On Recruiting

Five essential initial steps in being recruited for college athletics

By Tom Kovic

The college experience is, in many cases, the most important four years in our children’s lives and realizing the potential leverage families of prospective student-athletes have in the college recruiting process, will develop increased confidence and clarity as the college quest unfolds. Then, knowing how to close on this opportunity is, without question, essential. My goal with this article is to identify 5 essential initial steps that prospects, families and coaches can use to effectively launch the college search.

Determine Potential Fits

Every prospect has an ideal college experience waiting for him or her, and identifying important operatives that define your personal goal is half the battle. Self-awareness is a powerful tool and growing an appreciation for what potentially appeals to you in a college experience is a great place to start. I suggest you begin by meeting as a family to identify “college descriptors” (academic strength, level of athleticism, geographic location and size of undergraduate population) that will help you formulate your initial college list.

Research a small but equal number of D-1, 2 and 3 colleges and their sports programs. Read about the team level of success and dig into a few player profiles to determine the general level of athleticism individual team member’s play. Take into account the conference they participate and strength of schedule.  

Identify Your Position of Strength

One question I strongly encourage prospective student-athletes and families to ask is: “Do I want to use my strength as an athlete to gain an athletic scholarship, or do I want to leverage my athletic ability to gain admission to an academically select institution?”

Just over 25% of college athletes qualify for athletic scholarship and the competition for these grants is fierce. College coaches use simple strategies when recruiting prospects and scholarship athletes are typically blue chip, immediate impact athletes.

Coaches from select college programs (Ivy, Patriot League, and D-3) use a slightly different formula when identifying potential prospects. The evaluation begins in the classroom and not on the field and they are hungry for academic information (transcripts, high school profile and standardized testing) that will help them compute a rough “admissions index.” Once prospects pass this hurdle, coaches aggressively begin the sport evaluation.

NCAA Rules and Procedures

Gathering information is critical to the successful organization of any worthy...

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Columnist

Tom Kovic

Tom Kovic is a former Division I college coach and the current director of Victory Collegiate Consulting, where he provides individual advisement for families in navigating the college recruiting process. For further information visit Victoryrecruiting.com.

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