• Jason

Keeping Up With Coach Jones

Updated: Oct 27, 2021

I see a lot of athletes get caught up with who is committing and where they are committing too. They tend to feel like they are behind because they aren't at the same stage of the process as someone else. I also see athletes get caught up in the level of play in college. D1 vs D2 or SunBelt vs Southland Conference. Their focus can sometimes be on something completely arbitrary and not relevant to what they actually need or realistically want in a college experience. Because of this you can see athletes get stuck during the recruiting process and it often leads to a lot of transfers once they show up on campus, because the things they WANT and the things they NEED aren't always the same.

Couple quick things here:

You might be behind - that is actually a legit concern, but it is something you can work your way out of.

There is nothing wrong at wanting to play at a certain level, nothing at all - but make sure you aren't sacrificing your list of criteria and what you are looking for in a college program for that one goal.

I would get hyper-focused as a coach. You might call it tunnel vision. It's a blessing and a curse really. I was able to stay focused on what I needed to stay focused on, without a ton of distraction. The downside is there was a lot going on around me that I could miss. Recruiting can be like that sometimes. We can be so focused on a goal, that we miss opportunities around us. We can become really distracted by everything around us and so concerned with "keeping up with the Jones's" that we lose focus on what is actually important to us.

Don't worry athletes, college coaches can do this sometimes too.

I was texting back and forth with a college coach a few days ago and he sent me this text:

"I just hate losing kids to other programs!"

I responded with "Don't hate losing kids to other programs. Get the kids in your program that are the ones YOU want and that WANT to be there...your only recruiting competition should be yourselves." The criteria should be the same for the student-athlete. Look for a program and a school that is your best fit.

I think very often we get caught up in the competition of everything. We want the athlete that the other school wants; we don't want to play against this athlete for 4 years; if we aren't recruiting the same athletes as "this" program, then we aren't getting better. When we recruit and search for schools this way, we lose sight of the people (coaches and athletes) that we are dealing with. We lose the vision for the community that we are creating in our programs.

In the end, it's not going to "this" school or winning "this" many matches that defines us. It's the people that we surround ourselves with and the experiences that you get to create together that help shape and mold us into who we become.

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