What to say to other coaches?

My DD found out today that she got a positive pre-read from her first choice NESCAC school. She hasn’t had a chance to visit, but what she loves about the school is that it is top ranked academically and has a really good program for her sport (Track & Field). She plans to do pre-med (for now), and she thinks a small LAC would be great for that. She’s talked with the head coach and the event coach, and she is enthusiastic about their coaching philosophy and experience. We also like the balance at D3 schools which seem to place academics above athletics. This school will want her to apply ED, and she is planning to.

The question is, what should she say to the other coaches who should be getting back to her shortly with the results of their pre-read? A few of them (highly ranked D3’s) have already told her she’s a top recruit for them. Does she admit to them that they are all her 2nd choice? I’m assuming they will eventually ask. Does she not need to say anything if they don’t ask? Also, what if she changes her mind with school #1 for some reason? At what point is it bad form to let the coach know that she will no longer be applying ED? That’s not her plan right now, but I’m just wondering, especially since we don’t have a chance to visit all these schools while class is in session, and I can’t stop hoping that maybe Harvard, Yale, Princeton or Stanford might miraculously decide they want to recruit her to raise their academic API. (She’s got high stats, but she’s not good enough in her sport alone to be recruited). But I think this is coming more from me than from her because she seems pretty excited about her first choice school.

This is completely new to us so we’d love to learn from your experience.

Following, I have the same question.

So, first off I also have a 2021, and also want to hear from people who have been through this. Having done a lot of research, I think I understand the landscape, though.

Does she have an offer from the 1st choice school? If yes, she accepts and tells the other coaches, and also asks them if she can be back in touch if anything changes.

If she does not yet have an offer, I’ve told my son to say that a school is “in my top 3” or “top two”. Would love to know if this is a good strategy!

How you handle this has a lot to do with personal values. You will find answers all over the lot on CC, from affirmatively reaching out to all the schools to tell them of the commitment to mum is the word. For protocol, I lean to the business world and how one would handle multiple job offers. We tended to play the cards close to the vest.

If the results of the pre-read come by email or text, I see no reason that you could not respond with a “That’s great. Thank you for letting me know.” I don’t think you should lie, so if school no. 3 or 4 on the list asks affirmatively for a commitment, you may need to put your cards on the table. However, I see no reason why you need to reach out to other schools to tell them that you have committed elsewhere. Remember there have been times where at the last minute a coach has had a D1 recruit drop into his or her lap. You don’t hear of a coach saying that he or she has had to withdraw support. Rather, they bump a recruit down on the list and continue with “soft support,” which may be the equivalent of no support at all. One of our strategies when asked where the school stood was to respond with “it is one of my top schools, if not the top school.”

The one thing I will say is to try to avoid letting your D know that you think an Ivy would be better than her first choice d3 school. It might be, but then again it might not be. She needs to decide the best fit, and even without sport, she might be happier at her first choice school.

Is she being recruited by these schools? If not, there is no chance they will suddenly decide to recruit her. They might say if she gets in on her own she can join the team (unlikely at Stanford because PAC12 T&F is on a different level) but even that is iffy.

It sounds like she wants to be a recruited athlete, and that will happen now, not waiting for a RD admittance and then walking onto the team.

Congrats to all of them parents here who have children that earned the good feedback.

A pre-read is not anything like the d1 recruiting process and offer. It means that at first review they have the academic confidence that your student has the capability and would be strongly considered for admission.

Do not say anything to the other coaches about that school and don’t say anything to create a false expectation.

Say that it’s fantastic news and you’re looking forward to continuing the dialogue as the summer progresses. There’s obviously a lot of issues right now from the individual schools approach to campus life, athletics in general at d3 schools and travel etc in the time of covid 19.

Some schools seem to reevaluating their relationship with athletics in relation to admission at the d3 level. Just keep your options open despite the obvious excitement you are feeling.

Also the world is replete with pre read applicants who are ultimately not admitted and coaches who go cold late in the game when something else emerges as an opportunity.

It should all be great for you in the end, but simply be polite and thankful. Keep the ball moving down the field.

@cinnamon1212 summed it up pretty well. I think it’s usually a good idea for recruits to take some time to make a decision. But once the coach has offered full support and the recruit has committed to accept that support and apply early, the recruit should let the other coaches know a commitment has been made. I’d just tell the other coaches she loves their programs but the first choice school feels like a better fit.

Most of the track coaches know each other really well and talk all the time. Commitments tend to get around.

Agree with twoinanddone that Stanford isn’t going to call. There is zero overlap between D3 and Stanford track athletes.

Yes. Agree 100 percent. Once it’s progressed it becomes much more focused.

It still doesn’t mean a student can’t decide to apply to other schools like Stanford in lieu of sports. But thats risky of course.

I would probably choose Amherst williams etc anyway

However It’s the student’s life and d3 sports should not be the only focus for students at this caliber of academic talent.

For me personally, my sport was the only way I would be admitted to the Nescac schools. Imho.

That doesn’t seem like the case here.

@cinnamon1212 - she doesn’t have an offer letter yet. She told the coach yesterday that she would love to attend the school. Then he told her that her stats were in the range of his support and he said he would go back to admissions and continue with something and that she should be getting a green light and can talk about her plans for applying ED. I thought her passing the pre-read was the green light, but I guess there’s something more to it. So it sounds very positive, but since it is D3, I heard we won’t know for sure until we get the official letter from the Admissions office, which is a long time to wait.

