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Role of high school in recruiting process

tonymomtonymom 1119 replies55 threads Senior Member
This has been a question on my mind as of lately....
Opinions please....
What role should the high school play in assisting a student athlete in the recruiting process.
My son's school gave very little assistance in terms of information of guidance but I just took that at face value as my son's sport wasn't prominent at his HS.
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Replies to: Role of high school in recruiting process

  • DreadpiritDreadpirit 488 replies3 threads Member
    The answer varies by sport.

    Soccer and volleyball, for example, are recruited primarily from club participation. With rare exception, college coaches have little to no contact with HS coaches. The vast majority of the training, recruiting and playing occur in these sports occur through club coaches and club events.
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  • tonymomtonymom 1119 replies55 threads Senior Member
    Good point! Club sports do complicate the equation. My son's sport is usually a club sport, everywhere except the east coast, but he participates on his HS team.
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  • nhparent9nhparent9 195 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I'd say the same for baseball. Virtually no involvement from the HS team or coach, other than when college coaches or pro scouts wanted to come to see him play in season. They would usually let the HS coach know they were coming or that they were there, but that was it.
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  • tonymomtonymom 1119 replies55 threads Senior Member
    @nhparent9 @Dreadpirit
    So your kids found themselves on their own so to speak? As parents did you find you just had to educate yourself about the many facets of the recruiting process?
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  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys 4032 replies27 threads Senior Member
    I imagine it depends on the sport. My students is a soccer player, so the focus is almost exclusively club team, club tournaments etc. We thought it was appropriate to email the high school coach with recruiting updates, what schools he was looking at, what coaches might be coming to watch high school games etc. We've heard that some college programs do like to talk with the high school soccer coach, I suppose because that coach sees the player in the broader context of the school, leadership inside the building not just on the field etc.

    So we knew that, as a prospective D3 player, we had to research programs, identify recruiting camps etc. on our own. We definitely made some mistakes along the way. The one thing we did right, for sure, was build a list based on schools first. Only then did we look at the soccer programs.
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  • nhparent9nhparent9 195 replies0 threads Junior Member
    @tonymom - we were largely on our own. Our travel team did help some, but honestly not nearly as much as they could or should have. I spent countless hours working on it, learning, talking to people, using every resource I could. It's a lot of work, and there are plenty of opportunities to make mistakes.
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  • fenwayparkfenwaypark 693 replies3 threads Member
    I am most familiar with baseball and tennis recruiting.

    For baseball, I agree with nhparent9. It is all about what the kids do in the summer and fall. In summer it is some combination of travel teams, showcases and camps. In the fall, it is events such as Arizona Fall Classic and Jupiter (Fla). In many areas of the country (most, I would venture to say) high school baseball is to summer/fall ball what Spring Training is to the regular MLB season.

    In tennis, high school competition is even more irrelevant...except perhaps in some hotbeds such as So Cal, Texas, Florida and a few others. Kids should consider themselves lucky if their high school tennis coach is at least a PE teacher looking for extra cash, who knows how to score the game. The action is at USTA tournaments, year round. Some talented players don't even bother with high school tennis because it conflicts with their tournament schedule. Many top recruits have private coaches, some of whom can be helpful in the recruiting process.
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  • needscaffeineneedscaffeine 53 replies1 threads Junior Member
    My son's school didn't know anything about recruiting in his sport (swimming.) We were totally on our own.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 23372 replies17 threads Senior Member
    My daughter's high school coaches were not even faculty, just hired for the sport. Sometimes the coach would get contacted by colleges looking for a list of names, and she'd pass on the names and the info about the colleges. DD'S club coach did happen to be a former college player and a teacher at a neighboring hs, so she knew a lot more. She had a meeting with parents at the end of junior year to talk about recruiting, but I wasn't able to go. I did ask a few of the parents about it but they weren't that helpful (mostly because their daughters didnt hAve the grads for some schools). I sort of learned a lot of it on my own, and honestly just lucked into the opportunity my daughter ended up with. Another club teammate ended up at the same school, and next year there will be 5 total from that club on her college team, so the college coach likes the way the club coach works and the club has almost become a feeder for the college.

