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Forms from college coaches--Which truth to tell?

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Replies to: Forms from college coaches--Which truth to tell?

  • TheGFGTheGFG Registered User Posts: 6,219 Senior Member
    edited May 2017
    Yes, my older D's university sometimes did two meets on the same day, with the top talent going to one and the lower talent to another. Even her high school team, which has cuts, will put on the schedule varsity and sub-varsity meets so everyone can participate. So that is exactly why I was surprised to see the college coach say that it was totally possible that even recruited students might not make the team AT ALL. So the only new information the coach will have about my D since admissions to help him decide who is selected to come early to summer training camp will be the log showing the training miles and workouts she ran, and the questionnaire.
  • BobcatPhoenixBobcatPhoenix Registered User Posts: 128 Junior Member
    @gardenstategal, Syracuse does it a couple of times per season for women's lax. Not sure about others.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 19,549 Senior Member
    Syracuse (Gary Gait) was the first to do the double scheduling for women's lax. Gary always figures out the loopholes) and others in D1 and D2 have caught on. Most only do it 2-3 times per year. Another way around the 17 play date rule is to schedule scrimmages, but those are usually against a newr team and are usually blow outs; those game stats aren't official and don't count.

    It seems to be done mainly by the highest ranked programs because they have really big rosters and they have the money to host two games in one day.
  • dadof4kidsdadof4kids Registered User Posts: 480 Member
    I get while you're worried, I'm always paranoid about stuff like that too. And one of my kids does have in mind games coach on her club team that I have to deal with. However, looking at it from the outside I would be very very surprised if a top recruit didn't make the team unless it was clear she either wasn't trying or there was some serious problem. The bottom line is that his job depends on winning. And he's not going to keep it very long if he recruits people that don't even make the roster. He saw something in your daughter I would assume longer-term potential wise then just what she can run over this summer. My guess is he's doing it as a bit of a scare tactic. Personally my kids and I hate dealing with coaches like that, we've had experiences both ways. I think when you get to that level almost everyone is internally motivated enough they don't need that level of intimidation. But everybody's different.

    In my opinion you've got a huge advantage that it's an objective sport like track. There may be a little bit of judgement for who has more long-term potential, but bottom line there is a number on the board, and if hers is lower than everyone else's doesn't really matter if the coach likes her. She still going to stay on the team. My experience is with is a wrestler, not quite as cut-and-dried but pretty close. The mentality in that sport is if you want my spot you have to beat me. My daughter plays soccer, and there's a lot more squishy decisions involved. But I would be surprised if there's a lot of squishy decisions made in track.
  • takeitallintakeitallin Registered User Posts: 3,378 Senior Member
    I too get why you are worried. To have to have another "try-out" in order to actually make the team is a little scary in that a small injury or an off-day could end up impacting whether or not she makes the team.

    " Heck, my older D who ran for a top Div. 1 program and who WAS actually at the bottom of their talent pool and not a scholarship athlete, was still never told she had to try out all over again. And she certainly didn't have to prove herself before she even got on campus." I think the difference is the fact that D3 does not actually sign recruits in the same fashion as D1. As you know, D1 can formally commit to an athlete, offer money and usually recruits much earlier than D3. In this day and age, D1 pretty much has their roster set before the start of the year (and usually much earlier) and rarely gives walk-ons much of a chance. On the other hand, D3 does not involve any formal commitment by either the coach or the athlete. Depending on the school, D3 could potentially have an unknown athlete show up at the beginning of the season, have a phenomenal try-out and bump out a "recruited athlete. The chances of this happening are not huge but it does happen. It sounds like your daughter is a hard worker and the chance of this happening to her is very small, but it does add that unknown that is a little nerve-racking! I think the best thing she can do is answer the questions honestly. If she second guesses the coach's intent behind his questions and answers the way she thinks he would like, she may end up with answers that neither she or the coach like. I hate questionnaires like that- unless the coach is a trained psychologist, I really doubt that he is getting much insight into your daughters make-up based on her answers! Nothing like adding a little more pressure to an already tough process! Best wishes to her!!!!
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 4,557 Senior Member
    @Chembiodad , I see that on Midd's website now. Everything else about it looks pretty hush hush - no roster, no schedule. Who else does this? I'm learning a lot today!
  • ChembiodadChembiodad Registered User Posts: 2,435 Senior Member
    @gardenstategal, I know Williams does as well, probably Tufts - figure the top ranked programs probably do it
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 4,557 Senior Member
    Tufts does not (unless it is secret.). But I know they did have formal JV teams "back in the day".
  • TheGFGTheGFG Registered User Posts: 6,219 Senior Member
    So I figure the "why do you run?" question should be answered in a way that reflects intrinsic rather than extrinsic motivation. Any ideas for what sort of athletic accomplishment she should highlight, assuming she has no preference among several?
  • politepersonpoliteperson Registered User Posts: 198 Junior Member
    I've seen similar questions used by HS and club running coaches, usually just to get to know an athlete's personality. Often, they don't get any responses, which also indicates something. I'd just take them at face value and be honest.

