Added Time: Timely Insights For Your College Search
Navigating Your Recruiting Process Today
Advice for Students and Families
This month, we share some ideas to help parents assess youth sports groups that are “college preparatory.” High powered sports clubs, and top high school programs can certainly facilitate their athletes connecting with opportunities at the next level. Unfortunately, it is not unusual for organizations that market their programs as routes to colleges, to struggle turning their marketing promises of support for college bound student-athletes into reality. It takes organizational effort and parents pushing for measurable success to make these programs really work. Certainly, College Athletic Advisor can be a part of the process for helping schools and clubs become truly elite in terms of college counseling and support – but there are many ways to get there. The goal of this month’s newsletter is to arm parents and club administrators to better assess and improve their existing programs.
What Should Your Team or Club Be Doing to Support Your Child’s College Journey?
I was somewhat flabbergasted to see a club director/coach tweet out “we have many unsigned 2022 grads in our club, coaches please message me for details” this past week. While it certainly makes sense to use twitter to reach out to college coaches and expand your reach, this generic message from an account with less than 300 followers, late in the recruiting cycle, indicates a lack of effective college placement outreach. Let’s talk about what programs should be striving to provide to parents and what parents should be looking for from their club teams that claim to provide college preparatory levels of training!
- Opportunities to get to know local college coaches. Clubs should be connecting players with local coaches and get familiar with their personalities and coaching styles. Having college coaches train a club’s players at ID Camps, as guest trainers in practice, or at a clinic on the college campus all can help young players better understand their options.
- Watching college matches as a group. Players should be familiar with what college competition and training look like, not just at the biggest state school within driving distance or on TV, but at local D2/D3/NAIA schools as well. They should also have been introduced to the colleges your local teams play.
- Individual meetings that include discussions about “college lists.” It is NOT an athletic program’s job to have a grasp on academic requirements at every school, but someone in the organization should be getting a “top 10” college list from each athlete and helping them reach out to those coaches. At a minimum, providing the coach’s direct emails and an email/cell number to act as a reference.
- Traveling to events where players can be seen by college coaches and placing players in recruiting events where colleges nationally can see them. College coaches are just like everyone else in prioritizing things they have seen for themselves.
- Coordinating sharing video clips and filming/streaming matches. Highlight videos and video streaming is only getting more integral to college coaches and how they evaluate prospects. Clubs need to either provide recruiting footage or help facilitate parents working together to fund apps like Veo that process and allow every player on the team to easily download clips.
- Providing a framework for organizing your college search, like our 5A College Search Model and Dual Track Timeline. Students and families need a structure so they can get started moving through a college system with nearly 2000 options nationwide, and then tools to self-evaluate whether they are on track. They also need timely reminders about registering for the NCAA Eligibility Center and optimal times to connect with college coaches.
So many organizations make grandiose claims about “placing” student-athletes in “D1” or about “getting your student a scholarship.” It has been my experience that student-athletes and families are better served exploring process-based questions in the club selection process: i.e. how do you facilitate students learning about our sport at the college level and connecting with college coaches? How many of your older players go on and play in college? How many transfer while in college (BIG red flag if they don’t know the answer to this question)? If the club or school program is truly successful in helping students find their fit in college, you will have very few transfers and nearly 100% graduation rates. If the club’s strategy involves one-off events with panels of college coaches, is based on entering your information in a searchable database, or primarily playing in showcase events, savvy student-athletes may find it useful to supplement these efforts with outside expertise.
As always, if you are looking for the individualized or institutional consulting help that puts you ahead in our new post-pandemic world, check out our services here! You can make an initial appointment through the link on our homepage! School administrators and counselors access our free resources, appointments and programs for school collaboration here.
For more information, contact Dave Morris, College Counselor & CEO, College Athletic Advisor, firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: (719) 248-7994
©2021 All Rights Reserved
Part 1: Let’s talk about 2022
Welcome back to fall season! There are still going to be covid impacts on scheduling, so flexibility is going to be a watch word again this fall, but teams are back on courts and fields. The class of 2022 remains significantly impacted by pandemic. After widespread disruption of playing opportunities, this year’s seniors are graduating into a college environment where every returner has access to an additional year of eligibility. Rosters are almost universally full and coaches at most institutions can be more selective than they were pre-pandemic in their search for prospects. It has become even more important for aspiring college student-athletes to be strategic and engaging in their outreach as well as open to a wider range of options in looking for their best fit!
If you are on track to graduate in 2022 and still in the midst of your college search, IT IS NOT TOO LATE. There are amazing opportunities for you, but increasingly the burden of finding them is falling on student-athletes and their families. More than ever, it is up to them to really make their search successful. Even this year, we had students fielding offers in June of their senior year at top-50 academic, Division 1 institutions. The opportunity is there IF YOU ARE THE RIGHT FIT FOR THE SCHOOL. At some point, you may need to focus outside of your “reach” schools and make that great mutual fit work for you. It will save you money and you will be better positioned to thrive going forward!
Part 2: Accountability
If you have been reading College Athletic Advisor newsletters since we began with the “Covid FAQ” updates over a year ago, you have taken advantage of insight and predictions that put you well ahead of the curve! The NCAA waiving standardized testing for initial eligibility, scholarship and roster cap waivers, pandemic disruption of playing opportunities and seasons, the overlap between D1/D2/D3/NAIA schools in terms of quality… you had that information before almost anyone else, and I am proud that we can provide these insights and help students find their futures with the most up to date understanding of the opportunities that are out there for them.
It’s important to also acknowledge where I have been wrong. I thought colleges would be facing more “melt” from students withdrawing or dropping out and opening roster spots. I am pleased to report that I was overly pessimistic, enrollments are up nearly everywhere this fall, especially in terms of athletic rosters. I am sorry for any confusion that my prediction caused. I would like to challenge some folks who made irresponsible predictions and really tried to hurt colleges that provide incredible educations (and educational value) to own up to their errors as well. Scott Galloway, we are waiting.
Part 3: Thank you
This month’s newsletter marks the beginning of College Athletic Advisor’s third school year serving aspiring student-athletes, schools, clubs, colleges, and families worldwide. The incredible success we have had, and the exponential growth of the business has been inspiring and humbling in equal measure. There are so many great people that can benefit, and every day I chip away at making a positive contribution. It is my pleasure and privilege to share my expertise with you and keep raising the level of each aspiring student-athlete’s college search, help coaches be more efficient and effective in connecting with the right students, and help clubs and schools better prepare their participants for success beyond high school. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to be a resource in your journey, it is an honor to be included.
online course guides you to create the keys to a successful college search!
- an academic/athletic resume
- impactful highlight video & a video channel that allows coaches to evaluate you in depth
- an introductory email that gets opened and gives you the opportunity to connect with college coaches
Explore our newsletter archive: