What is a pre-read?

I apologize in advance as we are new to the recruiting process:

What is considered a pre-read? My S21 got some attention from a few coaches and they have asked for transcripts and a brief resume.

He has been in contact via email and phone. Is this a pre-read?

Can my S21 ask where he sits on his recruiting list or is that frowned upon? Is it too direct?

What are important questions to ask the coach in regards to his recrutment? (so we know he is truly being sought)

Should parents get involved with recruiting or leave it in the hands of the athlete and coach?

I would appreciate any good information. As a parent I want to do as much but then don’t want to overstep boundaries.

Thank you.

@Ohiodad51 should be able to point you in the right direction.

I think this thread might give you good insight to how the process works. https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/athletic-recruits/2191434-help-bad-preread-results.html#latest

Thank you…just read that. Is a “pre-read” something my S21 should ask for directly to the coach or is he already in the pre-read since the coaches requested transcripts and brief resume? One coach ask for a school profile and his senior course load. Is this routine or puts him on a more sought after category for recruiting. Sorry again for the newb questions.

A pre read is an initial look at your son’s academics either by the coaching staff or an admissions liaison to the athletic department. It is designed to ensure he is recruitable given the school’s academic standards applied to that sport/recruit. Pre reads seem most common among highly selective schools (high academic recruiting), less so in others. It is a somewhat formal process in the Ivy, where it is likely that a recruit will have an initial pre read at the beginning of his recruiting journey and then a more formal one following July 1 as he prepares for his senior year. Other conferences/schools have somewhat less formal standards for pre reads. I assume that since the coaches asked for grades and a resume they intend to run some sort of pre read on him.

I think the initial stages of recruiting are too early to start asking questions about where your son slots on the boards of various schools. Spend the first little bit taking everything in. Over a bit of time, it will become clearer which schools are most interested. Once it is established that there is sincere interest on both sides questions like “what do I have to do to earn an offer” or “can you tell me how many people you are recruiting for my position” are appropriate I think. Ask specific, factual questions and listen closely to the answers. It has been my experience that most coaches are honest, and while they all want a recruit to have a favorable impression of where he slots, very few if any will outright lie.

I am also a big proponent of the recruit running the recruitment. I tried to help my son by feeding him data, suggesting ways to frame questions and maybe giving him general impressions. But unless the topic was finances, my comments/discussions with the coaches recruiting him were limited to pleasantries.

There is a lot of experience collected on this board, and several posters who are very generous with their knowledge. If you can provide some more detail about types of school, sport, NCAA division, etc you will likely get some more specific advice.

I also have an S21 just going through this process, so I know a bit, but not as much as those that have been there and already done that.

First, the single best thing you can do is go to the Athletic Recruits forum and read every thread about pre-reads. It is a tremendous resource,.

As for your situation, it depends on the school. Not every school does a pre-read fyi. In my experience, though, coaches don’t want to waste time on a kid who can’t get admitted to their school. So they ask for grades/scores to see if the kid has a chance, or is a nonstarter. Usually they are familiar with what the Admissions Offices will require, though, obviously, they are not the Admissions Office.

So, just asking for grades is not a preread. My son has had a handful of pre-reads, and in those cases, the coach explicitly said “I will submit your materials to Admissions for a pre-read”. Although all of them had my son’s grades already, each sent an email asking for several documents: an official transcript of his grades through junior year, a school profile, any SAT/ACT scores, a graded paper (probably b/c this year not everyone has test scores), and in one case, a resume of my son’s extracurricular activities.

Your son should be the one communicating with the coaches and asking questions at this point. It is absolutely fine for him to ask where he stands. Clearly the coaches are interested because they are in conversation with him. My son would ask “Can you tell me where you are in your recruiting process?” as a way to see where he fell in the mix. He could also ask something like “Can you tell me about the pre-read process?” I know my son would not want to ask a more direct question, like, “can you tell me where I am in your recruiting list?” but I suspect that question would be fine.

Another helpful thing, if applicable, is to have your son’s coach reach out to the college coaches. They can have a more frank talk and your son’s coach can advocate for him. (If it’s a sport where this would be applicable).

For schools that do pre-reads, I believe it is a two step process. First, the player has to be offered a pre-read, and Admissions has to say that the player would be admitted if the coach wants them. (At this point the coach would let your son know that he passed the preread, or didn’t). Secondly, the coach then has to make an offer, and say explicitly “You have a spot on the team and I will support your application with admissions”. Not everyone that passes a pre-read gets an offer. At the point that an offer is made, that’s the time (I think) that a parent could get involved and make sure the player has understood the situation.

My S21 is a swimmer and has good grades but due to Covid hasn’t been able to take the SAT. He wants to go D1 but the D3 schools have been most active. He has a 3.9 GPA UW and has taken 4 AP’s. My son doesn’t want to be disrespectful but I tell him he should be direct with the coach(es).

I agree with everything @Ohiodad51 wrote, and only differ very slightly on semantics.

To avoid confusion, I think it’s helpful to say a preread is only done by the Admissions Office. It is not something done by a coach. Only Admissions can determine if a kid passes the pre-read.

Coaches do not have unlimited pre-reads they can request, so they don’t want to waste a pre-read spot on a kid that has zero chance of getting admitted. That is why coaches ask for grades early on. They want to know if a kid is in the range.

