The college recruiting process can be a daunting effort if it's not executed with organization and enthusiasm from start to finish. As a coach of a Division I team for 19 years, I would say that roughly 75 percent of my former student-athletes gained entry to a university because, in part, they were viewed as "special interest."
I've learned firsthand what works and what doesn't, so in the next few weeks, I'll share different ways to maximize your chances for gaining admission to your top college choice. Be sure to check back each week for new tips, like the three below.
Gathering information is critical to the successful organization of any worthy project. Building a college recruiting information base can begin as early as ninth grade and grow into a highly-organized, disciplined project by the end of your junior year.
Begin by gathering information on your colleges of choice, including team and coach profiles, statistics, rankings and academic offerings. Continue to update files about your favorite college programs.
Build your team
Parents, high school/club coach, college adviser, guidance counselor and personal mentors should all be part of your college recruiting process team. Each team player will have a specific role to play in overseeing the following:
• Financial aid/scholarships
• Development of target calendar
• Research (schools, majors, athletic programs, rankings)
• Video and profile development
• Planned communication and contact log
• Campus visits
• Scheduling standardized testing
• Organizing communication "role play"
• Researching college profiles and determining potential compatibility
With the team approach, responsibilities are equally distributed to the area experts. All assignments should be clearly spelled out, and communication between the team members should be frequent and consistent. This will help streamline the college quest and assist in avoiding any confusion that could contribute to unclear thinking, misdirection and potentially poor choices.
Develop and execute your plan
Develop a timeline that targets general activities at the beginning of the college search—such as making unofficial visits, maintaining a database of potential schools, and attending competitions. Then, as time progresses, add more specific events—such as compiling video and player profiles, communicating with coaches, and making official visits. This will increase your chances of "hitting targets" throughout the process.
Tom Kovic, a former Division I college coach, is director of Victory Collegiate Consulting, where he advises and consults with individual families on college recruiting. For further information, visit victoryrecruiting.com.
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