Tag Archives: Victory Collegiate Consulting

College Athletics Recruiting: “Identifying Important Areas of the NCAA Manual” By Tom Kovic

College Athletics Recruiting: Identifying Important Areas of the NCAA Manual

By Tom Kovic

The NCAA Manual is the “go to” resource for prospects and families as they begin to build their education base in the college search. Between the Division 1, 2 and 3 manuals there is well over 1500 pages of helpful information!

The aim of this article is to direct you toward these resources and help you simplify your search and wrap your arms around recruiting terms, rules and procedures you will encounter as you navigate your personal college quest.

First, let’s search for a copy of the manual!

Go to www.ncaa.org. Click the “resources” tab. Under “Resources,” Click either the Division 1, 2 or 3 manual links. From there you can either order a hard copy of the manual or download a free Pdf version.

If you haven’t done so already, create a college folder on your laptop and create subfolder and label it “NCAA.” Save the manuals to your folder for easy access in the future.

The manual is loaded with tremendous information, but to be very honest with you, there is only a fraction of information parents and athletes should comb through. When you break it down, only 3 chapters or “Articles” in the manual are absolutely necessary to understand and utilize.

Article 13 Recruiting

This is a very important chapter that will provide you with the nuts and bolts of how recruiting works and the limitations and time-lines college coaches and families are bound. Below is a list of sub-articles I suggest you place your attention:

  • Definitions and Applications
  • Contacts and Evaluations
  • Recruiting Materials
  • Campus Visits
  • Letter of Intent

You will notice in some cases multiple “revisions” of a rule or definition. Simply look carefully to the most recent date of the revision and the effective date and you will be right on target!

This chapter is a great “first read” that will begin to help shape your personal recruiting picture in your mind. Remember, the recruiting process is like learning a new language and sometimes you have to simply “jump in.” That being the case, the more you practice the more you will learn and understand.

Article 14 Eligibility: Academic and General Requirements

Boy is this ever an important chapter! Can you imagine going through the entire recruiting process, showing up to your college campus in the fall of your freshmen year and getting the news from your coach and compliance officer that you are ineligible to practice or play?

Academic eligibility is a necessary part of the college recruiting process and you want to be certain you are on track every step of the way. Whether it is scheduling the proper coursework during your high school years, registering for the NCAA Eligibility Center or taking the ACT’s you want to be sure you have your ducks in a row and hitting tangible targets! Below are important sub-articles to research:

  • Definitions
  • General Eligibility Requirements
  • Freshmen Academic Requirements
  • Transfer Regulations
  • Certification of Eligibility

This chapter is critical and it will provide you with a clearly and spelled out list of academic requirements you will be expected to meet and recruiting pitfalls you want to avoid! Remember, you can’t play the game if you don’t know the rules!

Article 15 Financial Aid

This chapter is important and it will give you a very clear and informative analysis of both need based and athletic related financial aid (scholarships). It not only defines an athletic scholarship and how they are distributed, it also clarifies maximum limits (by sport).

This is a pretty short chapter and I suggest you focus on each sub-article:

  • Definitions
  • Maximum Limits of Aid (Individual)
  • Terms and Conditions
  • Elements of Aid
  • Maximum Sports Limitations

Understanding NCAA rules and procedures is a critical component with any successful college search for athletes. The NCAA manual is a tremendous resource that is readily available. Creating a shortcut to navigate the important areas of the manual will be both time consuming and fruitful in building a well-rounded and resourceful empirical knowledge base as you prepare for college recruiting.

College Lacrosse Recruiting: “The Nice Nudge: Effective Communication In College Recruiting” By Tom Kovic Of Victory Collegiate Consulting

The Nice Nudge: Effective Communication in College Recruiting

By Tom Kovic

The college search for athletes is a quest and unless you are the blue chip kid that the coaches are hovering over, you need a vehicle to drive the recruiting process in your favor. Personally, I believe the manner and how often you communicate with college coaches can make a big difference in your results.

