Friday, August 21, 2009

D1 Dad offers recruiting advice!

The following was sent to me by the father of a recent Division 1 commit. The email includes great insight on the recruitment process. I love that he titled it the "Proactive Approach". Long gone is the day where only high school and club coaches control all phases of the recruiting process. Yes, they still play a significant part, but leaving your child's' college future in the hands of others is outdated and probably naive. INFORMATION is inexpensive but extremely VALUABLE! Simply put, no one has your daughters interest at heart more than YOU!!! Advice from the D1 dad follows:

PICKING THE RIGHT SCHOOL – The Proactive Approach

Why is picking the right school so important? Well basically you are going to be working the next four to five of years of your life playing basketball to pay for your education. Just like if you were going out in the workforce, you would want to make sure you could work with the coach (the boss), and be able to function with your teammates (fellow employees). You would certainly not go out, and get a job at a place that was not well run, and did not have a good reputation. The most important part of this equation is that the pay that you ultimately receive is the degree that you earn. How much that degree is worth, can be measured in a tangible value, based on how much it would normally cost to go to that school, but it also has an intangible value, that you will not be able to measure for several years. That would include what that degree eventually allowed you to achieve in your actual career, and life after basketball.

Sure, some kids are lucky and have several schools to choose from, and some kids have a much more limited choice. No matter what your choices, being proactive is the name of the game. If you are receiving recruiting mail, make sure you are returning the questioners. Schools want to know who you are as an individual, and the good schools are very interested in how good of grades you have. Do not disrespect a school by not sending them what they are requesting. Even if you do not think you have any interest in that school at the time, you never know, you might read something about that school, or see them play in the future, and you want to make sure they have your information.

The next step is also very important; you need to start studying the schools that are interested in you. Every major university has a website that you can get all kinds of information from. This is a great resource. For example: If they do not offer a degree plan in the subject you are interested in, you can eliminate that school from consideration. Once you have determined that you are interested in a particular school, it is time to contact them. Don’t wait on them, because you are still just a name on a list. You need to make sure you work your way up to the top of that list. The best way to do that is to show the school a mutual interest. Send an email to the coaches, and let them know you have been contacted by them, and you want to come and visit their school. The best place to start is with the coach that is designated as the recruiting coordinator. However, you always want to copy in the head coach as well. If you do not get any response by email, start calling the coaches, and letting them know your interest. Again start with the recruiting coordinator, because that is part of the job duties of that coach, and ultimately they usually are the one who arrange things like unofficial visits, and has the head coach’s ear on the subject of prospects.

Even if you are not being heavily recruited, you can still generate interest from schools by contacting them and letting them know your interest in them. This is particularly good before events like showcase tournaments that you might be playing in. Try and find out if that school will be at the event. This is sort of like recruiting in reverse. Don’t send out your information to early, as you will soon be forgotten. Make sure you follow up with schools after the event to see if they were able to see you play, and how interested they might be in you. Do be aware of NCAA guidelines on eval periods, because a school will not be able to talk to you during these times. Do not discount DIII schools and smaller schools; they can make it very palatable for you to go to school there, with academic scholarships and grants. They also have more flexible NCAA rules to abide by, and can come and see you play just about anytime. At the same time, be realistic, if Tennessee, or Baylor does not know who you are, and you are going to be a senior, chances are you are not going to get their attention at this point.

Another huge part of this process is to make sure the school is the right fit for your game. Understand the style of ball that school plays. If a school you are interested in plays a style that is contrary to how you play the game, no matter how much you have dreamed of playing there, it will probably not work. The school will also understand this, and not be that interested in what you bring to the table. So why waste time, do your homework, be proactive, and I believe there is a place for any kid out there that wants to play at the next level and is willing to do what it takes to get there.