There are many misconceptions about what it takes to get to being a college athlete. Often, people feel like their kid is a great athlete. They're setting records, they're in the weekly newspaper, and yet, they're not getting recruited. And that is very common. We have to look at it from the coach's perspective.
Coaches are looking for someone who's going to be a good fit not only for their team, but for the school. Coach’s recruiting budgets outside of the Big Ten and SEC are relatively small. Their recruiting budgets cover things like traveling to see high school athletes play. That includes the cost of gas, the cost of the ticket to get in, an overnight stay in a hotel.
There's a lot of overhead for these coaches, so they are pretty selective about when and what games they go to. Just because you're a great athlete, you might have no intentions of ever stepping foot on that campus, or they may not have a major that you're interested in taking. It would be a waste of time for the coach to come see you play because it's not a good fit. They're a little bit more selective in how they handle that.
Coaches are waiting to hear from the students. The coaches and schools can always tell when there is a parent involved in the email.
Recently a student sent me an e-mail to ask if is it was okay to send to the coach. It mentioned one of his “fondest memories”. I don't know any 17-year-old boys using the words “fondest memories.” Later, he admitted that his mom had written it. We stepped in and we changed that. But it's really important for the students to advertise themselves, because coaches can tell the difference.
It's really important for them to make contact with the coach, to express an interest in the school, and the major they're planning to take because the coach wants to know that the school is actually a good fit for them.
It's very important that kids keep contacting the school because they're not going to get an immediate response. They are going to have to do it in blind faith that the coach is reading their email, and when the time is right the coach is going to turn around and respond. They have to keep putting that work in consistently and continue to put their name out there. Putting yourself out there like if you're getting a job or trying to make a sale. As a parent, I think that's something we can all relate to.
I'll ask kids if they have ever heard of Morton's or Ruth’s Chris (Steakhouses) and they haven't. But, they have heard of McDonald's because every 45 seconds there's a commercial for McDonald's. We know that the food at Morton's or at Ruth’s Chris a 100x better than McDonald's. And yet, we don't know about it. They don't need to advertise, but your student does!
Students need to realize this is their opportunity to advertise themselves. College coaches aren't sitting around reading the local newspaper, either. They don't know that you've done all of this. You need to get in touch and stay in touch.
Parents need to take their students on college visits, even before they've heard from the coach. A lot of times, parents will wait and see if the coach shows interest first. That's the wrong approach.
Set up a visit with the college and talk to the coach during that college visit. We provide questions so that students know what to ask in that face-to-face. Parents always have a lot of questions they want to ask, but the coach needs to see that they can have a relationship with your child. So, let your child do the talking.
Prepare your child in advance, it is not OK for them to say "You've answered all my questions" or "No, I don't have any questions" when the coach asks if they have anything they want to know about. They have to have questions ready.
It's like a job interview and it's hard to come up with those questions. Even when you're preparing for them it's still hard to come up. That's where College Recruiting Specialists can kind of jump in and help that student ask the right questions, not necessarily a question a mother would ask or a father would ask.
As a former high school soccer coach, I am really passionate about letting students have the opportunity to continue to play and create that relationship with their coach.
If you have a child competing in high school sports who wants to continue it in college, get linked up with College recruiting Specialists now, because pre-planning is the best way to stay ahead. Give us a call or visit our contact us page to get started!