    Both the club coach and the high school coaches were happy to answer questions, provide statistics and anything else the colleges coaches wanted. They could also answer questions for the parents or girls. Could they have helped more? Yes, one went to Navy and my daughter was interested, but the coach didn't push it at all or even suggest it to me. One issue is the club or hs coach knows how the players perform on the field, but not necessarily what kind of colleges the student should be at. we were getting a lot of referrals for small LACs, and my daughter wanted engineering. Her college coach gets questionnaires from good players who don't have the grades for a engineering tech scnhool.

    Don't expect the hs coaches to lead at all in some sports. In others, like football, the hs coach may have a lot of connections.
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  • takeitallintakeitallin 3352 replies26 threads Senior Member
    Agree- it depends. For soccer my son did not involve his high school coach in any way. Most of his recruitment was done from tournaments with his club team. Colleges either contacted his club coach directly or contacted him. He did his own outreach. The club was smaller so didn't help a lot with recruitment, but the parents on the team were pretty pro-active and we exchanged a lot of info.
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  • tonymomtonymom 1119 replies55 threads Senior Member
    Wondering if there are sports at the high school level which do get guided support by school staff? I assumed big three do; football, basketball and baseball but maybe that's incorrect....
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  • mcr976mcr976 138 replies35 threads Junior Member
    My Ds track coach was helpful in emailing and calling colleges where she was interested. My D did all the work in filling out questionnaires and contacting coaches. Her sport is track and XC which really has limited club activity and is based solely on HS times
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  • tonymomtonymom 1119 replies55 threads Senior Member
    edited November 2015
    So it seems club sports have a dedicated channel and HS sports are hit and miss depending on popularity/availability. I know a neighboring private school has a dedicated staff member (not that's all they do...) who assists student athletes with the recruiting process but that may now seem somewhat of an aberration.
    edited November 2015
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  • Ohiodad51Ohiodad51 2463 replies41 threadsForum Champion Athletic Recruits Forum Champion
    In my opinion, it depends on the highest perceived level of competition the athlete plays at. In sports where the school season is a "tune up" for the club season (baseball being the example I am most familiar with), then the club coach matters more than the HS coach. In sports where the action is during the high school season, the HS coach can matter a great deal. In football there is obviously no club season, and in my experience the HS coach plays a crucial role. Wrestling, although there are certainly important out of school tournaments, seems to operate the same as football. I don't know a ton about basketball recruiting, but I assume it would fall somewhere in the middle since the HS season is extensive and AAU/travel ball is similarly a big deal.
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  • OnTrack2013OnTrack2013 246 replies5 threads Junior Member
    My son’s HS coach “worked the stands” for us at a few big track meets but beyond initial intros he stayed out of the mix. He also tapped into his network again for us when my son transferred after his freshman year of college. He had a real desire for my son to remain successful, and was pretty ticked off that my son’s first college coach “screwed up” the great start he gave him in HS.

    But this coach is an exception. He has received national awards for his coaching ability, so it was just him personally helping my son, not the HS. He does not even work for the school and coaches the one event for the local HS team and has a club during the summer months just because he loves the sport so much.
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  • CantigerCantiger 931 replies17 threads Member
    My understanding is that most parents feel pretty alone and perhaps overwhelmed by the recruiting process. High school coaches are unlikely to provide as much guidance as you feel you need during the search period. It's difficult to know where to begin and what to look for. Here are a couple things we did in the process, now 4 years ago:

    1) Unless you are realistically on track to play the sport professionally after college (think, ranked top 1% nationally in your sport) the main criteria needs to be the school itself. Will it provide you with a good education in your chosen field? This is an especially important consideration given that even the top athletes can experience sport-career ending injuries. There are a lot of good schools out there but also some duds.

    2) Next look at the sport program. Does the level of competition match with your skill set? Are you likely to play given the talent level? What is the skill level of their starting line up? Will those starters still be there when you arrive on campus? This is an important consideration as many athletes overestimate their athletic abilities and end up warming the bench for a lot of years while working hard at practice after practice. This can be discouraging.

