Athletic Recruiting Question & Answer from the eyes of a mother – Part Two

Click here to see the first part of the article.  When reading the topics and titles of the articles on the site, many will assume that this is only about football recruiting and how to earn a football scholarship.  But as proven by one of my favorite mothers out there reading, that is not true.  Her son has played a sport that is definitely not football and used the advice on this site to help him hand at a very prestigious academic school.  We will have a Q&A later on more about his specific school choice but that will be down the road (and an article that I promise you will enjoy as well).

Before I got into what she said, what shocked me was just how much she used Recruiting-101.  Yes, I write here and always pat myself on the back for doing a great job.  But she used a number of articles to her advantage and again, her son was not a football or basketball recruit.  He played a sport I likely have never ever mentioned on this site but that didn’t stop her from using the information to her advantage.  She took care of the athletic recruiting process and once her son graduates, I would bet he will be set for life with the education he will receive.  Onto what she has to say:

7) Keep copies of every single e-mail you send out, every letter and every response you receive.
I had my son forward the e-mails to me where I filed them in my computer under the college name.  That way, when he asked me, “did I tell Coach X about my CIF game?” I had a copy of the letters and knew what he had sent.  This happened a lot.  It will really help you when they start to call.  The Recruiting 101 article that helped us here was “Keeping Track of your Contact with College Coaches”.

8) Every time something happens to your athlete, especially a good mention in a newspaper article, send every one of the coaches a little letter with an update, OR better yet, an e-mail (if you can e-mail the article).
Try to do this every 2 or 3 months.  Include good grade reports, (“Hey, just wanted to let you know that I got straight As this semester!!”) or scores , “thought you’d like to know that I got a 2150 on my SATs!” but especially sports accomplishments.  If you send an e-mail start with a complement about that college team, “Hey looks like you guys played really well against _____ – good job”.)  A recent Recruiting 101 article talked about this “How much does a good Marketing Plan help you in the Recruiting Process”

9) Study for the SAT during off-time in the summer and take the SAT Fall of your Junior year.
Then again in the Spring if necessary, and if absolutely necessary Fall of your Senior year.  Hopefully you can get this done before your Senior year even starts and have a good enough score to get you in.  If you play a Fall sport, you will be glad to not have to worry about this test.

10) Go on unofficial visits to as many schools as you can and ALWAYS go on the tour and go to the Information session.
We thought those would be boring, but actually we learned a lot every time, and in the end, we only remembered the schools where we had done the tour and info session.  Try to set up a meeting with the coach when you visit – e-mail him/her ahead of time.  This didn’t work for us because our visits were during the summer and Spring Break, but it might work for you.  Try to drop in.

11) Go back to the schools you really love more than once.
My son ended up spending 9 days on the campus of his first choice school – 2 when we went on an unofficial visit and for Junior Day (the same weekend), 5 for summer camp, and 2 more for an official visit Fall of his Senior year.  After that, he really knew that school, coach and team members, and knew he would like it.  And they knew he really wanted to go there.

12) Behave yourself when you are on an official visit! (this is a mom speaking remember).
Some recruits drunk, get sick, and make it a pain for their “host” student.  This ALL gets reported back to the coach, and can kick you out of consideration if it’s a bad report.  Don’t fool yourself – they are looking at you as closely as you are looking at them!  The Recruiting 101 Article that helped us with official visits was What you should try to get out of official visits during the recruiting process

13) Don’t worry if you don’t get a zillion calls on July 1.
I thought we would have to have “operators standing by” to take all the calls on July 1, and my son only got about 4 at the end of the day.  However, he was recruited by 8 schools when it came down to it, they just didn’t all call on July 1.

As the parent, try to have a little 3 x 5 card ready with things for your kid to talk about  next to the phone, for each of your child’s favorite colleges.  We found that most coaches were a little uncomfortable chatting on the phone (however, some were fabulous conversationalists which made it easy!) but it was great if my son could pick up the card and say, “hey I see that your player got the NCAA rookie award” or whatever!  The Recruiting 101 article that helped us was What questions should I ask college football on the phone during the May evaluation period?

14) Your phrase “Scholarships Breed Scholarships” is true in many ways.
My son went on an official visit the weekend there was a tournament at his favorite school, and the other coaches saw him there.  One, who had shown no interest, started calling and e-mailing when they realized that he was being recruited by their competitor.   A great Recruiting 101 article that talks about this is Broadcasting your athletic recruiting attention

15) Don’t stop talking to your favorite coaches that are recruiting you until you have the offer you want secured.
This includes (if you are a D1 recruit) your favorite lower Division schools/coaches.

16) Call all the coaches that were recruiting you and tell them what you’ve committed to.
You never know (again) when the coach at your college will be replaced by a coach you turned down, and you should be remembered as a “class act”.

Overall, my favorite Recruiting 101 article that helped us all keep perspective during this whole year was “Recruiting is a unique process that will likely never happen again your life.

Once again, a special thanks to this mother for her help!

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