If there is an operative I use with the families I advise in effectively communicating with college coaches it is nudge. Nudge is defined as: “Pushing against gently, especially in order to gain attention or give a signal.” That being said, there is a fine line between nudging the college coaches and bugging them and what follows is an attempt to help you differentiate between the two.

Considering the volume of e-mails they receive from high school prospects, college coaches develop personal filtering systems to root out prospects and place in the active recruiting file. Whether it is an e-mail to update Coach with your latest YouTube video, or a phone call to discuss the program in greater detail, be sure the communication has “grip” and it is part of a seamless effort in developing a meaningful dialogue.

Nowadays, the volume of interested prospects can be overwhelming for a college coach and the trick to experiencing an effective dialogue is simply intending to assist Coach in the recruiting process. Here are a few tips to consider:

  • Don’t be afraid to initiate contact with a college coach.
  • Plan your communications thoroughly and be sure the messages you send have value to your case as a prospective student-athlete.
  • Keep every communication simple, concrete and “on point.”
  • Stay persistent in your effort (Remember, coaches are bound to very strict contact rules whereby they cannot, in many cases, return phone calls, e-mails etc.).

By executing a planned approach in communicating with the college coaches you simply control the playing field. This approach may appear aggressive, but when tempered with care and respect, a good coach will see an intangible and strong character component emerge in the prospect.

There’s a lot of chatter out there about college athletics being a business and although we may not agree with this statement in principle, it happens to be true. Therefore, prospects and families have two choices: 1) They can ignore it or 2) You can embrace it and learn to work within the system.

Whether it is a job interview, running for class president or navigating the college search, the “competition component” plays its part in the ultimate success of any journey. “Sticking your foot in the door” is just one of many tactics that really hit home when I advise families to ratchet up their effort.

Simply put, if you happen to be among the majority of college prospects that are lumped into the “B file” of candidates, you are still active and in the hunt, but the competition for a roster spot is fierce. What can you do to rise above the rest of the pack?

  • Be prepared for negative feedback and possible rejection. “You are only as good as your worst moment.”
  • Remain steadfast and persistent in your effort. “The true measure of a champion is not when things are going well, but when your back is in the corner.”
  • Re-evaluate your plan with your recruiting team on a regular basis. “None of us is as smart as all of us.”
  • Execute with passion. “Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice.”
  • Push yourself out of your comfort zone. “Every noble work is first impossible.”
  • Never lose sight of your goal. “Dreams are whispers from the soul.”

The college search for athletes has evolved to new and exciting levels. The competition for athletic scholarship, admission support and even walk-on opportunities is fierce. Embrace this and you will appreciate the stakes in an effort to realize the importance of careful planning and impeccable execution during every step of your college quest.

Remember, there is a fine line between being a nice nudge and a royal pain in cultivating sincere relationships with the college coaches. Rejection can be one step away, but so too is opportunity. Closing in on that centimeter of chance and distancing yourself from the competition takes courage and we all know too well that “chance favors the bold.”

College Lacrosse Recruiting: “Recruiting Strategies To Kick Off The New Year” By Tom Kovic


Recruiting Strategies to Kick Off the New Year

By Tom Kovic

The New Year offers change, new commitments, a clean slate and fresh opportunity to approach the recruiting process with renewed passion. Below are class by class suggested tactics.

The early decision and signing periods are behind you and if you were not picked up in admissions or offered an athletic scholarship you now have new life in the regular decision and regular signing pools.

Will the regular recruiting period be competitive? Yes. Will there be plentiful opportunities? No. Try not to focus on what was not accomplished during the early recruiting process, but re-group and control your playing field. Cast a narrow net in selecting the colleges you will pursue and focus on the following:

1) Meet all admissions application deadlines.

2) Update your personal profile with any pertinent academic and athletic information.

3) Edit your recruiting highlight video with footage.

4) Ping the coaches regularly and avoid incommunicado.

5) Ask your club or high school coach to reach out on your behalf to speak directly with the college coaches.

6) Take another road trip to your top schools and set a meeting with Coach.

Your strategy and operative should be fresh. Provide the coaches with the unique resources to help them see you in a new and different light that will convince them to recruit you earnestly. 

