! For Unofficial Visits, call the Head Coach and the Admissions Office at least two weeks in ! advance to let them know you are coming to campus. An admissions counselor can tell you the dates ! and times for campus tours, information session with Q&A, and open house events that are aimed at ! prospective students that occur a few times each semester. The counselor can also recommend ! classes to observe, help schedule individual meeting with faculty, provide a campus map, a parking ! permit and even nearby lodging ! ! When to go ! ! The best time to visit is on a weekday in the fall or spring semester - not too close to the ! beginning of the semester and definitely not during finals week. That way, you’ll see students and ! teachers going about their regular routines. For some families, however, a weekend, summer, or ! winter break visit may be easier to schedule. While you obviously won’t see an average day during ! those off times, you can still get a sense of the campus and the area. On a blitz tour of schools in a ! particular region, don’t try to cram in more than two schools in one day. It takes at least a half day to ! get an accurate feel for a campus. ! ! Before Your Visit ! ! Before your arrival, learn everything you can about the the school. Read the school catalog ! and browse its website. Think of questions to ask that not answered in published materials. ! ! What to Do on Campus ! ! Begin your visit with an information session and a campus tour. Sit in on a class. Check out ! the dorms. Eat in the cafeteria. Read the bulletin boards. Read the student newspaper. Meet a ! faculty member. Visit the library (we know its not the most exciting thing to see, but trust us, you’ll ! be spending a lot of time there !!!). Explore the athletic facilities. Meet the coaching staff. ! ! Keep a Notebook ! ! After each visit, write down your impressions - what you did and did not like about the ! school. If you complete an extensive college search, the campuses, academic programs and athletic ! programs may blur together.
    • a 8 Good Questions to Ask Coaches • Avoid the temptation to ask if the coach will offer you scholarships or grants. If a coach is interested in you, they will bring it up. It’s similar to a job interview; would your first question be “How much are you going to pay me?” Of course not! • “Are you interested in recruiting me? Or will I have to walk on?” • “How does the relationship work between you and the admissions office?” • “What is your policy with walk-ons?” • “What position do you see me playing?” • “What is the off-season workout schedule like? How often does the team do strength and conditioning?” • “Will you red-shirt me?” • “If I suffer an injury or become academically ineligible, what happens to my scholarship if I have one?” • “What are the graduation rates for athletes on the team?” • “What type of jobs do your alumni take and where? Is there a strong professional network among program alums?” • “Am I eligible for any other sources of financial aid?” • “Are their academic tutors available for athletes? Is there required study hall?” • “How many players do you carry on the roster? Are their backgrounds similar to mine?” • “Does the team take any special trips?” • “Am I expected to arrive earlier than the beginning of the school year?” • “Which coach will be working with me during the recruiting process? Position coach during the season?” • “Are there any unique team rules, policies, traditions?” • “What equipment does the program provide for players?” • “Is this a full year commitment? Can I play other sports? Go abroad?” ! !
    • a 9 Empower the Athlete’s College Evaluation Table 8 2 3 3 4 4 5 6 7 1 Rank Each Category 1-5 ge ge ge ge ge ge ge ge ge ge l le l le l le l le l le l le l le l le l le l le and add up your total score Co Co Co Co Co Co Co Co Co Co
    • a 10 Chapter 5: NCAA Compliance know the rules of the recruiting game that coaches and recruits must follow
    • a 11 Recruiting Terms ! A lot of jargon gets thrown around during the recruiting process. Here is a list of the basic terms and ! their definitions ! ! ! ! “Contact” ! ! A “Contact” occurs any time a coach has any face-to-face contact with you or your parents off ! the college’s campus and says more than hello. A contact also occurs if a coach has any contact with ! you or your parents at your high school or any location where you are competing or practicing. ! ! “Contact Period” ! ! During this time, a college coach may have in person contact with you and/or your parents ! on or off the college’s campus. The coach may also watch you play or visit your high school. You ! and your parents may visit a college campus the coach may write and telephone you during this ! period. ! ! “Dead Period” ! ! A college coach may not have any in-person contact with you or your parents on or off ! campus at any time during a dead period. The coach may write and telephone you or your parents ! during this time. ! ! “Evaluation” ! ! An “Evaluation” is an activity by a coach to evaluate your academic or athletic ability. This ! would include visiting your high school or watching you practice or compete. ! ! “Evaluation Period” ! ! During this time, a college coach may watch you play or visit your high school, but cannot ! have any in-person conversations with your or your parents off the college’s campus. You and your ! parents can visit a college campus during this period. A coach may write and telephone you or your ! parents during this time. ! ! “Official Visit” ! ! Any visit to a college campus by you and your parents paid for by the college. The college ! may pay all or some of the following expenses: your transportation to and from the college, room and ! meals (3 per day) while you are visiting the college, reasonable entertainment expenses including 3 ! complimentary admission to a home athletics contest. ! !
