Once a student athlete’s senior season is over they should have a very good idea of what college program they’ll be attending.
Think about all the sacrifices a student athlete has made over the years leading up to a potential college scholarship.
A huge amount of work and of effort has gone into preparing a student athlete for life as a college student athlete.
In a student athlete’s journey to achieve exposure and recognition with college programs, if the process of recruiting has not been handled correctly there are no do-overs.
Sad, but true, many high school seniors and their parents may have unknowingly helped screw up the recruiting process.
I’ve heard this quote what seems like a million times from parents: “I wish I had started sooner.” Of course a parent will say that toward the conclusion of their student athlete’s senior year of high school.
They realize all the details that are required in the endless puzzle we call the college recruiting process.
Too bad for those parents and too bad for those student athletes who delayed the recruiting process for so long.
Sometimes, I look at the recruiting process like a one thousand question final exam. The instructor would tell you to begin taking the tests by turning over the tests and telling you how much time you have to complete this critical test.
Now if you sat there for 45 minutes or so thinking about the questions and where you should begin, you have put yourself in a deep hole that you will never get out of.
You have wasted a whole lot of time thinking about this test like so many parents who waste years thinking about what they should do with recruiting.
Back to the tests!
No Do-Over’s In The College Recruiting Process.
When the instructor says, “Time is up” you realize after the time has passed, that you would like to go back to look over some of the questions again but the instructor told you to put your pencil down and that time is up and there’s nothing you can do.
You can’t go back and start over, you can’t go back and study some more because time is up, you can’t go back and do a little more research or ask questions about the tests because time is up.
You know you only completed about a third of the final exam and you have a very good idea that you’ve probably scored an “F”. Realizing all mistakes you made in preparation leading up to this critical test you raise your hand and you ask the instructor if you can retake the final exam.
Of course the answer from the instructor will more than likely be, “No” there’s nothing else you can do about it.
All the other students have completed the final exam to the best of their ability; all the other students prepared for hours, if not weeks, for this final exam knowing how critical it is to their future.
That is what the college recruiting process is like; it’s a final exam that could take three to four years to complete and, at the end, what will your grade be?
At the end of four years of high school athletics you’re going to be good enough to get in college because of your dedication to athletics, academics and your diligence in recognizing the importance of the college recruiting process or, will you be like so many other student athletes and parents who’ve used up so many years of the recruiting process without getting much of anything done?
Once that time is used up it can’t be made up and you cannot go back and get more days towards recruiting. In other words, there are no do over’s in the college recruiting process.
The Recruiting Process Could End Up Being An Endless Journey Of Chasing College Programs!
I know this to be true: based on my experience as a former college recruiter that if student athletes have screwed up the recruiting process what will ultimately happen is they will be in this endless game of trying to fix it.
I’ve known student athletes who are very talented and (maybe their grades were good but not great) could get accepted into college but are not finding the schools they really want.
What ends up happening is some student athletes may try prep school or junior college all in the hope of eventually getting into the college program they really want.
Sometimes certain student athletes achieve success by choosing junior college or prep school, but many student athletes find no success.
For example, a student athlete may try prep school believing this could be the ticket to a division one scholarship and when it doesn’t work out that way or there are no takers for their talent, then that student athlete may try junior college.
Let’s say after junior college the student athlete still does not find what they’re looking for.
Now that student athlete has been out of high school for three years and is probably around 21 years old by this time. That’s a whole lot of time wasted chasing college programs.
Beggars can’t be choosy as it relates to the college recruiting process. Student athletes want to play at a particular college program but if those choices are not available, it does not make sense to force the issue.
I live in the Buckeye state where Ohio State football is huge; there are some average student athletes who grow up dreaming to play for Ohio State football.
Many of the students are more than likely not even on the radar screen with Ohio State football recruiting but because of their dream of division one football they’re willing to be a “walk-on”, more or less a practice player, just so they can be a part of the Ohio State football program.
There are no guarantees that they will ever play in an actual game but they are willing to take the risk just so they can put on the Ohio State football helmet.
What ends up happening is many of those walk-ons will leave after a year or two realizing they have no chance of ever getting into a football game and they will transfer maybe to a division two program or someplace else.
That scenario plays out with major college football programs all across the country every year.
You cannot force the college recruiting process to go your way, only makes sense to accept a good college program where you’re going to get a good education first then an opportunity to play your sport and have a great athletic experience.
