1Recruiting Tip Do NAIA and NJCAAcoaches have any restrictions oncontacting potential recruits?No, NAIA and NJCAA coachescan call, email, text, send directmessages on Facebook, post to arecruit’s wall, and chat online—anything at any time.
2Recruiting TipWhat is theNational Letter of Intent (NLI)?The NLI is a binding agreementbetween a prospective student-athlete and an NLI memberinstitution.
3Recruiting TipAttention senior families:Create an account atwww.fafsa.ed.gov and apply fora PIN so that on January 1st,you will be able to fill out theFAFSA forms. Money is firstcome, first serve!
4Recruiting TipReminder to all aspiringcollege athletes: as we get closerto Turkey Day, communicationwill die down. Now is the timeto reach out to those coaches.
5Recruiting TipIf an athlete fails to respondto a coach, the coach might thinkthat athlete is not interested in theprogram. To stay on the coach’srecruiting list, student-athletesneed to be prompt, thorough,and personal when responding tocorrespondence.
6Recruiting TipConnecting with thecoaching staff before an unofficialvisit is critical. The purpose ofan unofficial visit is to allow theathlete to experience campus lifeand build a relationship with thestaff. But if the coaches are noteager to host a student, they likelyare not interested in recruitingthat athlete.
7Recruiting TipAn athlete who receives ascholarship to play a “headcount” sport is always given afull ride scholarship. An athletewho receives a scholarship toplay an “equivalency sport”might receive only a partialscholarship.
8Recruiting TipAn athlete should send videosonly to college coaches who haverequested them. An athlete’s videomight not be looked at if a coach isnot expecting it, especially if the coachis from a big program that receives40 or 50 videos a week. If studentswant to mail a video or email a linkto a coach who has not requestedtheir highlight or skills video, theyshould call to make sure the coach isexpecting the video.
9Recruiting TipThe following are not signsof recruitment:-Invitation to attend a camp.-A generic admissions letter.-A scout attending a game(unless the scout came toevaluate the student-athlete).
10Recruiting TipIt is never too late to be a goodstudent, according to Coach Chmiel.An upswing in a student’s grade-pointaverage in later semesters can give a coachthe ammunition to make a case for anotherwise-unqualified student-athleteto gain admissions to a college. For thisreason, a student’s GPA in later semestersis more important than their GPA in earlysemesters.
11Recruiting TipAccording to a study bythe University of Virginia,80% of female Fortune 500 Topexecutives describe themselvesas former athletes. Like this statif you think it’s significant to bea college athlete.
12Recruiting TipA student-athlete onlyhas one chance to make a firstimpression, so parents’ help inbuilding a child’s confidencefor communicating with adultsis critical. Parents should startthis process early so that acoach does not later mistakean athlete’s shyness for lack ofinterest.
13Recruiting TipThe Recruiting Funnel:A college football staff might send10k to 15k letters -> And watch 1k-2kvideos -> Before making 500 phonecalls to potential recruits -> Verballyoffering between 65-200 scholarships-> Extending up to 85 offers forofficial visits -> Before signing amaximum of 25 players per year.
14Recruiting TipCommunicating withcoaches is the single mostimportant aspect of therecruiting process. It shouldcome directly from the athlete,and it should come early.
15Recruiting TipParents should be theirchild’s assistant and mentor, not justa cheerleader. The parent’s job is toprepare the child and assist withthe recruitment process. The athleteshould turn to the parent for help, butnot for approval. Children who learnto stand on their own two feet willmake better decisions and be moreconfident and capable.
16Recruiting TipWhen reaching out tocollege coaches athletes need tosend emails to coaches one at atime. “CCing” several coaches,or sending a mass email, is notlooked upon favorably.
17Recruiting TipTo all potential recruitshoping that college coaches will call,email, or engage socially with you:Please make sure your voicemail,email, and Twitter handles are set upprofessionally, and are appropriate.These two small things make a hugedifference in the recruiting process.
18Recruiting TipMore than 80% of athleticopportunities are at the NCAADivision II, III, NAIA, or juniorcollege levels, with these schools oftenproviding more playing time, strongacademics, and a better fit for thestudent-athlete.
19Recruiting TipA student forced to choosebetween two sports should choose thesport the athlete loves most, regardlessof whether this is their stronger sport.During college, playing a sport canbe a full-time job, so being passionateabout the sport is critical to successand longevity.
20Recruiting TipAmong the mostoverlooked opportunities are those at theDIII programs. Athletes and their parentsmiss out because they fall prey to thetechnicality that DIII programs do notoffer athletic scholarships. While this istrue, it is also a technicality. DIII schoolsoffer grants-in-aid and non-athleticscholarships that often make the cost ofattending less than that at their DI & DIIcounterparts.
