Updated: Jul 22, 2020
I was talking to a college coach this afternoon and among other things, we talked about this topic; that there were some athletes out there that could literally do no more than answer the phone on June 15th and still get recruited, offered and be done. The biggest issue is that this line of recruiting only works for a select few athletes. Some think that this way of recruiting only occurs in the Power 5 schools, but I don't think the list is actually that big. Out of the roughly 200 athletes recruited each season in the Power 5 (Check out my Power 5 Blog for more info) there are easily a chunk of athletes that had to send emails to get noticed and recruited. Most likely there are a few that were even crossed off of some schools list early on in the recruiting process because they hadn't progressed as early as some other athletes. So if the recruiting process is relatively simple for 150 athletes across the country, then what does the process look like for the other 850+ that are getting recruited at the D1 and D2 levels?
Unfortunately, for those 850+ athletes it does NOT look the same as those top 150. One of the hardest things to talk about and work through with parents of athletes in my last 3 years of doing recruiting is convincing them that it's a difficult process. I think one of the most unfortunate things is we often see recruiting happen without all the hard work that goes along with it. From the outside it's difficult to see all the emails, film work and research that athletes do in order to get recruited. We see the process as simple and we often hear stories about an athlete getting an offer from her top 3 choices and then being done. Our thought, then, is that the process will be the same for my daughter. One thing that I mention in almost every seminar is that each athlete has a different recruiting story and that we can't compare one story to another. I also try to add that from my perspective, those athletes that do the most work in the process, seem to be the ones that are the happiest and then don't transfer down the line. Although I will mention that athletes transfer for all sorts of reasons, sometimes it has little or nothing to do with what happened during the recruiting process.
So what's the point of all of this? Well, I find that the worst place for athletes is somewhere in the middle. You are borderline in the Power 5 maybe and so you get lead around by some of those coaches, while they wait for the athlete that is an inch taller and jumps an inch higher to make a decision. Unfortunately for these athletes, they don't find out they are in that position until it's too late. When all of their leads are gone and they are left with 0 options, they have to start over. Unfortunately for them, most of the schools that reached out earlier have moved on because the particular school never heard back from the athlete. It happens a lot. Now, not every school will always move on completely, but it does take a lot of effort and a lot of communication to get back to the top of their list. It takes a lot of hard work!
This is why I always try to get parents and athletes to do all the hard work in the beginning and don't just assume that a camp invite in the mail shows actual legit interest. Generate a lot of leads and generate a lot of interest on your end.
Take nothing for granted in the recruiting process.
Embrace the effort required to get you where you want to be.