Tuesday, July 1, 2008

It's July 1...What Do You Do If You Don't Get A Call?

RT Staff Note: In the column to the right of our posts, you will often find google ads sponsored by NCSA.The National Collegiate Scouting Association (NCSA) was founded in 2000 by Chris Krause, a former full-ride scholarship football player at Vanderbilt University, with a two-pronged mission: To provide a means for college coaches at every level to find the recruits best suited for their programs and to educate high school student athletes and their families about the college recruiting process.

Since 2000, NCSA has grown quickly to be the leading collegiate recruiting source for more than 35,000 college coaches across the country. NCSA's experienced scouting team helps student athletes gain acceptance to the collegiate program that best fits their needs. Here's a timely article from them.

By Chris Krause, Founder and President

In case you have forgotten, today is Tuesday, July 1st. That’s a pretty big day in the life of a lot of college recruits.

Why? Because for many athletes, it’s the first day a college coach can call a new prospect that is entering his or her Senior year in high school. If you’re going to be a Junior in high school, you’ll be noticing a big increase in the mail that you receive from a college coach come September 1st if you are one of their serious prospects.

Both are big events when it comes to getting recruiting. Both events are great indications that you are on a coach’s list as a serious recruit. Both events mean you are one step closer to getting a chance to play college sports at the next level.

So what happens if you don’t get a call? And, if you are heading into your Junior year, what happens if you are not seeing more recruiting mail getting stuffed inside your mailbox come September?

What happens if all of your dedication to your sport is being overlooked by college coaches?

Before I answer that, let me tell you two things that every high school athlete needs to know when it comes to these recruiting timelines we’re talking about today:

If you are heading in to your Senior year in high school and you don’t get a call on July 1st or earlier (depending upon your sport), you probably aren’t being seriously recruited. Period. You need phone calls from coaches. Phone calls are what counts. And if you are a Senior who isn’t getting a phone call from a college coach soon, don’t fool yourself: You are not being seriously recruited by that coach.

If you are heading in to your Junior year in high school and you don’t start getting letters as Fall begins, college coaches don’t know about you. Or, they know about you and aren’t interested. There are only two possibilities here. And. in today’s ultra-competitive world of college scholarships and early recruiting, not getting letters as a Junior should be a red flag that isn’t ignored.

One of the number one misconceptions that athletes have as we start working with them at NCSA is that they will get “discovered” sometime during their Senior year and everything will magically end happily ever after. That very rarely happens…it’s not impossible, but it is improbable.

If either of those two scenarios play out for you as we begin the heavy recruiting season this July, here are a few tips that I have for you:

Don’t panic. You still have time to get noticed, but you can’t assume that it’s just going to happen on it’s own. If that were the case, it would have happened by now. That being said, don’t panic. Instead, formulate a plan and take action.

Call or write a coach. O.K., so it hasn’t happened on it’s own yet. If that’s the case, take matters into your own hands and be proactive. If you are a NCSA client, you probably don’t have the problem of not getting coaching contacts. You’re doing a lot to manage the recruiting process. However, if you do - or if you haven’t heard from your “dream” school yet - then talk to your personal recruiting coach.

They are here to help you, and love guiding you through the process. If you aren’t a NCSA client, and want to do this on your own, then begin the process of contacting at least five to ten coaches immediately. This week. Do it by phone, or by e-mail or regular mail. But time is of the essense, so make it a priority.

Re-evaluate your target schools. If you’re not getting phone calls or letters as you begin school, you need to ask yourself this: “Am I pursuing the right colleges at the right level?” That’s a serious question, and you need to re-read it right now and answer it. Why? Because you may be the perfect D3 athlete that’s shooting for a D1 opportunity. If that’s the case, you’ll be disappointed. Correctly targeting the proper division level for scholarship consideration is crucial if you hope to play at the next level. Perhaps the reason you didn’t get a call from a coach this Summer is because the information that you did send out went to the wrong audience?

E-mail a coach your information, and tell them that you are interested in their program. If calling a college coach sounds too intimidating, at least e-mail them. Give them your information, a video if possible, and - most importantly - tell them that you want to see what kind of opportunities there are for you at their school. You might just find a coach who is striking out with the prospects that he or she had on their early recruiting list, and is looking for a fresh start with new athletes. If you’re the one who is being pro-active, you might be the one that captures the coach’s attention.

I’ll say it again: July, and the rest of this Summer, is a great indicator of what coaches think of you and your abilities so far, and how high on their list you are.

Want some encouraging words? O.K., here it goes…

This is just the beginning of your recruiting story, not the end. You have time to make it better, keep it going strong or watch it fall apart. It all comes down to you, and who you have in your corner helping you through the process. Make sure that you evaluate your situation, be realistic and stay focused.

Have you downloaded the free Official Guide for the College Bound Student Athlete? It has all of the official contact periods for your sport, which can help erase the confusion when it comes to when and how a college coach can contact you. You can download this free guide from the NCAA by clicking here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"If you are heading in to your Senior year in high school and you don’t get a call on July 1st or earlier (depending upon your sport), you probably aren’t being seriously recruited. Period. You need phone calls from coaches. Phone calls are what counts. And if you are a Senior who isn’t getting a phone call from a college coach soon, don’t fool yourself: You are not being seriously recruited by that coach."

What a pessimistic way to explain the situation.

Sure, if you think you're a blue-chipper and you're not getting calls in early July, you may have cause for concern. Most likely, Georgia or Rice are not interested in you.

However, that doesn't mean you don't have a very legitimate shot at playing D1 ball.

My son is headed to a program that was a 2-seed in an NCAA regional. The program saw him play in the summer after his sophomore year, at a 2-day camp in December of his junior year, and at 2 games in June following his junior year. They emailed him regularly, but did not call July 1. They continued coming to see him play in late July and mid-August and finally called in early September to set up an official visit. He was the first player at his position that they recruited. They explained that because they maintain a small roster, they are very deliberate in their recruiting process to make sure they pick the right players.

My son was seen at a national tourney in July and began getting recruiting calls in mid-August from a D1. He was seen at a high-profile showcase in mid-August and began getting weekly calls a few days later from another D1.

He did not get one call in July, but was recruited by 3 D1 schools. I would hardly say it's time to panic if you don't get a call July 1 or soon afterward.