High school prospects and parents sacrifice a lot of time, effort, and money for a chance to play at the college level. They want a payoff - a scholarship payoff. So, when they receive letters, emails or texts from coaches, kids and parents are justifiably excited... or are their emotions justified? After all, this is what they were after, right? Not so fast. Letters, emails, and texts from college coaches can hold legitimate promise. Then again, they can hold little substance. The problem? Families don't know the difference.
Decoding a Coach’s Message
Are you being recruited? Where there is smoke, there is not always fire when in recruiting. Common questions such as:
All these puzzles rightfully run through a prospect's mind.
Communications from college coaches can be confusing and frustrating. In truth, until you sign a National Letter of Intent, nothing is a certainty. Additionally, if you are unaware of recruiting's nuances, you can easily misunderstand a coach's meaning. Worse yet, you might think you're high on a coach's list, when in reality, you are not. That can paralyze your thinking. As a result, you might ignore other viable opportunities.
Therefore, knowing how recruiting works is critical to your mindset, confidence, and success. Only a recruiting specialist can properly advise you. Only a trained college scout has the insight you need to make sound decisions. That is where NSR and your NSR scout come in.
Are You Actively Being Recruited? Not if...
- You Receive a Letter from an Admissions Office
This information has nothing to do with you being recruited. It is only useful in learning about the college.
- You Receive a Letter and Questionnaire from a College Coach
Getting recognized is an important initial step. But it only means you're on the coach's radar. Nothing more.
- A College Coach Watches You in Person
Unless you're already on their "list", it's doubtful things will go much further.
- A Coach Says That he or she Will Keep up With You
Coaches keep a number of athletes interested this way. Rarely, though, does this end with an offer.
- A College Coach Calls Your High School or Travel Team Coach
There are a number of reasons they might call your coach. They may not know your address or phone number. They may have heard about you, but have not seen you in person. Maybe they want to know your upcoming schedule. A call of this sort means one thing - you are somewhere in the evaluation process, but not yet being recruited.
You're Being Recruited if...
- A College Coach Calls you at Home (More Than Once)
Once is not enough. If a coach calls and talks to you twice, he or she is truly interested.
- A College Coach Comes to Your Home Field, Court or Course to Specifically See You Play
When coaches spend time and money to see you play in person, they are interested in really evaluating learning more about you.
- A College Coach Invites You on an Official Visit
When a coach invites you to spend time with the coaching staff and the team, you have made it to the final recruiting stage. Make the most of it by asking important questions.
You're in Recruiting Trouble when...
- You Have Only a Few Questionnaires
There are over 4,000 colleges across the nation. How many know about you? Count your questionnaires. That's how many.
- Somebody Says "If You are Good Enough, Colleges Will Find You"
This is wrong. Your profile and skills video must be accessible 24/7 to all coaches and on a reputable organization's website. That's where most coaches begin their search for prospects. (FYI - Coaches don't typically waste their time on sites offering only "free profiles" for student-athletes.)
- You Think a Friend or Relative's "Connections" is all You Need
As a result, a coach might send you a letter. But it is statistically unlikely that anything more will come of it.
- Coaches Can't Get your Stats and / or Video
The reality is that you must have updated, accurate stats to get recruited.
- Your List of College Choices is too Narrow
The chances are not good of you fitting only a few specific coaches' needs. For this reason, extending your options is a much better plan.
- You Assume Walking-on is a Good Option
It's not. Colleges love for you to walk-on because you will be paying to attend that school. You cost a coach nothing. And you start at the very bottom of the depth chart. Every year, another group of scholarship athletes jump ahead of you.
With all that in mind, please answer this question: Are you being recruited?