Procrastination Will Always Ultimately Kill The Recruiting Process!!
All of us are guilty of procrastination at some point in our daily, if not, weekly lives. It’s OK to take out the trash the next day or hold off on mowing the lawn for a day or two. But when it comes to the college recruiting process procrastination will always ultimately kill the recruiting process every time.
The college recruiting process is the responsibility of the parents, then it falls to the student athlete, then the high school coach can offer assistance, then a club coach can give their guidance and after that, you could hire a college recruiting service.
Because the college recruiting process can seem somewhat intimidating to some parents and student athletes who are involved for the first time, it’s understandable to see why certain aspects of it can be pushed to the side.
Most parents and student athletes don’t really understand all of the confusing details of the college recruiting process.
So why not hire an expert; for example, a recruiting service. Many college recruiting services, at least experienced ones, have dealt with every aspect and every detail of the college recruiting process.
When you go to the doctor for a routine physical because of the doctor’s experience, they can quickly figure out if there’s anything wrong with you or not because of the thousands of patients they’ve examined before and, of course, their many years of education and experience.
A doctor can quickly come up with a diagnosis for your problem and resolve any medical issues you may have. Most people would feel comfortable being examined a doctor.
I would think a recruiting service could be the same way. Most recruiting services would be able to come up with a diagnosis to your recruiting problems or issues and develop a solution.
Now if you don’t want to go the route of a recruiting service you can always do your own recruiting. Whatever you decide to do just figure it out and, by all means, go ahead and get started today.
A Missed Opportunity Is A Lost Opportunity Forever!!
About a year ago, there was a former high school basketball player from Baltimore, Maryland who stood around 6’1 or so and played the point guard.
I had several conversations with him and I even interviewed him for an old Internet radio show I use to do. His major issue was academics; his grades were not good enough but he clearly had the talent to play at a major college program.
The young man did not blame anyone for his college recruiting short-comings because he’d realize it was academics and it was all up to him.
But like so many other high school student athletes who have great talent and fall short academically, they realize the grave mistakes that were made and are desperately trying to find ways to fix it.
So, many months has passed and one day I was reading a story about the young man who I had interviewed years ago, posted on Yahoo Sports about how all of these high school basketball players thought they were enrolling in a prep school only to find out that it was a huge scam.
Some guy claimed to be a prep school basketball coach and he basically stole all of their money and left them stuck in a motel someplace in West Virginia.
I ended up interviewing the young man again once I heard exactly what happened. After a couple of months, another prep school, a legitimate one this time, was interested in this young man but it just didn’t work out financially.
This whole story is more about a missed opportunity; because of this young man’s failure to handle his business while he was in high school.
Had he been serious about his academics just like he was about his basketball talents, he could have possibly ended up at a division one program, definitely a division two program.
There are a lot of extremely talented high school athletes out there but they are in slow motion when it comes to preparing themselves academically to be accepted into college.
Many student athletes just like him have missed their opportunity at their dream of playing college athletics and earning a college degree.
Like I’ve said before, procrastination will kill the college recruiting process every time and there are no do-over’s when it comes to the college recruiting process-that’s just the way it is.
Because There Are No Do-Over’s, Why Not Get It Right The First Time?
Why not get the college recruiting process right the first time? Anyone who is involved with the college recruiting process understands that it’s hard because there are so many things that need to get done.
The history of high school student athletes who have passed through the recruiting process should be the example of what could go right or what could go wrong for high school student athletes who follow them.
Why not focus on academics every day you’re a high school? We’ve heard this time and time again the importance of a strong grade point average has an even stronger standardized tests score.
By your senior year of high school your grades should be strong and, if not, you won’t get a second chance to fix it.
Why not focus on college programs that you can find and that you have a realistic chance of playing for?
The more college programs that know who you are the better your chances of getting a scholarship.
Failure to build a long list of college programs you could be turning your back on an opportunity.
It would be wise for student athletes and their parents to gather as much information as they can on how the college recruiting process can work for them.
Failure in not understanding how the recruiting process works could slow down the recruiting process where opportunities will be missed and can never be made up or fixed.
Ninety-nine percent of all high school student athletes are not going to get an athletic scholarship. So why not focus on an opportunity to get a college education that will give you long lasting memories.
