With Social Media being such a big tool in our everyday life, it is often exciting to post or to see someone you know post about letters they receive from coaches and schools, their college visits, camps or offers. Posting about these events has become a routine for recruits. Sometimes players, their families and coaches lack knowledge about the exact details of the purpose of the letter they received, the visit they took, or the camp they participated in. Below are 5 tips to help you understand if you are seriously being recruited.
1. Letters from Colleges. Colleges send out mass letters during the Summer. Some schools take entire rosters from the booklets they pay for at Showcase events and send out MASS letters regarding watching the athlete play during the Summer. In the past, I had players on the roster in the booklet but not participate in the Showcase, receive letters stating the College enjoyed watching them play! These letters normally go out to garner interest in the College’s camps or other activities they have coming up. Sometimes, it’s just so the College’s name is in front of you! I have also seen multiple players post their “Mass” letter on Social Media and all the letters are the SAME. The only difference is the name and address. Take time to understand the letter you received and review it. Letters with “real interest” will discuss things you have talked on the phone with the coaches about, future plans, etc… The letter will be personal or asking for information they need for the recruitment process. Handwritten letters from coaching staffs are serious (in a great way)! This is a great sign of interest from the coaching staff!!!!
2. Camps, Camps, Camps. Participation in camps is a necessity. To be able to get on a College campus and work with the coaching staff on the court is VITAL! Making the commitment to the coach and going to camp is GOOD! When communicating with the coaching staff, did they mention coming to the camp to you? Did the Coaching staff take time to build a relationship and invest their time in working with you while you were at the camp? There is a difference between being asked to come to the camp so the coaching staff can evaluate and work with you personally versus mom and dad finding the camp online and signing you up. Now there is nothing wrong with Mom and Dad signing you up for camp, I am all for it. Just think about this in depth when you decide on the camps you will be attending for the Summer. It’s BEST to attend camps at Schools that communicate with you! Do not pass up on the opportunity to go to a camp at a University that communicates with you on the phone or by letters, and instead attend a camp at a University that you have never heard from them! GO WHERE YOU ARE WANTED! IT’S GOOD TO BE WANTED!! 🙂 If you are not receiving any letters or phone calls, do your research about what schools are looking for position wise, playing style wise and character wise when deciding on camps to possibly catch someone’s eye!
3. Communication by telephone. Does the coaching staff call you or schedule times for you to call them, if you are younger than the age the NCAA requires you to be for College coaches to call you? Has the Head Coach made any attempt at contact with you? Communication is KEY for recruitment. College Coaches want to get to know you on AND off the court. They want to build relationships with recruits. They invest their time in someone they are serious about! If there is little contact with the coaching staff or your texts / calls are not returned, you may want to think about where you rank on their recruit list. After the Summer Showcase season, coaching staffs will work on making a schedule to get on high school campuses of those recruits they are investing in. Has the coach discussed coming to your high school to visit, watch pre-season workouts or games? If so, make sure you are on top of getting these schedules to the coaching staffs! They are allowed only a certain number of times to watch you and if they want one of these times to be on YOUR TURF, take it serious!!
4. Unofficial Visits. Have they asked you to come to their campus? When you went did you have interaction with the players and head coach? If you have been communicating with a coach and have scheduled a visit to their campus, it is important you have interaction with the head coach. It is important the Head Coach is there and investing time in YOU (Head Coach or Associate Head Coach are the ones with the authority to offer prospective players). Like I have stated before in this BLOG, there is a tremendous difference between a visit to a College Campus that was scheduled with the College and your mom / your dad or you and a visit that is planned with the coaching staff. The coaching staff will make sure you have a detailed schedule to see Academic buildings, dorms, meet professors / advisors, watch practice,etc.. KNOW the type of visit you are going on!
5. Have they asked for transcripts, your GPA or schedule of when you plan on taking PSAT, SAT or ACT? You must take the ACT or SAT and get a certain score in order to be eligible to play a college sport or even get into a COLLEGE. The PSAT is a good view on how will do on the SAT if you are younger. Have they discussed your class schedule rigor? This is important for High Academic Schools and are often deciding factors on if they can recruit you!!High Academic schools want to see you have challenged yourself with your class schedule and been successful doing so! This will make the transition to their classes easier. They require AP Courses and HONOR Courses and if these are not on your transcript, they can not recruit you! You are a STUDENT- Athlete and the word STUDENT comes first for a reason!!!
Overall, receiving ANY interest (sport wise, academic wise..) from colleges is a BLESSING! Any opportunity for free school or partially free school is GREAT! But try to understand the difference between receiving general interest or real investing time interest. If you are signing up for camps and planning your own visits, it doesn’t mean a school will never recruit you, it means you still have some work to put in, in order to get serious interest! Continue to WORK!
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