If there is an operative for juniors that should be referenced regularly as you build the recruiting effort it is “momentum.” As a junior prospect, you want to remain highly visible on the college coach’s radar and provide them with regular updates to your academic and athletic progress. I suggest you focus on the following:

1)  Update your YouTube video with new highlights that will get the attention of the coaches.

2) Be sure you are on target academically and registered for and preparing for standardized testing.

3) Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center.

4) Line up a campus visit and work with the college coach to include a possible overnight stay as part of the trip.

5) Cultivate relationships with each of the coaches you have connected with. The “grey area” character component can evolve here and help separate you from the rest of the pack.

Re-assess your recruiting strategy and look at the “end game.” Identify your ultimate goal in the recruiting process and use it as your catalyst. From here, work backward and identify working targets, each building and surging from one to the next until you reach your present point of reference. Now start from your new “launch point” and surge forward in building upon the plan, one brick at a time.

Information gathering and learning the “new language” of college recruiting should be the mantra for the sophomore prospect, but it goes further than that. As I mentioned early in this article, the college search for athletes has accelerated to a mind bending rate and one way to keep pace is to embrace and understand it. I suggest focusing on the following:

1) Develop a “cliff notes version of “impact” NCAA rules and procedures. Go to the NCAA website (www.ncaa.org) and download the recruiting manuals and pay attention only to the chapters on recruiting, financial aid and eligibility.

2) Put yourself down on paper by creating a 1 page personal profile and developing a 4 minute highlight video.

3) Do a self-evaluation (I have a great 10 question assessment I ask all my students to answer before we launch) and get a grasp on what you are potentially looking for in the college experience.

4) Develop a group of 20-25 colleges, diverse in community, academic offering and athletic strength (D-1, 2, 3). Locate the home and athletic websites and poke around to get a feel” for the different environments.

5) Take 3-5 campus road trips during the year. Don’t just show up. Be sure you have introduced yourself to the coaches through regular communication and line-up a face to face meeting.

The start of 2012 presents new opportunities. Developing a positive mental boost, similar to gearing up for a new season is a proactive step in the right direction. When you break it down, what you create is simply a clean slate to begin again anew and with that, every opportunity to push yourself to achieve great things.

Tom Kovic
Victory Collegiate Consulting

College Lacrosse Recruiting: “Capitalizing On The Character Component In The College Search For Athletes” By Tom Kovic

Capitalizing on the Character Component in the College Search for Athletes

By Tom Kovic

 The college search for athletes is an “individual” quest. A winning strategy for one prospect could be a losing strategy for another. I think we can all agree that when it comes to recruiting, the “blue chip” kids are going to be found…It’s just a matter of when. 

That being said, the majority of the prospects looking for a home on a college campus and as part of a varsity sports team are NOT blue chip kids and they should execute a personal plan of attack and begin to tackle the “grey areas” of recruiting.

Contributing Factors
Coaches are looking at 3 key characteristics in prospects when determining their level of support for prospects. 1) Strong students, 2) Impact athletes and 3) Kids who bring a strong integrity component to the table.

Coaches can easily evaluate academic talent by combing through high school transcripts and standardized test scores. Athletic assessment can be identified through statistical and video analysis, on site tournament evaluations and conversations with a prospect’s coach. The integrity factor could be a tie breaker in the final analysis.

The Character Component
College coaches are looking for the best and the brightest prospects to help drive their program to higher levels, and these days, they are putting a greater premium on the inner make-up of the prospect. They are looking for boys and girls who display loyalty, dedication, perseverance and a diligent approach to their everyday lives. Coaches want impact kids on the team, but they desperately want kids who will become strong links in the team chain.

College coaches will take a systematic approach in doing a thorough academic and athletic evaluation of a prospect to determine where they fit in their recruit priority chart. Moving forward, especially if the prospect is grouped into the top tier of the recruiting file, a diligent college recruiter will reach out to the high school and/or club coach to determine the inner make-up of the prospect.