21Recruiting TipIf offered a scholarship,a student should always ask for it inwriting. Remember that nothing isguaranteed until the athlete signs onthe dotted line on Signing Day, buta written offer will provide a studentwith some level of assurance.
22Recruiting TipA 4-2-4 transfer is astudent-athlete who started theircollegiate career at a 4-year program,transferred to a 2-year program and thenended up at another 4-year program. Themost important thing to know is thatwhen a student-athlete is a 4-2-4 transfer,they MUST graduate from the 2-yearprogram in order to transfer to anotherDI program.
23Recruiting TipSports camps are inexcellent opportunity for an athlete tobuild skills, experience campus life, orconnect with a coach. However, studentsare usually not discovered at sportscamps. Sports camps are businesses thatmost often accept as many students aswill pay to attend the camp, which meanscoaches do not often recruit from campsbecause the level of play is so diverse.
24Recruiting TipOnce awarded ascholarship, a student-athlete mustmaintain the scholarship. Three criteriadictate whether the student-athlete willmaintain the scholarship: - Performing well for the team - Adhering to the NCAA or NAIA rules and regulations - Maintaining the required GPA
25Recruiting TipCoach Contact Prior toSeptember 1st of Junior Year DivisionI college coaches can’t send “recruitingmaterials” prior to the start of a student-athlete’s junior year of high school, butcollege coaches CAN and DO send thefollowing information to student-athletesbefore junior year in high school:- Questionnaires- Camp Brochures- General information about the college, generated by the admissions department
26Recruiting TipJust because the visit is“unofficial” doesn’t mean you shouldcome unprepared; think of it as apreliminary job interview. If you’rehoping for a scholarship offer from aschool, why not take the time to preparesome thoughtful questions about thedirection of the program, or about theschool’s academic reputation, so that acoach understands you’re responsible andconcerned about your future.
27Recruiting TipThe key to a successfulrecruiting process is knowing what todo and understanding when and how todo it. When working toward an athleticscholarship, approach your four years ofhigh school must like you would the fourquarters of a game. Although the pressuremight seem greatest during the third andfourth quarters, the points scored duringthe first half can be the difference betweenwinning and losing.
28Recruiting TipIt is extremely importantto reply to all correspondence you receive.Avoid judging universities based on namerecognition. There are over 1,700 collegesand universities at the NCAA Division I,Division II, Division III, NAIA, and JuniorCollege levels. Don’t ignore any of them!
29Recruiting TipThe key to this process isresearch, research, research. Determiningwhich school is a perfect fit for you involvesmuch more than merely deciding whichcollege you like the most. Not every schoolin which you’re interested will have a needfor a student-athlete of your caliber or atyour position, so you need to study andcontact as many schools and coaches asyou can to determine which one is a perfectmatch for you.
30Recruiting TipVisit as many colleges aspossible during the summer, holidays, springbreak, etc. There is no limit on the numberof unofficial visits you may take. Targetcolleges you’re interested in and that haveshown interest in you. Be sure to contactcoaches before you set up visits. Coaches aretypically more than happy to meet with aninterested student-athlete. Remember thatany time you call or email a coach you gainan advantage over you competition. Collegecoaches appreciate student-athletes who areproactive and mature.
31Recruiting TipMany of the best packagescome from “non-scholarship” Division IIIprograms. The reality is that if a DivisionIII program wants an athlete, the schooloften finds a need- or non-need-basedscholarship that applies to the student.In other words, Division III schools givefinancial aid based on how much theyneed a student-athlete. The key is to havemultiple opportunities to negotiate the bestbottom line.
32Recruiting TipThe average high schoolcoach has contact with fewer thanfive college coaches, most of whomare local. Student-athletes andfamilies are ultimately responsible forconnecting with college coaches.
33Recruiting TipAn invitation for anofficial visit is a strongprecursor to a scholarshipoffer. One rule of thumb inrecruiting is that if an athlete isnot offered an official visit, thatathlete likely will not be offereda scholarship.
34Recruiting TipCollege coaches doa majority of their initialevaluations by looking at videosrequested or received fromreliable sources and deliveredonline or digitally. Afterwatching a video, a coach maydecide to make an in-personevaluation.
35Recruiting TipFinancial AidJanuary 1st is the first dayseniors are able to submit theFAFSA. Reminder for familiesyou need to get your FAFSAsubmitted ASAP! Money isgiven on a first come, first servebasis. Use last year’s tax returns.
