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Thoughts from AAU Nationals

Updated: 6 days ago




*This is a FREE blog post. I feel like more and more families each season need to understand this concept. Please consider subscribing to the PRI Blog archive for more recruiting info and tips.


Don't chase the rabbit...


It is extremely important for athletes to nail their June 15th contacts. I really do mean it. Missing on June 15th and by consequence missing which camps you attend over the summer can set you back months.


In some ways you are set up to fail with these current rules and processes. No phone calls. No visits. 0 contact with college coaches. Camp invites and questionnaires (although those are going away) that may or may not mean a school is interested.


Talking to several college coaches in Orlando last week, I learned from one coach (that I trust) there were 100 verbal commitments made in the first week after June 15th. Compare that to the 34 verbal commitments made in the first week in 2023. That's quite the increase!


What does this mean?


First, college coaches are at least bending the rules, if not breaking them. Does this bother me? Not really. Information is the most important part of this process. If we can't get info from college coaches, then how are we supposed to navigate any of this?


Second, this means that athletes are matching up with their top schools better in some respects. Those athletes that are committing quickly and those athletes that are setting up visits for the fall are connecting with college coaches that share a mutual interest. That's important and it's what we are trying to do with all of the families and athletes we work with.


Finally, you can't chase the rabbit. Reach schools are just that, a "reach" and you should spend more of your time and energy with schools where you will be at the top of their list, not just 'on' their list. When schools aren't interested going into the May quiet period, that probably isn't going to change in the next 4-5 weeks.


Does this all mean that you will have to ask tough questions? Yes. Does this mean that you possibly won't like the answers to your questions? Yes. Things can always change in your favor, of course. But we quickly start talking about a LOT of different variables and quite a few "what ifs?".


Is there still hope for athletes to get recruited if they don't make a verbal commitment in the first month?


YES!


There are always schools looking for athletes! Speed bumps don't have to slow you down forever. We can always refocus our list. But we want to do that as soon as possible. Not all D1 and D2 schools are making offers right away in the summer before your junior year, but many are. Lots of schools will wait until your 17s year to make offers. Plenty of others are trying to get athletes on campus the fall of your junior year so they can make you an offer then. Timing is important. Which is why I don't encourage anyone to waste time. Shifting your focus earlier can easily make your process go smoother. Plus, you want a college coach to WANT you! Spend your time, energy and focus engaging with those coaches and programs.



It's not always a perfect process, recruiting. I sometimes feel like a lot of families out there just expect for things to fall into place. I think that there needs to be a lot more proactive work throughout the process. With our younger athletes, this is the approach we try and take. We want specific schools to show interest. If there isn't interest, then we want to move on and the sooner the better. We want to find where you are going to be the best fit. It's not always easy to do leading up to June 15th, but the goal is to put you in a position to be able to manage your process having already FOUND schools that are interested.


If you have more questions about this, please feel free to reach out.




I have listed a few other blog posts that you might want to read as well!











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