By Tom Kovic
With summer on the horizon and the end of the academic year fast approaching, high school prospects have every opportunity to get a well-deserved breather. Taking time to relax a little after a demanding school year and a rigorous training and competition schedule creates “new life.”
The summer offers prospective student-athletes a chance to organize and utilize specific recruiting tactics to grow awareness and momentum in college recruiting. Student-athletes who look at the next 100 days as an opportunity to maximize college recruiting will position themselves best.
Begin by identifying the goals you want to accomplish during the summer. I suggest you develop a list of 2-3 skills on each event and one vault upgrade you plan to master. Develop an e-mail to the college coaches and include your training goals.
This strategy accomplishes two critical points. 1) You create clarity and direction for summer training and 2) You put yourself “on the line” with the college coaches to reach your goals.
Share regular highlight video updates with the college coaches. 100 days to Maximize College Recruiting may seem like a lot of time, but it passes quickly!
Prospects should target four video updates throughout the summer. The first update will likely be a little rough around the edges. College coaches are aware of this, so do not hesitate to share imperfect highlights! The first update is only the start point. Each subsequent video should complement your quest to attain skill mastery by the end of the summer.
Progress in the classroom is equally important to progress in the gym. Share your school transcripts with the college coaches after the academic year. If you have recently taken standardized testing, share test results with the coaches as well.
In addition, share your fall academic schedule with the college coaches, and register with the NCAA Eligibility Center.
If you are serious about a specific group of colleges on your list, there is no better time for a casual visit to campus than the summer. These visits might not have the same feel and energy as a fall college visit. But if the visits are well-planned, you will likely walk away feeling well-informed and more confident.
Summertime is an ideal time to connect with college coaches on campus, but don’t just show up! E-mail coach two weeks before your visit and convey your tentative visit plans and let her know you and your family would be excited to meet and learn more about the program.
Let the coach know you will follow-up by phone to confirm the office visit. Remember, there are new NCAA recruiting contact rules in effect. You are now permitted to interview with coaches beginning June 15 after the sophomore year in high school!
I am a firm believer that practical communications skills can position a prospect best in the eyes of college coaches. The recruiting process is very competitive, and you need to separate yourself from the pack. It just requires a little courage and effort.
Communication is a broad term, but when whittled down to its essential components, it becomes less complicated. Remember to:
The summer presents us with the opportunity to use every day to maximize the college search for athletes. Develop a positive “sense of urgency” in your effort to plan and organize best to grow your skill as an athlete and share your accomplishments with the college coaches on your list. 100 days may seem like a lot of time to maximize college recruiting, but as we all know, time flies when you’re having a good time!
Tom Kovic is a former Division I college coach and Founder/Principal of Victory Collegiate Consulting, where he advises prospects and families on college recruiting. For further information visit: www.victoryrecruiting.com.