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XC / T&F Recruiting advice that I can offer

mortgagebkrmortgagebkr Registered User Posts: 91 Junior Member
edited December 2013 in Athletic Recruits
My S has "verbally" committed to run D1 and I thought i would share my experiences as to how it came about as so it might help someone:

First a little about him and his times - leading up to this fall:

5k - 17:19 (XC) (it is now 16:08)
3,200 - 9:29
1,600 - 4:26
800 - 1:56.8

We started the process in the fall of his JUNIOR year. knowing that he was not a top Tier 1 type of recruit but possibly lower Tier 1/Tier 2 recruit.

Research the schools that you are looking at; understand the program and what they are trying to accomplish. Find out if they offer athletic scholorships for running, you would be surprised at how many do not.

Taking OV's is difficult with the timing - XC season can run into late November and then the school's do not want you after thanksgiving due to Finals. by the time the schools return in session you are about to start running the important Indoor Track events. I recommend taking the OV's in early September. This will give you a feel for the school and also keep you menatally fresh for your team. Do not want to be running Counties on Saturday thinking about how you are going to XYZ U on Sunday for an overnight

you have to decide also is running going to help me get into a school that i might normally not have gotten into or am i looking to maximize my potential scholarship $$$?

Email the coaches with updates and when sending in your times to them, provide a link so they can easily verify. Fill out the athletic questionaire onthe web site - it helps get you in the coaches data base.

Visit the school if you can - contact the coach and let them know you are going to be there and if you could stop by and introduce yourself.

Understand the climate that you are looking at - if you are from a warm weather state going U of Vermont might not be a great fit...it gets cold running in 20 degree weather. Think also about altitude, running in the mountains can be beautiful but at 4,000 feet oxygen is at a premium.

Grades / test scores; 93.5 weighted avg with a 1060 SAT (crappy test taker) the usually AP and IB classes and college classes.

The school he ended up verbally committing to was probably the most difficult school that was in his final 6, without being crazy academically.

Remember T&F scholorships are RENEWABLE yearly, so if they are offering you 25% this year and you fall way down the pecking order.... So when picking a school reminder to pick one that you want to go to studay at as well.

If i can be of any help please reach out to me
Post edited by mortgagebkr on

Replies to: XC / T&F Recruiting advice that I can offer

  • musicmom26musicmom26 Registered User Posts: 85 Junior Member
    First of all, congratulations to your S. My D is a junior and we're in the midst of the recruiting process. She has a berecruited profile and a free ncsa profile that have gotten several looks and inquiries from some pretty great schools, D1-D3 and even some NAIA. She's similar to your son, a lower Tier 1/Tier 2 D1 recruit. She has excellent academics with dual enrollments, AP's, National Honor Society, High Honor Roll, Beta Club, etc., so have been visiting schools and talking to coaches and filling out questionnaires.

    Totally agree about the weather. We're in ATL, so not used to extremely cold weather, which is why she's leaning toward more warm weather states, but her top school is Mizzou with U of Miami right behind because she wants to do broadcast journalism, which plays a big part too. If the school doesn't have her major, not even on the list. Planning on visiting both in the Spring, so we'll see how that works out. But casting a wide net, so she's open to other schools, especially ones that will give her $$. Will take the SAT and ACT in Jan and Feb respectively, so I'm sure that will determine a lot also.

    Did your son do any OV's? Is he far from home? Did he get academic as well as athletic money? Want to find the right fit for her with academics as well as team. She prefers XC but also runs track for her school. Anything else in particular we should be looking for or asking when we go on visits?
  • crazymomstercrazymomster Registered User Posts: 1,872 Senior Member
    I will have to say that going to the big meets (Nike Cross and/or Foot Locker) and contacting coaches definitely is a plus. Coaches are responding well to my S who will be attending a Foot Locker regional. Now, I don't know what the response will be when he has a good, but not outstanding result, but for now, it is a foot in the door :-).