Given the choice between a blue chip prospect who may be a potential “loose cannon” on the inside of the team and a solidly skilled prospect who brings a strong character component to the table, college coaches will likely lean toward the latter. And a strong testimonial from the prospects current coach can go a long way in closing the loop in the college evaluation.

Leadership Roles
College coaches are grounded, common-sense individuals who mainly rely on their gut when making a majority of their program decisions, including recruiting. Whether you are the captain of your sports team or a member of student government, it’s important to genuinely embrace these leadership roles in a further effort in building your character foundation.

College coaches have an uncanny ability to size up prospects quickly, efficiently and they can pinpoint a true leadership character as opposed to “resume leadership” in a heartbeat. The self-aware and self-confident prospect is, in most cases, going to shine more brightly in the eyes of the college coaches.

Volunteer Work
Student-athletes can develop character strength in many ways and volunteer work is not only good for the community, it is good for the soul. Reach within yourself and identify areas where you feel you can be impactful. Whether it is working with a local food bank, or coaching a local youth sports group, embrace it with passion and remain committed to your service and believe you can make a difference.

Prospects are considered “special interest” in the eyes of college admissions advisors, especially if college coaches identify them as impact athletes. Coaches use 2 simple and clear cut criteria in determining their support level for athletes: Academic strength and athletic talent. The third criteria is strength of character and in many cases, this can be a key factor that may help prospects separate themselves from the rest of the pack.

Tom Kovic is a former Division I college coach and President of Victory Collegiate Consulting, where he advises prospects and families on college recruiting. Tom is the author of “Reaching for Excellence” An educational guide for college athletics recruiting.” For further information visit:


College Lacrosse Recruiting: “Decision Time-Lines For Prospective Student-Athletes” By Tom Kovic Of Victory Collegiate Consulting



Decision Time-lines for Prospective Student-Athletes

By Tom Kovic

November is fast approaching and with that, early deadlines for college applications. Current seniors who have dedicated themselves to connecting early on with college coaches in providing them with the necessary evaluation tools coaches need to determine “potential matches” have narrowed their list to a few or even one institution they feel is a perfect fit.

Nowadays, college coaches, in many cases are encouraging prospects to commit early to their institution in an effort to wrap up recruiting and outdistance the competition. This article attempts to shed light on a variety of “options” prospects and families can embrace moving forward in the ever changing college search for athletes.

Essentially, student-athletes have 3 choices in the college application process. They can 1) apply early decision or early action, 2) Consider a rolling decision option or 3) Choose to apply in the regular decision pool of applicants. Deciding which option to choose depends mainly on specific college admissions policies, one’s readiness and comfort level to apply and how far along they are in the recruiting process.

Early Decision/Action should be considered a viable option for prospects that have their ducks in a row in the college search. Based on early and proactive communication and giving Coach the opportunity to do a thorough and complete evaluation, prospects and families should have a strong feel for where they stand from an academic and athletic standpoint.

Typically early applications are due on or about November 1 of the senior year and prospects are bound to applying to only one institution. If everything works well with the early decision applicant, the prospect will be committed to attend. On the other hand, a positive response in admissions for the early action applicant allows the prospect the opportunity to apply to additional colleges during regular decision. Final decisions are mailed in mid-December of the senior year.

Rolling Decision provides prospects with the chance to get their applications in for an early read by admissions without being bound to commit. Simply stated, the sooner your application is received, the sooner you receive a decision from admissions.

Regular Decision applicants are read by admissions with a larger pool of students and applications are due on or around January 1. This is a fine option for prospects who might be a little behind or unable to pinpoint the “perfect fit” just yet! Final decisions are typically mailed in mid-April of the senior year.

