College prospective student-athletes now face unique challenges to maximize the college recruiting process. Considering the Coronavirus pandemic, college recruits face seemingly insurmountable challenges ahead. This article offers guidance with closing out the college recruiting year on a high note.
True champions are measured by how they respond when their backs are in the corner. The COVID pandemic has created many new and unique hurdles that pose additional challenges ahead. Prospects who maintain a level head and implement a streamlined recruiting strategy will be best served.
2021 Prospects and Regular Decision/Signing
The early admissions and National Letter of Intent signing have recently passed, and most 2021 prospects have made their college commitments. For those prospects who remain actively engaged with recruiting, it's time to roll up your sleeves and get busy.
Remain dedicated to your target timelines. Identify the colleges you plan to apply to and determine application deadlines for each school. Once the applications are submitted, confirm by e-mail with each coach.
The signing period (for most sports) of the National Letter of Intent is November 11, 2020 – August 1, 2021. College coaches have already identified and signed their early scholarship student-athletes. If you want to remain on the recruiting radar screen moving ahead in 2021, be proactive with sharing critical information that will help coaches evaluate you best. School transcripts, updated highlight video, and encouraging your club coach to speak to college coaches on your behalf are just a few suggestions.
2022 Prospects and Cultivating Relationships
Junior prospects should already be well into the recruiting process. You will likely have accomplished the following targets:
- Created your player profile
- Established your college list with contact information
- Sent introduction e-mails (with profile attachment) to the coaches.
- Followed-up with a highlight video and school transcripts for evaluation.
You are through the first quarter of the race, and you need to pick up the pace slowly. Considering the winter competition season is somewhat abbreviated, do all you can to help the coaches evaluate you.
Continue to share highlight video with the coaches but take this to a higher level. Demonstrate mastery of skills and your ability to plug your summer training skills into your 2021 competition routines.
Get your club coaches involved and ask them if they could directly contact 2-3 college coaches on your "A" list.
Share an academic update. Includes your school transcripts and current semester grades and your intention to prep and take standardized tests.
2023 Prospects and building an Information Base
Sophomore prospects are fortunate to have the luxury of time with college recruiting. That aside, time flies! Now is an ideal opportunity to build your information base and become an educated consumer with college recruiting.
Identify Yourself. Take careful time to build a comprehensive player profile. It should be 1 page only and include standout academic and athletic statistics and achievements.
Identify five operatives that potentially identifies your ideal 4-year college experience. Now is the time to build your initial college list! Start by identifying resource websites that will inform you about the specific colleges and overall student-athlete opportunities.
Take time to learn about NCAA recruiting procedures and timelines. Understand recruiting strategies (contacts and evaluations) and your role in helping the college coaches appreciate your unique and exceptional talent.
We live in unique and sometimes confusing times. Consequently, the prospect who is willing to face these challenges head-on will have a greater chance to maximize college recruiting. Remain diligent with your college goals and dedicated to executing viable plans that will put you on the college coaches' radar screen. Let's close out 2020 on a high note and make the best of daunting circumstances.
Tom Kovic is a former Division 1 college coach and the Founder and Principal Advisor at Victory Collegiate Consulting, where he provides individual advisement for families navigating the college recruiting process. Tom is the author of "Reaching for Excellence," an educational guide for college athletics recruiting. For further information, visit https://victoryrecruiting.com.