By Tom Kovic
The past year has presented an abundance of challenges to college recruiting tactics. Those prospects who tried to maximize their effort with the college search probably gained ground. Conversely, those student-athletes who succumbed to frustration likely experienced a mediocre recruiting effort at best. Our aim today is to refresh your college recruiting tactics and clean the slate moving ahead.
Dedicated athletes always meet challenges head-on. There is no better time than now to re-charge your college recruiting plan, put it into action and build momentum. A year ago, the recruiting landscape looked bleak. There was a lack of showcases and competitions to attend and lost opportunities to help college coaches evaluate. Prospects now face a new and exciting opportunity to reengage college coaches.
No one can ever doubt that the past year worldwide was unique and daunting, especially for our teenage boys and girls. Dwelling on the past and focusing on anything remotely negative will only cloud your recruiting vision. Remove the clutter.
Conversely, control your playing field and maintain a positive plan of action with your college recruiting effort. Remember, maintaining a streamlined mental and organizational approach with college recruiting will serve you best.
If you have not done so already, surround yourself with a small group of individuals you trust. These should be people who know you and are close to you. The goal of the recruiting team is to help the prospect maintain a steady course throughout the recruiting process.
In addition, team members are personal advisors who typically see things a prospect might miss. Like auto mechanics, team members keep the recruiting machine well-tuned and operating efficiently.
The summer presents prospects with opportunities to maximize the college search. Develop a positive “sense of urgency” in your effort to plan and organize best to grow your skill as an athlete and share your accomplishments with the college coaches on your list. 100 days may seem like a lot of time to maximize college recruiting. However, unless this time is managed efficiently, it will evaporate quickly.
Engage Your Club/HS Coach
Every sports community in America has a tight-knit group of coaches, athletes, and alumni, that are connected by 1 degree of separation. Consequently, the club/HS coach can act as an excellent reference for prospective student-athletes.
College coaches will do a thorough academic and athletic evaluation of a prospect to determine where they fit in their recruit priority chart. Moving forward, a diligent college recruiter will reach out to the club coach to learn the inner make-up of the prospect.
College coaches measure prospects on three levels. Strong students, impact athletes, and potential inside team leaders. Beyond the parents, no one knows the prospective student-athlete better than the high school/club coach. Encourage your coach to engage a handful of college coaches and speak to them on your behalf. It can be a game-changer.
We may be in unchartered waters, but we are nearly out of the woods with the pandemic. Remain positive in your approach with your everyday life and surround yourself with people who care about you and believe in you.
You have two choices ahead of you. 1) Allow everything remotely negative to fill your minds and crush your hopes and dreams. 2) Accept that you are confronted with a steep mountain to climb. Clean the slate and face the challenge head-on and with confidence.
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.