Regardless of which application period one chooses, as an advisor, I always try to take a fun and informative approach with organizing my students for the college search. Below are simple and useful tips I utilize:

  • Exploration: This phase is really the launch phase of every college search effort for my students that includes a strong “information gathering” component. After students fill in a 10 question assessment (academic, athletic and personal college goals etc.) to determine their start point, I research and deliver a group of colleges that potentially match with the prospect. By navigating academic and athletic websites they begin to grow an appreciation for the different “flavors” the colleges offer.
  • Proactive Communication: Once the student gets a feel for each institution we grow a detailed contact list for all college coaches. From here we develop a plan of action moving forward where regular and concrete communication are tools prospects use to get on the radar and begin to build momentum.
  • Evaluation: College coaches are swamped with administrative tasks and team commitments. Considering the current state of college recruiting, it will serve prospects and families best to assist Coach in doing an initial student-athlete evaluation. Whether it is the provision of a personal profile, portfolio or a link to your YouTube skills video, providing Coach with a simple yet informative way to accomplish this can go a long way.

The college athletic landscape has shifted during the past 10 years and so too has the recruiting process. It’s downright competitive out there and early decision options are becoming more popular. Committing to a well-defined recruiting plan that is executed proactively and passionately will give prospects and their families a clear edge over the competition and position them best to determine the right and best admissions option moving forward.


Tom Kovic is a former Division I college coach and President of Victory Collegiate Consulting, where he advises prospects and families on college recruiting. Tom is the author of “Reaching for Excellence” An educational guide for college athletics recruiting. For further information visit: www.victoryrecruiting.com.

College Lacrosse Recruiting: “Tactical Recruiting Strategies For Non-Scholarship Prospects” By Tom Kovic Of Victory Collegiate Consulting

Tactical Recruiting Strategies for Non-Scholarship Prospects

By Tom Kovic

Considering the competition in Admissions and the high price tag at some of the nation’s premier academic institutions, I regularly advise families about the potential impact the athletic component can have. As a former Ivy League Coach, I learned some valuable lessons that I would like to share.

Ivy League and other select, non athletic scholarship awarding institutions can, in many cases, offer significant assistance in Admissions and Financial Aid that can potentially lend strong support for prospective student-athletes. It is important that prospects, families and high school advisors clearly understand the role the college coach plays in this process and make every effort to develop a sincere and strong working relationship throughout the college search.

Accelerating the Process We have all witnessed the tremendous acceleration that college recruiting has taken lately, especially with scholarship athletes. Verbal commitments have become more popular especially with “blue chip” prospects, in an effort to secure a roster spot and in many cases a scholarship offer from the college coaches. That said, this accelerated recruiting effort is growing more popular with the non-scholarship colleges and universities as well.

Where, in many cases, prospects are required to meet the minimum academic eligibility requirements set forth by the NCAA, prospects who are considering non-scholarship institutions need to meet even higher standards to reach their goal in admissions. Tactically speaking, coaches from these institutions use a slightly different strategy: Recruit and retain prospects that bring a strong and well-balanced academic and athletic profile to the table.

Admissions Pre-Reads and Likely Letters Early academic evaluations are very effective tools in determining the potential admissibility of a candidate. Typically, coaches work with an athletic department “Admissions Liaison” that can assist them in requesting an “early admissions read” for potential “impact prospects.” As the recruiting process has accelerated, so too has the need for prospects to “get their academic house in order.”

Coaches who have an updated high school transcript through the sophomore year (and in some cases through the 5th semester) along with standardized test results (SAT/ACT) can usually submit an admission pre-read request. It is important to understand that this is not a “done deal.” Even with a verbal offer of admissions, the prospect will be expected to remain on track through the senior year.

The likely letter compliments the admissions pre-read and is a tremendous tool coaches use to offer “near guarantees” of admissions. These letters are generated from the admissions office and can be sent to prospective student-athletes well before the regular population of applicants is reviewed. This becomes a tremendous bargaining chip for college coaches who are competing with scholarship institutions for the same prospect, or “overlap” prospects (same or similar conference) who are competing for the prospect.

 Institutions that utilize likely letters will require updated high school transcripts and test scores before the letters can be generated. Financial Aid A financial aid pre-read is typically encouraged by the college coach as a means of providing prospects with a “ballpark” figure as to what the family can expect to pay for a college education. It is important that the family request a pre-read early in the recruiting process. Financial aid pre-reads, which will be handled directly by the office of financial aid, take approximately 2 weeks to complete.

