If you ask a coach how they manage to keep all the loose ends tied up, they will invariably say their projects are list driven. They make lists to keep track of practice schedules, game schedules, injury reports, meetings with players, meetings with other coaches, meetings with school officials, newspaper press releases, social media releases, etc. and, most importantly, high school players who are legitimate prospects.
As a high school athlete and a prospective college athlete, 3 keys to getting recruited are:
· #1 – get on a college coach’s prospect list,
· #2 – pass through the obstacles in the recruiting funnel to get on the coach’s shortlist
· #3 – understand if and where you are on the coaches’ shortlist
Athletes and their families often believe that getting invitations to clinics, camps and showcases are true indicators of an athlete’s worth; this is usually not the case. However, getting on a coach’s shortlist will more often than not, get an athlete recruited.
There are 2 good indicators to determine if an athlete is on the coaches’ shortlist and on their way to being recruited and being offered a roster spot and a college scholarship.
1. Has the coach put anything in writing to the athlete? It doesn’t necessarily need to be a National Letter of Intent or a formal document. An email outlining the coaches’ intentions are a non-binding good start.
2. Does the athlete have the coach’s cell phone number and have access to the coach 24/7 or is the athlete’s contact directed through the athletic secretary, the recruiter for their part of the country, the generic team email box, the athletic department’s voicemail, etc.?
These two indicators are excellent ways to determine if an athlete is a serious candidate for an available roster spot. Getting on a coach’s shortlist, or many coaches’ shortlist, is a numbers game. The more coaches who know about an athlete and their ability, the more shortlists the athletes are on.
The problem arises when athletes, and especially their parents, think that every communication from a coach is tantamount to a full ride scholarship offer. They think communication from a dozen or more coaches will lead to a dozen or more offers. By the time they realize this is not the case, offers have been made to and accepted by other athletes. For verification, talk to the parents and athletes who have graduated from high school and are no longer playing competitive ball; but wanted the opportunity.
College coaches don’t always recruit the best athletes; they recruit the best athletes they know. Coaches recruited athletes who understood the recruiting process, got on the coaches’ shortlist and understood what to do next. These athletes used their time effectively and efficiently, and ultimately achieved their goal.
Remember, you only have one chance to be recruited, don’t waste it.