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Beginning the recruiting process

TipDKATipDKA Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
Mom of a rising junior here who has a Triple jump PR of 44.2 and a 92 avg. Taking SAT this August. Where do we begin as far a contacting coaches?


Replies to: Beginning the recruiting process

  • 3kidsMultipleSports3kidsMultipleSports Registered User Posts: 147 Junior Member
    edited July 2017
    You'll get lots of good advice here. My experience, make a list of schools that are a good fit for your student/family and not just sports. What school has the major (or majors in case they change their mind) that your student wants. What schools would be a good fit even if the sports don't work out (now, in the future due to injury, coach change, etc). Which schools offer the sport at the level of your athlete (D1, D2, D3, NAIA, etc). In our case, our oldest was a NAIA level athlete, great GPA, lower ACT test scores (just not a great test taker). Once we got going we realized the areas he was interested in were not available at a lot of the schools we had been targeting or had been targeting him. He ended up changing his focus and found a good fit for him both with sports and academics. Once you have a "list" - then the athlete starts emailing the coaches. Make the email specific to the school. Talk about themselves as a student and athletic accomplishments. What about that particular school/program makes them interested (close to home, far from home, family or friend went there, has major you want, research opportunities, etc). Then stay in touch with regular (but not overbearing) emails to those programs. Update on stats - improved SAT, had a great indoor season, etc. Hope that helps!
  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys Registered User Posts: 3,768 Senior Member
    Start by figuring out the kind of school -- size, programs, geography -- that might be of interest, recognizing that your son's preferences will evolve. Educate yourself about college costs and financing -- run the Net Price Calculator on a few sample types of schools -- to see whether your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is affordable. College athletics, outside of football and basketball, are not a sea of money waiting to land in your lap (and even those sports aren't, but for athletes receiving scholarships, they get 100% scholarship, not partial). Then, start researching the rosters and results for sample schools to see where your kid lines up in terms of results. I don't pretend to know anything about track and field recruiting, so am no help on specifics.

    Once you have identified a list of possible schools, work with your kid to craft an email from him to coaches expressing interest, identifying academic strengths and achievements (gpa/rigor of curriculum, any test scores), and identifying why kid is interested in that specific school (location, signature academic programs, etc), plus his athletic achievements. If there is a recruiting questionnaire on the team website, complete that to get into the coach's database. Stay in touch periodically when there is news to report, academic or athletic. During junior year, start visiting some of these schools to get a feel for the coach and programs, as well as the academics.

    It is a long process, even for D3 athletes. Organization --spread sheets -- helps.
  • gointhruaphasegointhruaphase Registered User Posts: 473 Member
    Here is what I would be doing:

    1. If you don't have video of your rising junior, buy a cheap HD video camera and tripod and tape events. I was surprised to learn that coaches are interested in tapes of even timed events, like swimming. Honestly, it makes sense, but I hadn't thought about it. The earlier you start with taping, the better. It can show development.

    2. Draft up a college CV. Include GPA, scores, sports, awards, achievements, employment, interests, ECs. This will be revised as things evolve, but it is a good idea to get the first draft started.

    3. Make your list of potential colleges, using @Midwestmomofboys' suggestions as criteria, but err on the side of inclusion. You never know where you are going to find traction.

    4. Ask high school and/or club coaches if they will be a reference for college.

    5. Ask high school registrar for an unofficial transcript.

    6. Fill out the recruiting sheets (most are electronic) for the colleges in point no. 2. It is possible that you get no coach response to these, but it is a first step. Sometimes, you get an automatic electronic response. Make a chart of your recruiting profiles. You may want to include coach communications in the chart (although as things pick up, it can be daunting to keep track of).

    7. Then send the email that @Midwestmomofboys suggests to the coaches in point no. 2. Don't just wait for a response. Send updates of academic and athletic achievements at an interval of between once or twice a month. You can use the cv, transcript and video as separate "reasons" to email. New video? New email. Win an event? New email. Going to visit the college? New email (also ask if you can meet with the coach during the visit).

    Obviously, if you get encouraging responses, the dialogue will be more frequent that once or twice a month. Just keep at it. Recruiting is a lot of work, but can be very rewarding.
  • ChembiodadChembiodad Registered User Posts: 2,435 Senior Member
    XC/track coaches at many of the top D3 schools don't have to spend much time, if any, recruiting as the student athletes target them. That's not to say that they don't get top caliber athletes as many competing on NESCAC and Centennial teams could compete on many, many D1 teams, but as they are students first and athletes second and don't need scholarships they are hunting the coaches themselves.