Be advised that college coaches can be “stingy” in determining which prospects and families receive financial aid pre-reads. You give yourself the best chance to cross this hurdle by firstly convincing Coach that you have the academic and athletic credentials to successfully impact the institution and secondly, show sincerity in your interest in the program. The non-scholarship option for prospects may appear daunting, but considering the long term benefits, these considerations can be very viable.

Although identified in Admissions as having a special talent, athletes are treated as any other candidate and will be expected to maintain excellence in the classroom. College coaches can be strong proponents with financial aid pre-reads, but only with potentially impact prospects and families that show sincere interest. In the final analysis, the families who embrace the “big picture” will give themselves the best chance in arriving at the right college choice.

For more:  http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?llr=zsyc4wbab&v=001mgvimUtTidNnUdMV1tsWNiI8jTvZzbxki3zix9Wj-9UlYrDGCL8wQLJzskUu-L9QhIM7QJqMl-HdYCF9uNitxDGjnOzblSYePBdO2fML1j0%3D

College Lacrosse Recruiting: Tom Kovic Of Victory Collegiate Consulting Discusses Recruiting Opportunities For “Rising Junior Lacrosse Players”

Junior Days and the College Search for Athletes

By Tom Kovic

If you are a rising junior prospect, the summer is a great opportunity for you to launch your college search with earnest. Between the multitude of showcases, camps and tournaments you have attended and the profiles, highlight links and general inquiries you have forwarded to college coaches, you are well on your way. What follows is a snapshot of fall junior days and building this component into your college search plan in what is becoming a popular and critical trend in the college recruiting process.

Junior Days are dynamic and very effective strategies college coaches utilizes in attracting families and prospects to campus in an effort to give them the “dime tour.” But trust me when I say, there is more to it than that! College coaches utilize the unofficial visit (families basically pay their way) with the junior day visit to offer their top junior prospects the opportunity to attend recruiting specific meetings, take part in tours led by the coaches, attend a home football game and stay overnight with one of the kids on the team. And…It is all well within NCAA rules.

Several years ago, college coaches were using junior day strategy as a means of introducing young prospects to their institution and planting the “seed of interest.”  Fast forward to present day and we will most likely agree that for top prospects on the radar, the “dating” phase of recruiting has been in progress for some time and getting an invitation to attend a junior day could very well be an opportunity for the college coach to lean strongly toward making a commitment.

This is most likely not the case with D-3 and select, non-scholarship institutions (Ivy, Patriot and highly regarded independents for example) where coaches are usually not yet positioned well enough to make firm offers until the junior year grades are in along with a round or two of standardized testing.

Prospect strategy regarding junior days has shifted somewhat as well. Not only do you guys want to get a look under the hood at a number of colleges and universities, you want to maximize the effort. NCAA rules are very strict regarding junior contacts with coaches, but if you can envision the college campus as a “haven” of recruiting where you can meet with coaches and discuss virtually anything about their institution and sports program,  it will drive you to make the most of the opportunity.

Junior day opportunity can assist you in killing a couple of birds with one stone. Not only do you make an unofficial visit to campus with the chance to spend the night with team players, you have the chance to have some one on one time with the Coach to discuss his interest in you and vice versa. You get to mingle with the team and possibly meet with a regional admissions advisor. It’s a one stop shop.

The college search for athletes involves a myriad of tactics, organizational and management skill, along with a keen sense of determination to build momentum in an effort to effectively connect with college coaches. Junior days are one of several recruiting opportunities where college coaches naturally narrow down their recruiting list in an effort to bring their “A” group prospects to campus. The prospect and family who make every effort to develop meaningful relationships with college coaches will give themselves a great chance to take advantage of this opportunity.

College Lacrosse Recruiting: “Summer Tips For The Prospective Student-Athlete” By Tom Kovic Of Victory Collegiate Consulting



Summer Tips for the Prospective Student-Athlete

 By Tom Kovic

Many believe the summer is a time where college coaches switch to lower gears. The regular season is complete and the student-athletes have headed home for a well-deserved break.  Nothing can be further from the truth! Opportunity is always knocking and if there is a prime season for recruiting, it is during the summer. Below are some simple tips to consider as you move your college recruiting effort to a higher level.

