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.
Victory Collegiate Consulting