College Recruiting: Heading Down the Homestretch

College Recruiting: Heading Down the Homestretch

By Tom Kovic

The college search for athletes is an enduring process with a definite starting and ending point. Just like a well-run race, the successful student-athlete will remain focused until she breaks the tape. Below are some simple tips to consider when heading down the homestretch in the college recruiting process.

Whether a prospective student-athlete is looking for an athletic scholarship or support in admissions, it is crucial to remain committed to the relationships you have cultivated with college coaches. Furthermore, and at this point in the recruiting process, you will likely have narrowed your college choices down to a select few and trust me, so have the college coaches!

Remain Diligent
Heading toward the final turn, the thriving prospect and family will remain on target. Continue to sharpen the tool and review your final target points for clarity and accuracy. By this time, you have devoted yourself entirely to a worthy and dedicated effort. Now it is time to close out the experience.

When you begin your final kick to the finish line, highlight recruiting contacts you plan to make with college coaches. Finalize your official visits. Mark it on your calendar and execute.

Student-Athlete Statement
Share a convincing personal statement about why each top college choice matches with your college goals. Not only does this offer a glimpse of how you see the college experience playing out, it also demonstrates self-awareness in the eyes of the college coaches. Consequently, top recruiters are looking carefully at operatives that will separate prospective student-athletes.

Begin by taking 20 minutes and become introspective. The first few minutes will be turbulent but try to interpret how you would like your college experience to unfold. Develop a shortlist of operatives that define that experience. Finally, polish the statement into a 1/2 page document you can share with the coaches.

Remember, there are three primary attributes college coaches are looking for in prospects: Strong students, impact athletes and self-aware, dedicated young men and women.

Outside Connections
College coaches attempt to cover every base they can in evaluating every prospect they recruit. If they happen to be in a grey area with a group of top recruits, they often look for a tie-breaker to solidify the rankings and separate prospects.

Ask your club coach to reach out to your A list of coaches. You have already provided the college coaches with the tools he needs to do a thorough student-athlete evaluation.

Encouraging your private coach to connect directly with the college coaches to support your commitment to a college program can be the glue that binds that decision.

Tough Questions
If you do not have a firm commitment from a college coach to where you stand on his recruit priority list, I suggest you find out! There are a lot of tough questions families and prospects encounter throughout the college search. Furthermore, the well-organized candidate will have the best chance of getting straight answers from college coaches.

If you practiced an honest approach to the college recruiting process, you could expect the same in return from the college coaches. For instance, if you are hoping for a scholarship offer or feedback on where your application stands in admissions, take a bold, but polite approach with college coaches.

Embrace the college recruiting process with integrity and persistence. This approach will build mutually strong and respectful relationships with college coaches and position you best to finish the college recruiting process with confidence.

Like a great race, game, or competition, the best athletes are those who remain focused and committed from start to finish. The brass ring is out there for each prospect to grab. Focus on the process and stay dedicated to your approach. Everything else will take care of itself.

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:

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