But again, as OhioDad says, not every school does a pre-read. It could be that at such a school the coach is very familiar w/the academic standards needed and can make an offer w/o getting a preread from Admissions. (and in that case, you would want to be asking questions like "how many athletes that you’ve supported have not been admitted, etc).

Agree with ohiodad and cinnamon feedback. It is appropriate for your S to ask where he stands in the recruiting list, and he can ask for a pre-read. If he already sent transcripts, etc. he can ask “does that mean admissions will be doing a pre-read?” and/or “what are the next steps?”

Use collegeswimming dot com to help target schools where his events and times are a fit. Where does his coach seem him best fitting in?

Does he have a good PSAT test score? If so, definitely communicate that to the coach.

Remember there are no athletic scholarships at D3 schools, so make sure any schools on the list look to be affordable per the net price calculators.

I really appreciate all these responses and will forward it on to my S21.

Absolutely agree with this. A point to make to your son if he is worried about being too direct is that coaches recruit a large number of kids, every cycle. Most are very busy, and generally need to be completely unemotional about recruiting. So being clear & organized in his communications doesn’t have to be seen as disrespectful. Quite the opposite imho. It is simply a recognition that the coach has a lot of demands on his time, and that your son doesn’t want to waste it.

That said, I wouldn’t wholesale disregard schools on athletic grounds just yet. It may be that if he wants to swim in college his best avenue to do that is in D3. Let the picture clarify a bit before you decide to cut off whole divisions. As an example, my son visited a D3 NESCAC in the middle of visiting two different Ivy’s, one for the second time. He was not enthused about playing in D3, but he liked the academics at the school and the coaching staff. While we only visited once, he did not cut off contact with them until after he received his likely letter. Recruiting is fluid, and there is no point in burning bridges until you are sure you won’t need it.

Good clarification. I was referring to what we sometimes colloquially call an “early read” here, which occurs in the Ivy (and probably other high academic schools) at the outset of the recruiting process. In my experience with my son, this was done by either an AD employee who was a liaison to admissions, or an admissions employee who was a liaison to the AD’s office. I think that is the stage @FullSquishy’s son is at. But yeah, I agree that at least in the Ivy, the formal pre read is done by admissions, after July 1 heading into a recruit’s senior year.

Hope you’re doing well. JUst wanted to input my thoughts about the process. I am a rising HS senior and I also was going through the recruiting process. I decided to ease off of my recruiting, as I have been focusing more on academics. However, I did go through this process and agree with what ohiodad and cinnamon. Prereads are a was for coaches to determine whether admissions would allow recruitment based off of your academics. They aren’t necessarily a sign that your kid will get recruited, but it means the coach thinks they have the potential and want to make sure that it is “safe” for them to continue the recruiting process. I hope you kid has a fulfilling recruiting process. I understand how confusing and anxiety-inducing it can be, but just go with the flow. Remember to be respectful with the coaches, NEVER make contact with the coach yourself (your kid has to do it by himself), and just stay positive. :slight_smile:

Many kids in high school don’t want to “bother” coaches, or perhaps they think repeated communications are disrespectful. But, particularly at the D3 level, it is helpful for coaches to see sincere interest on the part of recruits. Assume for the sake of argument that a coach has submitted 25 athletes to admissions for pre-reads. Further assume that 5 will come back without a green light. There is a reason why the coach submits that many pre-read requests when the coach can only support 5 recruits. A good portion of the athletes will attend a different college.

Demonstrating interest to a coach is particularly important at the margins. If recruit nos. 5-10 are essentially the same in ability, showing a desire to attend the school is crucial in obtaining that last spot. What coach wouldn’t want that kid who really, really wants to be on the team and really wants to attend the school, compared with the kid who views the school as a back-up. Compare the kid who has sent 20 emails to a coach to one who has only filled out the recruiting questionnaire. In most instances, the former will be viewed more favorably.

I see no problem with asking if the coach has requested a pre-read and, if the recruit is serious about the school, asking the coach to request a pre-read. If the coach says “no,” then you know exactly where you stand.

Once the results of a pre-read are conveyed, a recruit should ask “what are the next steps?” In the olden days, questions about admission could be posed during OV meetings. With Covid, however, there may be no OV invitations and you may have to ask about admission when the coach offers his or her support by text/phone.

@FullSquishy D1 recruiting for this class started last summer and many highly ranked programs already have full rosters. Also, D1 is in a dead period and coaches can only communicate by email, phone, text. That said, Covid could change the picture for many recruits, spots could open up, and even in normal years, I have seen some great swimmers not commit until spring.
D3 is running pre-reads now, and very actively communicating and encouraging ED.
Your S should feel confident that now is the right time to initiate conversations and start asking questions, showing interest.

Thanks for all the great information!

Withcovid, the normal recruiting process has been totally altered. Went through the swim recruiting process with three of my kids. Two of my boys swam NESCAC, the youngest just graduated. My third swims in a different conference and is getting ready to start her second year. That being said, the PreRead in the NESCAC was essential to get you on campus for a recruiting trip. They do not want to waste time without admissions giving the green light. As others have said, it is not a guarantee of admissions, but it does say that there are no immediate red flags.
Your child can ask direct questions, you just might not get a straight answer. You can ask things like, with my GPA and my test scores what is your percentage of getting your swimmers accepted? Also, look on each schools site, see what majors the swimmers have. If your kid is a PreMed kid and there are no science majors thats probably not the best place to attend.
Message me with any questions
Enjoy the process