    Once you have narrowed some options down this far, you can make contact with some coaches and proceed with next steps.

    3) Meet with the coach, ask everything and pay attention to how he/she answers. Some coaches are excellent sales people and will promise the moon but reveal themselves in vague answers or conflicting information. If possible talk to some of the players on the team who may be less polished and able to convey what it is like being at the school. On one of my son's visits a coach was attentive and personable on day one of the visit but by day two a few cracks were showing that indicated he may be impatient with his players. In the years that followed we noted this coach lost several players every year. Try not to get too emotionally involved at the outset. The ability to evaluate objectively will serve you well.

    4) Spend some time on the campus. Get a sense of the "vibe" and culture of the place you may end up spending the next four years of your life. Ask questions of the financial aid office, student life, and academic departments. Learn everything you can and don't be afraid to ask what is on your mind. Assumptions are at the heart of a lot of athletes leaving after a year or two.

    5) Make some notes about your visit and the pros/cons of each school afterward. Follow up with a thank you e-mail to the coach and if you are interested in pursuing further discussions, be clear about it.

    This list is certainly not exhaustive but it may give you a starting point. There are also people who work with recruits for a living. I have heard both positive and negative feedback about these individuals so you would likely want to do some background checks before signing up with a recruiting professional.
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  • zenatorzenator 69 replies4 threads Junior Member
    IMO, if your S or D is a potential college athlete, then the parents and the athlete need to gain an understanding of the recruiting process for his/her sport as soon as possible, since the timelines as well as the recruiting process differs greatly from sport to sport and from college to college depending upon applicable NCAA rules, conference rules etc. It gets even more complicated, when your S or D is a multi-sport athlete being pulled in different directions. Furthermore, there are a ton of unknowns. For example, it is very difficult to evaluate the athletic potential of an immature 15 year old in most cases, let alone predict future academic performance etc. etc.

    I recommend that you first go on-line to gain a general familiarity with the process for the sport(s) played by your S or D. There may also be available books on the subject, depending on the sport and conference. Speak to a coaches as well as former college athletes and/or their parents. It may all turn out for naught, since your S or D may lose interest in the sport, for example. But, if you do not do your homework early, then opportunities may unknowingly be lost.

    BTW, none of this is true, if your S or D is a dominant D1 athlete/ 5 star recruit type. For example, if your football playing S at 15 stands 6'5', weighs 250 LB, runs a 4.5 forty and performs on the field, then I suspect that colleges will come knocking on your door.
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  • tonymomtonymom 1119 replies55 threads Senior Member
    edited November 2015
    @zenator very helpful insights!
    This is more academic at this point as my son is already recruited athlete with LL slated for D1 Ivy next fall.
    I was rather attempting to get at what are realistic expectations to have of a HS athletic department. I have communicated to my son's school that they could improve upon their programs by having a dedicated point person who is knowledgable about the athletic recruiting process to assist student athletes and parents in navigating this complex process....
    Just wanted to gauge how realistic of a request that may be.
    I appreciate everyone's feedback here. Very helpful...
    edited November 2015
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  • fenwayparkfenwaypark 693 replies3 threads Member
    edited November 2015
    As any reader of this forum can tell, the recruiting process for each sport is different and requires a specialized set of experience/expertise.

    I think it would be a tall order for a single point person to be able to help athletes across the range of sports...especially in a public school, and even in a private school.

    One thing schools could do is compile a library of resources successfully relied on by athletes who graduated from the school and went on to compete at the college level, for subsequent student-athletes to refer to and possibly use on their own.
    edited November 2015
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 23372 replies17 threads Senior Member
    The school could also conduct a meeting for sophomores and juniors about the NCAA rules of recruiting, signing, what getting a scholarship means for merit aid or need based aid, what the NCAA clearinghouse is and when to submit the form.

    Our athletic department secretary did know a little, and submitted the transcripts to the clearing house, but didn't really know anything about how scholarships work or what to expect. I found that the most confusing - can you ask for more? can you accept scholarships, Pell grants, state aid?
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