    So, be very, very proactive and if the coaches are interested they'll let you know - quickly.
  • CALSmomCALSmom Registered User Posts: 748 Member
    @TipDKA to help narrow down school choices, a look at 2017 NCAA D2 Outdoor qualifying TJ standards are 51'8" automatic and 47'9" provisional. Maybe target D3 programs. Use some free recruiting sites to get your stats out there such as be recruited. Any views of your son's profile will help gauge level of interest and from what types of schools.

    D2 stats from 2017:

    D3 stats from 2016:
  • ChembiodadChembiodad Registered User Posts: 2,435 Senior Member
    edited July 2017
    @TipDKA, attached are the D3 Centennial and NESCAC Championships Qualifying Standards, as well as the 2017 NESCAC Championship results - a 44' PR is in the hunt.



    For D3, it's going to come down to ACT/SAT scores. The highly selective schools are going to be looking for a 30/31 as a slotted recruit and then it goes down from there as selectivity drops - 2-3 points below the avg. ACT for each school should be safe as a slotted athlete.
  • politepersonpoliteperson Registered User Posts: 217 Junior Member
    Good info so far. I wouldn't be too quick to exclude D1 if that's what he wants. Rising junior with room to grow could improve several feet every year. If he's in the 47ish range next track season he'll be in the top 30-40 juniors in the nation, and in some states would contend for a state title. That could get D1 interest though perhaps not money. Not a sure thing, obviously, but a lot of physical maturation can happen with junior boys. Now, if your son already looks like a fully grown man then the ceiling may be lower.
  • ChembiodadChembiodad Registered User Posts: 2,435 Senior Member
    Agree. 11th grade is usually the pivotal year for boys; for girls it's usually 10th grade. In NJ, a 44' is 13th for Junior, a 47' is 3rd; a 44' is only 25th for a Senior, a 47' is 5th - a big leap if it can be achieved.
  • CALSmomCALSmom Registered User Posts: 748 Member
    ^^but if OP is planning to reach out to coaches now (rather than waiting until after her son's junior year of T&F season) I suggest contacting only those schools with programs that are a realistic fit with his current PR. If he does have a stellar junior season in 2018 then yes contacting some D1 coaches would make sense. Otherwise he probably wouldn't hear anything from them at this point as college T&F coaches are busy with recruiting current seniors for OVs
  • ChembiodadChembiodad Registered User Posts: 2,435 Senior Member
    Agree with @CALSmom as coaches can't rely on prospects punching above their weight. DS should be contacting coaches this Fall in anticipation of being able to share Indoor Season and then Outdoor Season results to start to secure interest for conversations that will start in earnest next July.
  • OnTrack2013OnTrack2013 Registered User Posts: 239 Junior Member
    All great advice given, and I want to emphasize to not eliminate any school or division based on performance to date, since he is only a rising junior. My son is a D1 vertical jumper, and improved dramatically in hs from his sophomore to senior year. See where your son ranks on class year lists and don’t worry too much about comparing to college results yet until you see how his junior year goes. Boys mature at different rates and in a skill event not all athletes progress consistently, coaches know that. A real crude way to look at divisions is that in D1 athletes were going to national level meets by their senior year in hs, for D2 they were state meet contenders and D3 has a broad mix depending on the school and conference. The whole back half of the field and all of the average performers from hs just don’t compete in college anymore, but being a solid performer at an event has as much, if not more value to a coach than a kid with a great PR that foals out at most meets.

    Start capturing video now and send a link to the video (you can post on YouTube) in your email, so coaches can see technique. They will verify results on the internet, but will want to know if PRs where a miracle from above or just a taste or what is still to come if he were to join their program. You can send new links if he sets a new PR, but we have found if coaches are interested they will start watching results lists.

    Set realistic expectations on what you are looking for out of recruiting, for both of you. Is he looking to gain admission into a school for which he might not be admitted if it weren’t for track or is he looking to compete on a team regardless of how much or little, he may get in athletic money. It helps if the family has a budget in mind for school costs. For a one event track athlete, full rides are not likely, partials are the norm, but there is a huge range depending on the needs of any given program. Your goal should be to reach out to enough schools that he will be on the radar for a coach that knows he will need a jumper in two years. I don’t know the triple jump world, but if it is like my son’s event, there will be coaches that have that event as their focus. Try to seek out coaches that know what they are doing, specialty event coaches tend to know each other, and reach out broadly, since you never know what the situation will be. Coaches move a lot and they also talk to each other.

    Personally we found the questionnaires to be a waste of time, and got the best results from targeted emails. I made my son fill out the online info forms every time he got a letter requesting him to do so, and they don’t cost anything, but just don’t rely on that as your only way to contact a school/coach.
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