By Tom Kovic
Every prospect has an ideal college experience waiting for him or her and identifying essential operatives that define your personal goal is half the battle. Self-awareness is a powerful recruiting tool. Furthermore, growing an appreciation for what potentially appeals to you in college is a great place to start. What follows is a snapshot of simple tactics to simplify college recruiting.
Before you take the plunge and pick up the phone or e-mail college coaches, take the time to define who you are as part of the recruiting process. A seemingly daunting task, but once you wrap your arms around developing self-awareness in college recruiting, the easier it gets…And it’s fun!
Remember, first impressions are powerful, and you want to prepare best for the initial communication with the coaches. The most straightforward approach is by developing a personal profile. Keep this to a 1-page PDF and list your academic, athletic, and personal accomplishments during the past two years.
The profile header should list your contact information, graduation year, and an action photo. Create an academic section of the profile and share vital information that will assist coaches in evaluating you as a student. Include current course work and grades. Share standardized test results. This section of the profile can also include volunteer work and extracurricular activities. Accomplish this task, and you are halfway there!
The athletic section of the profile will contain all the nuts and bolts that define you as a potential impact athlete. List your club team and coach contact information. Provide the college coaches with a snapshot to the level you compete and significant athletic accomplishments.
Finally, save some space at the bottom of the profile to add a powerful mission statement that pinpoints your all-around college goals. Also, a coach testimonial that includes your leadership contributions will complete the profile nicely.
Develop Your College Path
Next, identify operatives that will define your ideal college experience and create your college list. Review the personal mission statement you created in your profile. This will help form your college list. College sports is tremendously exciting but has a shelf life. Envision goals during the 4-year experience. Also, identify long term goals four decades from now!
Identify coach contact information for future communication. Equally important, include resource websites for all the colleges on your list. Explore and be a student of the sport!
Outline and Execute Your Plan of Attack.
Establish clear goals, objectives, and timelines. Begin with the end game in mind and work backward to the starting point of your plan.
You will notice checkpoints you will encounter as you navigate the college quest from beginning to end. Whether it is signing the national letter of intent, the official visit, or the first phone call placed to the coach, you will have a clear checklist of things to do.
Embrace your target timelines (making unofficial visits, maintaining your college database, and attending competitions). Also, add specific events (compiling a video and player profile, communicating with coaches, and making official visits) as you advance. You will increase the chances of hitting targets throughout the process.
Putting your plan into action is critical to the success of the college search. You have created a long checklist of actionable items. Now it is time to carve your list up into mini assignments that are impactful yet manageable.
Remain true to your weekly assignments no matter what. If you accomplish every item on your checklist, your self-confidence will grow. You will realize your college plan is not only working; it is gaining momentum. Maintain high expectations for yourself and remain dedicated to your project.
Implementing a systematic college recruiting plan will help you cultivate relationships with college coaches and hopefully secure scholarship/admission to the college of your choice. We must empower our children. Let them know they are part of a team engaged in an essential and meaningful process that will have a significant effect on their future careers and personal growth.
Tom Kovic is a former Division I college coach and Founder/Principal of Victory Collegiate Consulting, where he advises prospects and families on college recruiting. For further information visit: www.victoryrecruiting.com.