It sounds very positive. And certainly should lead to a great outcome. My only point is to not take that conversation and discuss it with all the other coaches until it progresses to the next level. But don’t bs the other coaches either. Just be polite and keep the dialogue going without overstating your interest is all.

Good luck. And perhaps track and field is different than the helmet sports I’m familiar with - in that case maybe it’s much more specific and guaranteed as others are suggesting. I don’t know anything about that community or process.

OK – and again, I also have a child just going through this process, so with that caveat – I believe the way the process works is this:

The coach submits a bunch of kids for prereads to see if they are admissible. “A bunch” because the number varies by school and by sport. In soccer I’ve been told it can be 25 in July and another 25 August - November. So 50 prereads. And this coach has 6 spots to offer. (that is, six players whose application he will support through admissions).

So you can see that passing the preread is just the first hurdle. I’d guess that of those 50 prereads that coach submits, not everyone passes. So let’s say there are 40 that do pass. But the coach only has 6 places to offer. So he makes offers to the top 6 recruits (or the top 2, and holds the rest of the offers back, I don’t know, and suspect again, it varies by program).

The coach needs to say “You have a spot on the team, and I will support your application with admissions”. And it is probably a good idea to ask clarifying questions, like “how many applicants that you’ve supported have been denied?” etc.

Offers are not done via letter, they are done in person, or nowadays, over the phone or on a zoom call.

From what you have written, I read that as the coach saying your daughter has a very good chance of passing the preread, but he has not yet been given the green light from Admissions. So she’s close but hasn’t yet passed the preread.

And, when the coach talks about your daughter’s plans for applying ED, sure, he’d love to have a player apply but the critical question is will he support her ED application? You need to specifically ask him that.

@cinnamon1212 yes. The numbers vary but that is spot on.

Also the admissions committees have the final say these days. And some schools and sports have stronger coaches support than others.

Yes, ,she definitely wants to be a recruited athlete at a top academic D3 school.

She is not being recruited the HYPS. I think they all wanted to see higher stats, which is a little tough since her Spring track season was cancelled and she got injured right after she was starting a huge upward trajectory in her performance as a Sophomore. So I was hoping that HYPS might look to her after they lose their first choice recruits and see her as someone with potential. Most athletes continue improving their junior and senior year, so it’s sad she didn’t have that opportunity this year

@MrsJayBird you have my commiseration! My son is somewhat similar – had he been able to play well this Spring, Ivy interest was likely. However . . .

I am trying to focus on the positives, which is that it is pretty amazing for him to be seriously considered by the D3 schools he’s being considered by.

And think about kids who were in the same position but one notch down – they might have had great Springs and been in contention at the schools where our kids are going through prereads.

My D21 is in almost the exact same boat (NESCAC T&F), although we’re being somewhat cavalier (as my mother would say) about it. She’s been corresponding with a few coaches and sent in pre-read info.

As is probably common, there is an inverse relationship between where she would most like to go and her actual ability to get in. If nothing else we’re hoping to use the pre-read as a guide to her potential ability to get into some of these schools unhooked.

The coaches do this year after year. They’re used to it. I would not give them any more information than need be, though. If they need to know something, they will ask. I told my D not to telegraph anything since these are very hard schools to get into and she may end up somewhere other than the #1 choice, whatever that turns out to be, so for now she needs to keep up appearances with all of them.

At some point you will probably have to have the “ED talk”. I would look for cues from the coach and put that off as long as you feel you can.

@MrsJayBird it sounds like perhaps the coach hasn’t yet explicitly committed to support her application? In that case I don’t think she’d need to disclose anything to other coaches. Just say she has it narrowed down to a few and hopes to decide by … (have a timeline in mind, which usually would be after a visit but this year I don’t know what’ll be happening). Sometimes the coach dictates the timeline, as in “I’ll give you until Friday.” It’s when the coach has said “I’ll support your application” and the recruit says yes that I think disclosure to other coaches is a good idea.

It’s definitely a tough year to be a recruit. My heart broke this spring every time I drove past an empty track with weeds growing in the long jump pit. I really feel for those student athletes. But D3 can be a great experience and if she really improves a lot, she’ll still have a chance to compete in some of the same meets that Ivy programs, Stanford, etc, attend.

Speaking of d3 v Ivy, a Williams soccer player just transferred to Yale.

This is such an exciting time! And I‘m going to sound like such a wet blanket. But I want to warn anyone whose kid is going to be recruited to be careful and check out the recruiting school’s commitment to the sport. My D18’s school (Brown) terminated her team with no warning, and there were even kids who are incoming freshmen who are recruits. Unbelievably for Brown, it’s not about Covid, but instead about reallocating resources away from smaller teams in order to deepen the bench for football and basketball so hopefully they will stop losing. Sour grapes for me. But for all of you, Covid has really negatively impacted a lot of schools’ resources, and multiple schools have already declared that they are getting rid of some teams. I bet there will be more. So I think it’s worthwhile to take a serious look at your proposed school’s commitment to your kid’s sport. Best of luck to your athletes!

A little OT but my D is a long jumper and goes down to the local HS a couple of times each week to practice. They had the good sense to put tarps over the pits (so no weeds, but lots of beetle-y bugs).

A few years ago before the tarps a Killdeer (look like shorebirds but live in office parks) built a nest in one of the pits. We used the other one, and gave the nest a wide berth, hoping it wouldn’t get taken out by a local predator. As far as we could tell it never did.