    • a 12 Recruiting Terms Continued... ! ! ! ! “Prospective Student-Athlete” ! ! You become a “Prospective Student-Athlete” when you start 9th-grade classes; or before ! your 9th-grade year a college gives you, your relatives or your friends any financial aid or other ! benefits that the college does not provide to students generally. ! ! “Quiet Period” ! ! During this time, a college coach may not have any in-person contact with you or your ! parents off the college’s campus. The coach may not watch you play or visit your high school ! during this period. You and your parents may visit a college campus during this time. A coach may ! write or telephone you or your parents during this time. ! ! “Unofficial Visit” ! ! Any visit by you and your parents to a college campus paid for by you or your parents. The ! only expense you may receive from the college is 3 complimentary admissions to a home athletics ! contest. You may make as many unofficial visits as you like and may take those visits at any time. ! The only time you cannot talk with a coach during an unofficial visit is during a dead period. ! ! “Verbal Commitment” ! ! This phrase is used to describe a college bound student-athlete’s commitment to a school ! before he or she signs (or is able to sign) a National Letter of Intent (“NLI”). A college bound ! student-athlete can announce a verbal commitment at any time. While verbal commitments have ! become very popular for both college bound student-athletes and coaches, this “commitment” is ! NOT binding on either the college bound student-athlete or the institution. Only the signing of the ! National Letter of Intent accompanied by a financial aid agreement is binding on both parties. ! ! “National Letter of Intent” ! ! The National Letter of Intent (NLI) is a voluntary program administered by the Eligibility ! Center. By signing an NLI, you agree to attend the institution for one academic year. In exchange, ! that institution must provide you financial aid for one academic year. Restrictions are contained in ! the NLI itself. Read them carefully. These restriction may affect your eligibility. If you have ! questions about the National Letter of Intent, visit the web site at www.national-letter.org or call ! 877.262.1492. ! !
    • a 13 Chapter 6: The College Admissions Process Applying to College as an Athlete ! Applying to college is usually the most stressful time of a high school student’s career. Athletes are the lucky ones during this time. If you are an athlete that has successfully navigated the recruiting process chances are you have communicated with the coaches at the school, and if they are recruiting you they may be giving you support in the admissions process. They can give you a good read on your chances of getting in. This takes a lot of the anxiety out of the process. But, like all other students, you still have to go through the application process.
    • 14Applying to College as an Athlete Continued...
    • 15Applying to College as an Athlete Continued...
    • 16Applying to College as an Athlete Continued...
    • 17Applying to College as an Athlete Continued...
    • 18 Chapter 7: The Cost of College The Realities of Athletic Scholarships! It is important to gauge where you stand in a coach’s recruiting pool before the topic of scholarshipis brought up. There’s nothing wrong in asking where you stand (“am I in your top 5? Even on your 1st list?Or do you see me as a walk-on?”). Find out whether the coach changes scholarship from year to year. Manycoaches increase scholarships with seniority and as playing time increases from year to year. By the sametoken, scholarships can be reduced or even taken away altogether at the coach’s discretion. It’s importantto understand how that scholarship could change in the future.! Comparing the Costs of College between Public and Private Schools College tuition is no joke this days. The cost of college has increased at a disproportionate rate tonational inflation. The investment of a college education is usually a persons second largest lifetimeexpense (the first being buying a home), but there is no doubt that it’s a worthwhile investment.! Tuition at private colleges can range as high as $40,000-$50,000 a year (that does not includeroom and board). Tuition at public colleges is usually closer to $30,000 a year out of state, and $18,000 ayear in-state. Expensive private colleges tend to have higher endowments that lend to better financial aidpackages, but public (“state”) schools can often have better non-athletic scholarship opportunities for in-state applicants.! Financial Aid Options It is important for Lacrosse players to explore other options than athletic scholarship when dealingwith the costs of college. There are many financial aid packages available based upon need, and also manysupplemental scholarships available that just require an application and an essay. In your senior year shouldfile your taxes early and fill out a FAFSA (Federal Application for Student Aid).
    • 19 GET STARTED Empower the Athletes website (www.empowertheathlete.com) provideshelpful tools and information about your recruiting process and your college search. You can also use it to sort your college list, and look up any lacrosseprograms, and the coachs contact info. Athletes should be reaching out to coachesnow before the season; there are scripts for emails, phone calls, and good questionsto ask on visits on the site as well. After creating your online profile, follow theonscreen instructions and tour of the web features.To use the website, use the promo code "ETA 2011" for all-staraccess to all of the recruiting tools. Lastly, if families have questions or want to talk about their process, any ETAAthletic Advisor would be happy to talk with them and field any questions throughphone or email. Many of the questions Advisors have been fielding lately have beenabout how to kick-start a successful recruiting process or how to manage arecruiting process that has already begun. Feel free to contact ETA anytime atinfo@empowertheathlete.com; or call (757) 229-1232 to reach our East Coast office,or (415) 800-7794 to reach our West Coast office.Good luck in all of your upcoming athletic events. Play hard and have fun. - the ETA Team