Define Goals: Whether you had that magical season “for the books” or one where you hit a brick wall at the end, now is the time to carefully review your past season and put it into perspective.  The young prospect who has the ability to be introspective in his approach to the past year and pull significant learning points from both positive and negative experiences is well on his way to developing self-awareness and effectively plotting the next plan.

Don’t just muddle forward through your summer, but face it as the ultimate challenge in “rising up.”  Determine the skill set you want to achieve and ask yourself 2 questions: Are these aims reasonably within my grasp? Am I selling myself short? Once you have done a “realistic check” you are ready to put together your summer goals.

Team Approach: Include your club and/or high school Coach in reviewing your goals and helping you build your plan to achieve your goals. This approach shows respect for Coach and your willingness to reach to him for advice. Second, it demonstrates a mature approach to utilizing a team approach and in this case, with an individual who wants to help!

By including Coach in the mix, he now has a vested interest in the final product and with that interest, will grow a willingness to be a valuable partner in the effort.

Updates: Whether you intend to provide the college coaches with your latest SAT score or with an improved look to your athletic skill set, the rule of thumb here is to make it have “grip.”  Coaches are simply swamped, even during the summer when their travel schedules accelerate. By keeping your communication updates simple and crisp, you are assisting Coach and he will appreciate your effort.

As soon as you have compiled your academic progress records (past year grades, standardized testing and academic awards), forward them along in a clean and easy to read format.

Next, re-cap your past season in a bullet format and include team record, individual statistics and personal accolades. Let  Coach know where you will be attending tournaments and showcases and as these events draw closer, send a more personal and detailed communication about the event details.

Finally, update your personal profile, video stream and share it with the coaches. Keep it clean and crisp and remove any unnecessary and outdated information.

Take a Road Trip: A good road trip is your backstage pass to the college search for athletes and taking unofficial visits to several of your top schools of interest is a great way to get a “look under the hood” to determine if the institution is a potential “match.”

The campus visit is extremely important and requires careful planning. Coaches are like hot potatoes during the summer and it can be very difficult to track them down without proactive communication. You certainly want to call the office of admissions and determine when campus tours and information sessions are offered, but you also want to make every attempt to schedule a meeting with Coach as well.

Contact the coaches 4-6 weeks prior to your planned trip and determine their schedule and availability to meet with you. You should be pleasantly surprised with how these campus visits will jump start your recruiting quest!

Summer vacation provides the prospective student-athlete with a great break from the school year and a wonderful time to “lighten the schedule.” Prospects and families who are willing to make proactive efforts in executing several key areas of their recruiting plan will position themselves best for great success in the college search.


College Lacrosse Recruiting: “Wired for Success” By Tom Kovic Of Victory Collegiate Consulting

 Wired for Success

By Tom Kovic

So your top college hasn’t come knocking on your door. That doesn’t mean you’re doomed never to enter its hallowed halls. Prospective student-athletes can wire themselves for success to maximize their chances of gaining admission to their top college choice.Below are five things you can do to have a shot at attending the school of your dreams.

Begin With a Dream

My mantra for the students and families I have the privilege of advising is “victory begins with a dream.” Every effort requires a starting point, and I believe we should never deny ourselves the opportunity to reach high, especially in the college search.

That said, maintaining a grounded approach when lining up potential college options is equally important. I suggest identifying three groups of colleges for your recruiting plan: Dream, Likely and Back-Up.

Define Long-Term Goals

As an adviser, I like to begin by envisioning “the end game” and working backward to define specific goals. The initial phase of the college search might appear a bit daunting, but the trick is to begin big and then chisel away at a plan to simplify it.

Look long-term when defining your goals. Although the athletic component will be exciting during your four-year college experience, ask: “Where do I see myself in 40 years?” Keep the academic component in the vanguard to position yourself for years of success beyond college.

