Salt Lake City, UT (PRWEB) February 12, 2013
How many schools should the student athlete apply to for college recruiting and athletic scholarships? The expert team of current and former coaches at Athletic Quest says the number is 15.
Too many student athlete players hold onto the “I’ll only go to UCLA/Stanford/Duke…” attitude because those are the teams they see on television. Does that work as a basis for college recruiting? No.
What student athletes don’t often do is expand their list of colleges to help them become more valuable. “One of the first questions a college coach will ask,” says Coach John Scott, president and CEO of Athletic Quest, “is who else is recruiting you? Predictably, the follow-up question is, what have they offered you?”
These questions enable college coaches to identify whether the student athlete is as valuable as he or she thinks. These questions also allow coaches to determine what they need to put on the table to attract the student athlete to that particular college or university.
How Valuable is the Student Athlete?
“If you are as good as the college coach thinks you may be,” continues Coach Scott, “even at a Division III or NAII level, the coach may make the assumption that other college coaches will also be recruiting you. If you don’t have any other college on your recruiting board that’s contacting you, your value decreases. If you have five, ten, or more colleges recruiting you, your value increases. It’s a matter of supply and demand in economic recruiting.”
Ideally, 15 colleges should show an interest in the student athlete. The format goes like this: The student athlete should qualify academically, have a desire to play at these colleges and at their levels, and the colleges should literally be putting offers on the table. However, many student athletes receive form letters, camp brochures or recruiting questionnaires and think they’re actually being recruited. “A contact is not a contract,” states Coach Scott, “it’s just an inquiry. Too many parents and players are deceived by these generic letters and brochures, and think they’ve been sought as individuals.
“We ask our student athletes when the college coach last contacted them,” continues Coach Scott. “Their reply is often, ‘two or three months ago.’ My response is, ‘The signing date is the first Wednesday of February every year. If you haven’t had contact from a college coach since before Thanksgiving, chances are you won’t now.’”
If college coaches are not contacting the student athlete every seven to 14 days, the student athlete is not on the college coach’s top ten list or on his recruiting board. “You’d better find colleges that show a focused level of interest in you,” cautions Coach Scott.
Expanding the List of Colleges
#1 Identify what level of competition fits you. Ask local college coaches for an honest evaluation. Talk to the high school coach; ask him or her for an assessment.
Talk to players who have played at that college. “Ask them to be bluntly honest with you,” advises Coach Scott. “Don’t accept a response of ‘Yeah, you’re a pretty good player.’ Ask them what level of college sport you should be competing at consistently. And I don’t mean just wearing a uniform or practice jersey — I mean competing at consistently.”
#2 Ascertain whether you qualify academically. In addition, the NCAA academic requirements have become very intense, and if the student athlete doesn’t meet their standards, they won’t consider him or her.
What are your SAT and ACT scores? Do they match that college’s enrollment qualifications? “If your ACT score is 23 and you want to go to Chapman University and their ACT score requirement is 26,” says Coach Scott, “you’re not going to go to that school! This is the biggest pothole on the recruiting road that everybody hits. The student athlete never looks at academic requirements, and thinks, ‘Oh, I got a letter from them so I’ll go there,’ or ‘I’ve seen them on television so I’ll go there.’ The student athlete must investigate whether they can get into the school from an academic standpoint.”
#3 Find colleges that need your player position. “If you’re a center in volleyball,” states Coach Scott, “and the college already has an all-league center who’s a college sophomore, with another recruited player right behind him or her who was an all-state player — they probably don’t need you on their team. Even if you are as good as the players they already have, they still don’t need you. They’re loaded for that position and are probably recruiting middle blockers this year. Find colleges that need centers!”
#4 Make sure that your chosen colleges are communicating on a consistent basis. “I remember when I asked the prom queen for a date three times and she wasn’t paying any attention to me,” smiles Coach Scott. “I soon realized I could either go to the prom with somebody else or I wasn’t going at all. That’s the story behind college recruiting.”
Getting to the Top of the Admissions Pile
As stated before, first make sure you qualify academically. Second, make sure the coach is paying attention to you. “If the college coach was interested, here’s what I did as the student athlete’s coach. I would walk the player’s application to the admissions officer whose kids went to my camp and received team jackets. I wasn’t bribing him; I was building a relationship. That application would then go onto the top of the stack — not five to 25,000 deep. With most college coaches, nine out of ten times they wouldn’t ask for an application fee from this individual, although certain colleges have rules about that. If you have to pay a fee, that means you will flee — the coach isn’t interested in you. Get a college coach to walk your application in, and then you win,” reports Coach Scott.
Athletic Quest can be contacted by visiting http://www.AthleticQuest.net or by calling 888.803.5157. Call Athletic Quest for a free evaluation ($50.00 value) or to visit with a college coach recruiter.