    In addition to a motivation tool, is it possible that some of this is related to the loose definition of 'recruited' in D3? The coach probably talked with a wide range of athletes during the admissions process, perhaps ranging from sub 19 to 25+ min 5k runners. Perhaps the same letter goes to all of them, and the intent is to make clear that there will be some filtering. That probably means finding ways to filter out the 25+ min girls (or whatever the relevant time is for that team). Not many D3 programs can afford to 'cut' girls running decent times (even if slower at an out of season time trial). Also, some of the girls this coach talked to in the fall will have since decided not to continue running (even if they don't say so). He needs to know that asap, and some of these tools are more effective than simply asking.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 19,549 Senior Member
    Absolutely understand the 'now I'm worried' situation. The summer before freshman year, my daughter worried about making the team and if she'd be picked to play at all. She was not prepared to be on the bench and picked this team and this school because she thought she'd play a lot, but was still worried. The summer after freshman year, she worried about being a starter, about whether some incoming freshman would take her spot. The worry is always there.

    What can be done? Show up prepared. Complete the summer training program. That's all she really can do.

    I agree that the coaches don't want to drop recruits. Even though D3 athletes haven't received money, the coaches have used a slot or nod or tip to get the athlete admitted to the school, and they don't want to waste that. Coaches are also building a continuing team, so won't cut all the freshmen even if the upper classmen are faster because they need the freshmen to be the experienced runners next year, and for the year after that.
  • ChembiodadChembiodad Registered User Posts: 2,435 Senior Member
    @TheGFG, which conference is your DD running in as my DD (also a XC/track student athlete) was also recruited by a NCAC conference school that mentioned a preseason training camp? My DD decided on a NESCAC school and they can't do them, although DD's school starts earlier so they get a jump on the others.
  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys Registered User Posts: 3,687 Senior Member
    To the OP: the coach letter which referred to possibility of not making team, was it a letter to all incoming freshman, or all current and incoming athletes? I ask because my kid's D3 soccer coach has talked about mandatory standards and that not all players will make team etc.. After a nervous summer, we realized that communication was really directed more at the upperclass students who might be inclined to slack off and come into pre-season not match fit. If there were statements made by the coach about her role in freshman year, I understand your unease but would take some comfort in whatever those were.

    That being said, my interpretation would be that what matters is her performance in the timed trials and preseason (recognizing the nervousness that can go with that) rather than her answers to what makes her run and her favorite events. I'd be honest in answering those question but put the answers in the best light -- if she likes to run because she is good, practice makes her very good, and she likes the certainty of the clock -- then those all sounds like great answers. I'd definitely be honest about her favorite events -- but be strategic, perhaps including a relay event which shows off her teamwork, as well as individual events which show off her hard work and talent.

    And we've realized, the worry doesn't stop after freshman year -- it just morphs into worry about playing time, starting, whether a hotshot recruit will claim your spot. . . . . hang in there.
  • TheGFGTheGFG Registered User Posts: 6,219 Senior Member
    edited May 2017
    Thanks so all. D just sent off the form, giving an intrinsic answer for the "why do you run?" question, and relay team-based answer for her favorite athletic accomplishment.

    D will be in the Centennial Conference. The letter went out to all freshmen who stated they were interested in being on the xc team. The upperclassmen may have been sent a similar motivational letter, but they were not on the mailing this for this particular one. The coach said he expected to have a large team this year and therefore would have to be selective. Actually, I should mention that the existence of a summer training camp totally took us by surprise. At the college's xc and track recruiting event we had specifically asked the coach about whether there would be a summer training camp, since D needed to plan her Aug. work schedule and get plane tickets. The coach said no, but then this letter came talking about bringing kids early for training. Sigh.

    I am sure you can all understand why D is now a bit concerned. When you are not in the top group from the start, it is very hard to get off the bench/sidelines in a sport. In fact, since you receive less attention and less competition time, you can easily fall even farther behind than where you started. My main worry stems from the fact that D is a stronger track runner (mid-distance) than she is a cross country runner, though she is decent at both. since the fall season provides base for the indoor and outdoor track seasons, missing out on that to any degree would definitely impact her ability to then make the track teams too.

    That said, I took the letter as being mostly a scare tactic, and suspect D will be fine in the end. Adding to my worry is the fact D will be living away from home in a hot climate this summer and working outside 8 hours a day. So getting in good training will be tougher than usual. My pep talks to her have already started!
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 19,549 Senior Member
    Being in shape when arriving is very important, especially for a fall sport. You'd think it would go without saying that when the coach sends out a training packet, the team members and recruits should complete it, but they don't. The ones who do are the ones who play. The others should be worried that a freshman will take their spots.

    As midwest mom says, the worrying never stops, just changes focus (captain? playing time? all American?).
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