36Recruiting TipHigh schoolstudent-athletes who competein college win on averagemore than $12,850 per year(for in-state, public schoolstudents) to $21,266 per year(for private school students)in scholarships, grants, andfinancial aid to play sports at acollegiate level for 4 or 5 years.
37Recruiting TipStudent-athletes who takethe initiative to schedule unofficialvisits will likely move up therecruitment list if they:- Bring a list of questions to ask the coach,- Express knowledge about the program, and- Arrive on time with a copy of their resume and highlight or skills video.
38Recruiting TipRemember that thegreater the distance, the greaterthe opportunities. Parentsshould make sure the NameGame does not blind the childand encourage the athlete tosearch high and low, in everynook and cranny, for the rightcollege fit.
39Recruiting TipCollege coaches sendadmissions material, brochures, andquestionnaires to high school studentsto see which ones respond. Those whorespond will stay on the recruitinglist; those who do not respond will beremoved. If a student-athlete receivesa questionnaire, admissions materialor brochure from a college coach,she should respond immediately,regardless of whether she wants toattend the school.
40Recruiting TipBefore sending emailsto twenty-five coaches andadministrators, an athletemight want to call, make anintroduction, and ask for thename of the person to whomthe athlete should forwardinformation in order to beevaluated to compete for theprogram.
41Recruiting TipStudent-athletes should makethe most of official visits. Athletes shouldwalk around campus and get a feel for theatmosphere.- Do the students seem friendly?- Is this a place they can imagine living for the next four years?Student-athletes might also want to tryto meet the team, sit in a class, or watcha practice. They need to be sure this isa school they would want to attend ifathletics were not part of the picture.
42Recruiting TipStudent Athletes shouldconsider the answer to these two questionswhen considering specific camps:- Has a coach from the school called me and specifically invited me to the camp?- Have I had any face-to-face contact with any of the coaches holding the camp?If the answer to both of these questions is ano, the only reason to attend the camp is tobuild skills or gain experience.
43Recruiting TipA list of questions to ask thecoach. Regardless of whether the student isa freshman or junior, or whether this is thefirst or fifth call with the coach, an athleteshould always ask two questions:- What else would I need to do to have a chance to compete for you program and earn a scholarship?- What is the next step I should take with you?
44Recruiting TipStart researching institutionsto get a feel for the different types ofcampuses. A student-athlete shouldbe directed to evaluate a wide range ofschools, understanding that bigger isnot always better, and Division I schoolsdo not always offer better playing time,opportunities, or education than DivisionIII or NAIA schools.
45Recruiting TipA request to ask the coacha few questions. Remember that the coachis a busy person. If he doesn’t have time,the students should ask when he can callthe coach back. If an athlete calls a DivisionI or II coach before July 1 or June 15 ofhis junior year (depending on sport andexcluding football or basketball), the coachis not allowed to return the student’s call,so if the coach is unavailable, the student-athlete should ask his assistant when he canreach the coach.
46Recruiting TipStudent-athletes cannot redothe recruiting process. They cannot take amulligan. The recruiting process is a once-in-lifetime experience that requires boththe parents and the students to jump in fullsteam ahead. High school consists of onlyabout 720 days.How will the student-athlete make themost of this small window of opportunity?
47Recruiting TipWhat the student does off thefield is just as important as what takesplace on the field. As the recruiting processbegins, maintaining good grades becomesmore and more important. Performancein the classroom tells a coach plenty aboutan athlete’s likelihood of reaching theirpotential on the playing field. Coachesknow that good students tend to makethe most of their abilities and stay out oftrouble.
48Recruiting TipWhen communicatingwith coaches, a parent should not be a“helicopter mom” or “we dad”. Parentsshould loosen the reins and let the childtake the lead. College coaches are notinterested in dealing with their player’sparents, so an overly involved parent mighthurt a child’s chance of being recruited.
49Recruiting TipIn most cases college coacheswill begin the recruiting process by sendingletters and questionnaires to the student-athletes on their lists during freshman year.Relationships are developed by student-athleteswho take advantage of their ability to call, write,and take unofficial visits to these college coachesat any time. Waiting to connect with a coachmight be the biggest mistake a young student-athlete can make! Coaches from DIII and NAIAschools can call a student-athlete at any time,though some opt to follow the Division I and IIrules.
50Recruiting TipOnly about 6.76%of high school athletes will play at a collegelevel, and only 1.68% will receive a full orpartial athletic scholarship to an NCAA-affiliated school. Only 0.98% will make thecut to play on a Division I college team.But guess what isn’t a Division I school?Williams College. Neither is Amherst,or countless other colleges that offerworld-class education. Only about 15% ofcollegiate athletic opportunities are at theDivision I Level. The rest are at the DII,DIII, NAIA, and JUCO.