So many student athletes focus all their attention on major college programs when maybe those opportunities are not there. Sometimes what happens is due to the stubbornness of some student athletes where they overlook division two college programs because of their division one dreams of college athletics.
There are no do-over’s in the college recruiting process. If student athletes close the door on too many opportunities, those doors will more than likely stay shut.
There are oftentimes no do-over’s in many other aspects of life. You can buy a lottery ticket and your number doesn’t come up that day but there’s always the next day or the day after for your chance to win.
But in the sudden-death world of college athletic recruiting you only get one chance and, at the end of your high school career, you’re either going to continue your athletic career in college or not.
There are no second chances in the college recruiting process.
Bad Character Cannot Be Undone In The College Recruiting Process!!
College programs are looking to recruit extremely talented high school student athletes who have very good grades to get accepted into college.
I would think the next quality that college programs are looking for in student athletes is, character!!!!
If you’re doing all the right things such as going to class, being a responsible citizen in the community and handling all your athletic and academic responsibilities, I think this will make you highly marketable to college programs.
You will get overlooked by high quality and successful college programs if student athletes portray bad character.
I would think the last thing in the world would be a college coach recruiting a student athlete who potentially becomes a knucklehead and disrupts their athletic program to the point where the coach will have to get rid of him or her or worse: that coach could lose their job.
There are countless of stories of high school athletes who are getting into trouble to the point where it makes the papers and their scholarships get’s pulled.
Unfortunately, there are some college coaches who will take bad character student athletes.
These college coaches are desperate to win games to the point where they will accept knuckleheads and bad characters into their program.
In my opinion, those college coaches do not care about those athletes as people; they only care about what they can do for the athletic program.
Those college coaches only care about winning and will do whatever it takes to achieve that goal, even if it means bringing a few criminals into their program.
Those student athletes with their bad character will be used up athletically so fast that no one will care about them or whether or not they get an education or become productive citizens in society.
Some college program want to win so desperately that they will recruit these types of student athletes but at the end of their college eligibility, the game is over and, in most situations, those coaches will turn their backs on those players.
In the real world, companies wouldn’t hire people with bad character, why would they? Who would want someone who’s going to always be late for work, complain about their paycheck, concerned about vacation time or who wouldn’t be a good fit for their company anyway?
I guess the same can be said about student athletes with bad character.
Maybe those players will help you win some games, but I think you’d end up getting rid of them anyway.
Bad character, in my opinion, cannot be undone. It will stay with you for the rest of your life.
The College Recruiting Process Is Nothing To Play Around With!!
The bottom line in the college recruiting process is to go from high school athlete to college athlete. In between all of that there are a lot of details that must take place to get student athletes recruited and placed in college.
Unfortunately, a lot of individuals who are involved in overseeing the college recruiting process on behalf of high school student athletes are somewhat slow in their approach to recruiting and that’s too bad if that’s the case.
Here are a few things to consider:
- Develop a “To-do” list of individual tasks that must take place in the college recruiting process. Work on one task at a time; this will help avoid procrastination.
- Sometimes the past can help the future. What was the recruiting process like for student athletes who have already graduated high school? Maybe parents and student athletes could find out from other parents and student athletes what the process was like for them.
- A high school coach can be a valuable asset for parents. It is very important for parents to have an open mind and ask questions about the recruiting process from the high school coach.
- Club coaches are a valuable resource for parents of a student athlete. Many club coaches have connections with a lot of college programs so I think it’s important for parents to build strong relationships with club coaches because of their networking power.
- It wouldn’t hurt parents to go on the Internet and gather as much information as they can about recruiting. Information is power and is, key to being successful in the college recruiting process.
* There’s no time like the present so get busy on this long marathon which is the college recruiting process. I can guarantee you: the longer you delay and being uncreative in the recruiting process could ultimately ruin your athletic career.
I have personally seen it happen to many high school ballplayers who, on the surface, were good people with athletic talent and who came from good families, but things happen along the way.
Now, years later, when I run into a few former high school athletes whose careers ended when they played their last high school game, they always say stuff like, “Nobody helped me.” Or “I could’ve played in college.” And, would even say, “If I had gone to a different high school…” What ridiculous things to say!
To suggest changing your high school or if having a different coach would have made the difference in getting recruited is ridiculous.
It still comes down to your taking action every day!