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ISO: Opinions on Rowing Recruitment Consultants

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Replies to: ISO: Opinions on Rowing Recruitment Consultants

  • PosAttitudePosAttitude Registered User Posts: 69 Junior Member
    edited August 2017
    Since I posted previously when S was a junior, I wanted to provide an update for any interested parents of rowers who are contemplating the risks of pursuing college sports WITHOUT Sparks.

    After we fired them, our son received numerous recruiting offers for rowing (including one school Sparks told him was "likely out of reach"), as well as offers for ultimate frisbee and volleyball. His work ethic and athleticism interested coaches; not his association with Sparks.

    Instead of wasting money paying them, we switched to investing in test prep -- which enabled S to score a 34 ACT and qualify as a National Merit Finalist. S also spent hours on a Common App essay about character lessons learned racing in a single during treacherous weather while battling mono. Admissions officers loved it! Again, no thanks to Sparks.

    I can never recover the money they took for what they openly acknowledged was shoddy service. But at least I can help other families avoid the same mistake. You don't need Sparks and neither does your rower.
  • CrewMomofThreeCrewMomofThree Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    Any other advice, PosAttitude? I have a junior and am starting the process now. Sparks is definitely not in the running for us .... especially given your review.
  • onefiftyfiveonefiftyfive Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    Your student can handle the recruitment process, even with no experience.
    In the Fall, reach out the coaches of various teams that are of interest.
    Also, this is a good time to get the SAT/ACT out of the way, because Spring is a busy time for rowing.
    Get great scores on SATs, and continue to get grades up.
    Gotta either do crazy great on the erg, or have fantastic on the water results...or both.
    Top recruits have the top erg scores, that's just the way it is.
    My son had average erg, but excellent on the water results. That's very rare. Even still, there were schools that either didn't give him an official or didn't offer him a spot.
    It's basically a one year process, from start to finish. But when it works out, your son will be into his dream school by November/December of his senior year.
  • CrewMomofThreeCrewMomofThree Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    Any advice for a coxswain looking to be part of a college crew team? Fabulous GPA with a full AP courseload, but no SAT scores yet. Test will be in Spring, as she is a junior. We have no idea even how to create a list of colleges to apply to.... I need serious help!
  • mamommamom Registered User Posts: 3,602 Senior Member
    I would take the SAT asap. You can take it multiple times and most schools will superscore. If you wait til the spring, you limit your opportunity to retake. Get a practice book, take a timed test, find out where you need to improve and study those subjects. 10- 15 minutes study a day on th areas you need to work on. Good luck.
  • PosAttitudePosAttitude Registered User Posts: 69 Junior Member
    @CrewMomofThree, the best advice I can offer (beyond what's been suggested here already) is to create a page for your rower on BeRecruited. We bought a "lifetime" membership for $100 (what a deal compared to Sparks!!). We put all our son's academic, racing and erging stats on the page, listed his various honors/awards and test scores, and even included occasional photos from noteworthy regattas. He also wrote a number of essays on the Personal page, which gave coaches a chance to learn about his character, motivation, values, etc.

    Whenever he contacted a coach to express interest in a program, he made sure to include a link to his BeRecruited page. And, because of the type of membership we bought, he was able to see which coaches checked his page and how often. That gave him very useful information. In addition, coaches were able to click a button to "follow" his updates, which meant that every new tidbit about his performance at school or on the team not only showed up on his BeRecruited page, it also appeared in interested coaches' emails. One month, S was featured as one of the 10 Most Viewed Rowers on the site; that spotlight generated interest from even more coaches. And so on, and so on.

    Never once did a coach ask, "If you really want to be recruited, why aren't you working with Sparks?' I honestly believe they were more impressed by the initiative S showed in creating and updating his BeRecruited page, and ultimately, in managing the ongoing dialogues with each of them.

    I hope that helps. Best wishes for great success with your rower(s)!!
  • PosAttitudePosAttitude Registered User Posts: 69 Junior Member
    @CrewMomofThree, my D walked on as an ivy league coxswain. Is your coxswain more interested in finding the best academics or the most successful coach and/or teams? Or both? Our D chose to pursue the academic rigor she craved and counted on demonstrated skill and commitment to earn a spot on the team. It worked out for her, but there was no guarantee up front.

    Many colleges with strong rowing programs offer summer camps for high school students who are interested in being recruited. That includes coxswains. You might want to encourage your D to talk with her coach or local/regional rowing coaches to see if they have information on programs at schools that might interest her. She can also google "college rowing summer camps" just to generate a list of possibilities.

    Start early, keep an open mind, and connect with other rowers and their families to learn more about interesting places they're considering. Most of all, try to enjoy the process.

    I hope that's helpful. Good luck to her!
  • Row2018Row2018 Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    So you have never got any of your money back? Please do reply! Thank you
  • REconsultREconsult Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    We at Rower’s Edge thought it would be helpful to comment on our services to clarify our approach when working with recruits and parents.

    We are celebrating 10 years in business working with parents and rowers/coxswains with a focus on finding the best match in a college and rowing program for the potential recruit. We find, the most common problems for parents and recruits are how to get started and identifying what the recruit needs to be doing to get noticed. Our “Race Plan” is a streamlined meeting, focusing on the recruit’s specific academic needs and rowing results to produce a personalized Recruiting Timeline with appropriate colleges, rowing programs and benchmarks.

    The “Race Plan” gives the recruit and parents an ability to work through the recruiting process and helps make the process as efficient as possible. This service is a 2-3 hour meeting with specific steps provided after which many Rower’s Edge clients find that they are armed with all the tools they need to be successfully recruited.

    For those clients who feel they need more assistance after this meeting we do offer additional support on an ongoing fee basis. We would be happy to speak with anyone to further discuss our services and how we work and invite you to go to our website www.rowersedge.com to review our services, successes and client testimonials.

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