By Tom Kovic
The NCAA dead period has been in place since March because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been lengthened 5 times and has is now extended through September 30, 2020.
A dead period is when “a college coach may not have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents and may not observe student-athletes (on site), compete or visit their high schools. Coaches may write and telephone student-athletes or their parents during a dead period,” according to the NCAA’s official definition.
College coaches are permitted to interact with prospects by phone, text, video conference, and e-mail. Face to face contact is not permissible.
Fortune Favors the Bold
College recruiting has gone through a complete transformation since March, and it has created much frustration for the majority of prospects adjusting to the “new normal.” Prospects have two choices. 1) They can lose confidence and create even more turbulence with their recruiting strategy, or 2) Clean the slate and embrace a personal game plan that will assist the college coaches in evaluating them best.
Recruiting, especially during difficult times, WILL continue along traditional time-lines. Currently, college coaches are narrowing down their A+ list of 2021 candidates, and prospects should get a clear idea to where they stand. Whether the aim is an offer of an athletic scholarship or robust support from a coach in admissions, take a “politely” aggressive approach with communication.
Step Up to the Plate
Identify your A+ list of college options that should include 3-4 colleges. Request a Zoom or FaceTime meeting with each coach (you want to be face to face with the coaches during this meeting!). Keep the conversation upbeat and professional. Ask coach 1) Where she currently stands with recruiting the 2021 class and 2) Based on your student-athlete evaluation, where you stand as a viable prospect.
We are navigating unchartered waters with college recruiting that demand unique strategies. You deserve to know where you stand as a potential impact player in each of the colleges on your A+ list.
Take a friendly but bold approach when communicating with the college coaches, and you will have the best chance with getting answers to your questions.
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.