Use a Team Approach

A team approach maximizes efficiency and minimizes individual pressure and stress. Forming a group of trustworthy individuals who assume specific roles during the process will increase your chances in grabbing the brass ring. The team should include:

  • Prospect
  • Parents
  • Team Coach
  • Club Coach
  • Guidance Counselor/College Adviser
  • Personal Mentor/Adviser


With a team approach, responsibility for effectively executing your recruiting plan is distributed among the various team members. All assignments should be clearly spelled out, and communication among team members should be frequent and consistent. This will help streamline the plan and avoid mistakes and confusion, which can contribute to unclear thinking, misdirection and potentially poor choices.

Establish Timelines

You have envisioned your dream and defined your goals. Your team is in place, and you are anxious to get started. Not so fast! A key component of the college search is to establish specific timelines that you will hold yourself to in executing your plan.

Without strict adherence to timelines, you reduce your chances of hitting your targets. Deadlines can get missed, raising the stress level. Start broad and develop long-term to-do lists with calendar dates up to a year. From there you can break your timelines into more detailed formats that include weekly and monthly targets.

Express Desire

Unless you are a blue chip athlete whom every college coach wants, you will need a recruiting plan that helps you rise above your competition. Various character components can assist you, but one that stands out above the rest is desire.

When it comes to the recruiting process, most college coaches make comprehensive assessments. Coaches always look beyond athletic and academic achievements at intangible factors that define a great recruit. The successful college recruiter looks for self-aware, independent prospects who bring strong character to the table.

At this point, you have your college recruiting vehicle put together and are ready to take it out for a spin. Desire is the fuel that moves the vehicle forward.

In the final analysis, recruiting success depends on a number of factors, but having a dream, defining your goals, forming a team, establishing timelines and showing your deep desire to play your sport will push you to the top.


Tom Kovic

Victory Collegiate Consulting




College Lacrosse Recruiting: “Organizing With Confidence For College Athletics Recruiting” By Tom Kovic Of Victory Collegiate Consulting

“Organizing with Confidence for College Athletics Recruiting”


 By Tom Kovic

 Creating a user friendly organizing system for the college recruiting process will serve as a helpful tool, especially when information begins to pile in from different college coaches. Not only will this system assist you in keeping track of the steady stream of paper and e-traffic, it will act as a great resource for future contacts and important coach-prospect communications. Trust me, coaches will be requesting information (transcripts, high school profile, standardize test results, tax information for financial pre-reads etc.) at about the same time, and the family who develops an efficient access system to this information will navigate the process successfully and with great confidence.

Below are some organizing points that I think will be very helpful:

1.   Maintain individual college program folders that will include: general college materials (brochures etc.), coach contact information, correspondence notes, a list of questions for the coaches, your checklist of time-lines and targets for both admissions and recruiting.

2.  Keep extra copies of your resume, video, transcripts and test scores ready in case a coach misplaces this information.

3.  Just as you organize your paper files, your e-files on your computer should be saved in a way that will allow you to easily refer back to all the documents. Most likely you will want folders for each college so that you can readily access the files for any letters, essays or resumes you have sent out.

4.  You will likely be corresponding regularly with coaches via e-mail, and saving all the important e-mails that you receive and keep electronic copies of the important e-mails you send out will assist you greatly. Again it may be helpful to create folders in your e-mail account for each college, where you can file correspondences that you may need to reference at a later time.

5.  Maintain your personal calendar to be sure that you have added new events and that you are aware of upcoming deadlines. Also have your calendar in front of you when you are speaking with a coach on the phone or when you are in a meeting. This will help you to answer questions about your availability for campus visits and evaluations.

It is essential that you respond to correspondence in a timely manner. You should set regular times where you reply to e-mails, phone calls and/or mail. If for some reason you anticipate a delay in your response, you should notify the coaches by e-mail to let them know that you are working on the response, and provide a time when they can expect to hear from you. You want to show coaches you are organized and responsible about deadlines and that you respect their time. College coaches remember the “little things.”

Maintaining an organized approach can become very time-consuming and frustrating, especially in the beginning phases of recruiting. Once the system is in place and the process is understood and practiced to perfection, it becomes a tremendous tool for the prospect and the family to use in accurate planning, while increasing the chances of strong success in the college quest.