    OP - did your son get much scholarship money?

    I think we'll know a lot more about options after the track season.

    Congrats to your S!
  • musicmom26musicmom26 Registered User Posts: 85 Junior Member
    Same here. Major D1 coach emailed and wanted to know if D is running in Footlocker South next weekend, so I guess he'll be checking her out, which as you say, every little bit helps.
  • 2009grad2009grad Registered User Posts: 65 Junior Member
    OP, my little sister is a sophomore in high school and runs XC/track. She is different than many who want to run in college in that she was a competitive gymnast for years before switching to running in the outdoor track season of her freshman year. Will the fact that she got a late start hurt her chances of getting recruited? Do you have to go directly to the coaches or is there some other place you can look to find out whether a particular school offers scholarships and how they are distributed?

    Also, she thinks she wants to become a physical therapist who works with athletes and was thinking of starting out as an athletic training major. Will that major be prohibited at D1 schools since it has clinical requirements? Thanks for any information.
  • mortgagebkrmortgagebkr Registered User Posts: 91 Junior Member
    MY S started his search thinking he was going to be an AT major (he later switched to Business) however in the initial emails/conversations with coaches they will tell it is extremely challenging to handle the course load requirements, plus the team workouts plus all the required time in the training rooms. One coach even said it is not possible, but almost all said it will be a 5-year process.

    I actually beleive that with a late start it HELPS her - a college coach wants to see runners improve when they get to the school and the only way for that to happen is weekly miles and if she has had minimum miles so far she will have lots of room to grow.

    good luck
  • mortgagebkrmortgagebkr Registered User Posts: 91 Junior Member
    to Crazy Monster

    Yes FL and NXN are terrific places to meet and greet coaches, but remember these are like meat markets for them - they are hoping from one place to another and if you already do not have a relationship with him or her it might be difficult to make any real headway. I would definitely reach out to all the coaches on your list and let them know he will be running. I would not worry about the result - if it is a target school based upon running ability they already know what to expect from him.

    he was giving 25% - with the promise of additional $ in the future years as his importance on the team improves
  • mortgagebkrmortgagebkr Registered User Posts: 91 Junior Member
    to Music Mom

    far is relative term (far for my wife is 1 mile away...LOL) he is a 2 hour plane flight or a 9 hour drive not terrible. Remember that they awill be on a team with those requirements and will not have the opportunity to come as they please on weekends.

    He took 3 OV's, now here is something i wish i knew BEFORE we started the OV's; the week after he returned from his 1st OV the coach calls him and offers him a scholorship, but it has a 3 week time stamp on it and if he does not take it she will be offering ot to someone else - I completely understand, he can not hold her $$ hostage while she is trying to build a team. So we had to scramble a little to set up the last OV (the 2nd one was already scheduled).

    Some questions my S asked was

    "does the XC team room together as freshman?" doesn't sound like much but getting 2 kids on the same schedule will help an awfully lot. "

    Do i get to pick my classes before the general student body?

    Study Hall requirement?
  • 2009grad2009grad Registered User Posts: 65 Junior Member
    Thanks for the great information. Since my sister just started at the end of her freshman year and is now a sophomore, should she wait until she has finished this entire year of indoor and outdoor before she starts contacting coaches so that they see improvement in her times from the freshman outdoor season? Also, did you have any information on whether there is a website that tells you whether each D1 school offers scholarship and, if so how they are distributed, or is that something she can only get when she starts talking to coaches?
  • mortgagebkrmortgagebkr Registered User Posts: 91 Junior Member
    Yes i would wait until she has a comparrison year under her belt and make sure you outline it in the email to the coach "i just started competing as a freshman and my times dropped 25 seconds..." But that is just my opinion - she might want to ask her coach

    I wish i had such a website - unfortunately that information will come directly from the coach and you might have spent alot of time and effort only to find out that they do not offer athletic $$.

    Make sure you start a worksheet to keep track of the dates that you fill out the athletic questionairre and when you email the coach and also if they respond. I used to change the color of the font if a coacg responded to our email
  • OnTrack2013OnTrack2013 Registered User Posts: 249 Junior Member
    2009grad - Does your sister have any speed? If so, suggest that she try pole vaulting as one of her track events. Opportunities are better for a track athlete that does multiple events and there are numerous examples of ex-gymnasts who have become great vaulters.
  • varskavarska Registered User Posts: 1,430 Senior Member
    OnTrack - that's a great point. A lot of women vaulters come from a gymnastics background. The only thing is, it's such a technical event that it usually takes a few years under the guidance of a good PV coach to hit the numbers that are interesting to a D1 coach (12' 6" ish) If 2009grads sis is a soph - she probably won't be touching those numbers next year. But you make a good point that some experience in the event could make her more attractive as a recruit if a coach can see her potential.
  • ThreesdadThreesdad Registered User Posts: 546 Member
    As an FYI for PV, one of DD's schoolmates & former field hockey team mates does 12' in the PV. She is a very good student & was heavily recruited. She will be a member of The Big Green T&F team Class of 2018. Go Big Green!
  • Tcanc6Tcanc6 Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
    My daughter is a junior and getting regular letters/recruiting forms from Div 1 and emailing some coaches. She loves running and wants to run in college but wants do well in college academically since she plans to go to med school. Running is basically year round with three full seasons. We have heard Div 3 has less time commitment per NCAA rules and more focus on academics. While athletic scholarships aren't available, many have better merit aid packages. Did anyone get a chance to compare the tie commitments for the different divisions? Distance runners are probably one of the few athletes to compete in 3 seasons a year.
  • varskavarska Registered User Posts: 1,430 Senior Member
    Tcan, I had the opportunity to interview Jeff Stiles at WashU - the women's D3 xc coach of the year and asked him a couple questions that might interest you:

    Tell me about the lifestyle of the athletes – how accommodating is the track practice schedule for kids who might have conflicts with their classes?
    In XC, our main practice is in the morning, and we avoid class schedule conflict, so that works out really well. Now it is tough, and they have to be intrinsically motivated to make it happen because we’re going at 6:30 or 7:00 am. We give them 2 days off each week to train on their own to accommodate for academic stuff. And then in track we go in the afternoon and we tell them, our practice time is at 4:15, we want you there. But we know, we’re going to have to work around some kid’s schedules. I would say on a given day, we’ll probably have 70% there and 30% will have to go to an alternative time. But it depends on the semester and the major. Like junior year engineering, for example, tends to have a lot of labs. We had a kid who was an NCAA runner up who was a 5th year senior and he had some grad classes and his schedule was never going to allow him to be at practice all year. So he had to work out at alternative times the whole season. So we had to work around that, it’s just part of the reality of it.

    We don’t want them to take classes during practice if they have a choice, but we know, as coaches, it’s going to happen and we’ll work with the student to make it the best we can. But again, that’s why they need to be intrinsically motivated. It’s not like high school where you just show up and all your teammates are there. Sometimes, there’s just not a great time so they’ll have to be there at 7:30 am because that’s the only time they have. So it’s definitely challenging, and that’s why the number 1 thing we’re looking for is people who really love what they do.

    How many hours are the track kids working out during season?
    I’d say 2 to 2 ½ hours per day would be the norm. If you include the training room, maybe 3 hours. But some days might be 75 minutes because we have a meet coming up. But I usually say 2 ½ hours is what you need to plan on.


    My own D is a D1 track athlete and the time commit is a little more. NCAA allows 20 hours per week and they'll use very bit of it. Plus the training room and other team commits on top of that. Probably more like 3-4 hours per day in D1
  • Tcanc6Tcanc6 Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
    Thanks varska! Your interview questions really helped!
This discussion has been closed.