Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Questions to Ask when “Offered”

Posted on: August 3rd, 2014 by admin No Comments

In NCAA Division I, many if not most times an offer is just a way to trick unsavvy parents, kids, and advisers into believing that the school’s interest is legit. Here are some questions to ask to help you ferret out the true validity of the “offer.”

1. How many other kids have you offered at my position?  Have any of those kids been to your campus unofficially?  Do you have any unofficial or official visits set up with the other kids you’ve offered?  I’m going to talk to my parents about visiting campus unofficially- when would be a good time for us to come up?  It’s important to understand that most offers that are legit come with an invitation to visit campus ASAP- college coaches want to close the deal with their priority kids, and getting kids to campus is the best way to do that.

2. What would your thoughts be if I wanted to commit right now?  If they say they don’t accept commitments from kids who haven’t visited officially to meet the team, go to classes, because they care so much about you and this is too important of a decision to rush into anything, then you are not their priority target(s).

3. Do you think it would be OK for me to talk to the head coach in the next few days so he can personally offer me?  Obviously, this is only in the case that the offer comes from someone other than the head coach- some head coaches have very liberal policies when it comes to assistant coaches offering kids- sometimes, the head coach has no idea an offer was even made- but if you’re a priority, the head coach knows about the offer and would be on the phone in no time to offer you himself, if he weren’t the one who made the offer in the first place.

There are definitely many more good questions to ask- please offer feedback in the comments section so this blog can be more useful educationally… thanks for reading…

CRH Blog Post #20, Financial Aid vs. “Scholarships”

Posted on: February 7th, 2013 by admin No Comments

WAY too many parents, kids, and advisors (high school coaches, grassroots/club coaches, etc) get caught up in the word “scholarship” and/or a “free” education. In our opinion, the focus should be on finding a reasonably affordable situation where the school and program are the perfect fits for the prospect in question. First, it’s important to understand that due to the common practice of splitting scholarships, (outside of D1 men’s and women’s basketball plus D1 BCS football, most scholarships are partial scholarships, not full scholarships), many if not most “scholarships” do not in fact provide a “free” education.

But additionally, we submit that there is no actual difference whatsoever between grants (and other financial aid) that come from a school and scholarships that come from a school. Grants and scholarships are the exact same thing, except for the reason behind the school’s decision to put an attractive financial offer on the table. And given that the goal should be to find an affordable college that makes sense for a kid in terms of academics, post-graduation career/alumni networking opportunities, finding the best possible peer group, and other factors that help dictate a young person’s long-term future, why would the technical title of the financial aid package matter?

Clearly, it should not matter at all, and yet tons of parents, kids, and advisors will shun D3 schools that call because D3 schools aren’t allowed to offer athletics-based “scholarships.” However, many D3 schools offer generous financial-need-based (if household income is under $50,000, expect to pay very little at D3 schools that are well endowed) and merit-based (merit can be academic-based, diversity-based, leadership-based, etc) grants. And some D3 schools offer more academic support, a more personalized approach, a terrific peer group, and a higher graduation rate (click HERE to see why the graduation rate is so important, and click HERE for an excellent article on the advantages of D3).

In short, our advice is for parents, kids, and advisors (particularly if the kid’s family is non-affluent and/or the kid is a good student, and particularly if that kid has essentially no other solid interest or offers) to listen to D3 coaches when they call and keep an open mind, because that D3 school might be both affordable and a perfect fit (. Thank you very much for reading.

CRH Blog Post #19, Highlight Videos, Part 3

Posted on: February 2nd, 2013 by admin No Comments

Initially, we refuted the absurd idea that “college coaches don’t like highlight videos.” Next, we established that video quality does not enhance or diminish athletic ability, and that uploading videos to YouTube and emailing a link to college coaches is a far better path than mailing them DVD copies of highlight videos. Now, the question becomes, “what should you include in the video itself?”

 

First, we advise you to put your very best 2 or 3 plays at the beginning of the video. Many college coaches won’t even watch past the first or second clip, so it’s critical that you catch their attention immediately.

 

Once you’ve piqued their interest, our advice runs contrary to common thinking on this topic. Traditionally, kids pull just a few clips from many games trying to find the very best clips that will paint themselves in the very best light possible. And we agree with this philosophy as it relates to just those first 2 or 3 clips. However, when it comes to the meat of the highlight video (3 to 5 minutes), we advocate including many (if not all) positive clips from between 1 and 3 games rather than including between 1 to 3 great clips from many (if not all) games.

 

Our reasoning for this is multi-factoral. One, the more often college coaches see the background and the opponent change in a highlight video, the more likely they are to believe you’re trying to trick them. College coaches also begin to wonder about your productivity if they only see you perform well once or twice per game. But the biggest reason to utilize our approach is that it simply doesn’t do anyone any good to present yourself in the “best” light possible; rather, we advise that prospects should present themselves in the most realistic light possible.

 

After all, as previously mentioned, no college coach will offer a scholarship based on a highlight video alone. However, college coaches will regularly watch highlight videos and make plans to see a given prospect in person. The point is that college coaches are going to find out the truth about you as a prospect eventually, long before they will put a scholarship offer on the table. Given this fact, it makes no sense to try to trick them with an unusually well edited highlight video, because your success at fooling them will only be temporary. And once they discover the truth, they will move on to kids who can actually help them win games, and you will have accomplished nothing other than getting your hopes up for no reason and wasting college coaches’ time. So, clearly, a better approach would be to allow college coaches to see you realistically based on what you are in terms of consistency and productivity. This way, when a college coach watches your highlight video and subsequently decides to see you play or request full game film, the odds go up substantially that the interest will be legitimate and mutual.

 

Thank you for reading. We hope these posts are helpful.

CRH Blog Post #18, Highlight Videos, Part 2

Posted on: January 31st, 2013 by admin No Comments

Now that we’ve established the importance of highlight videos, we need to discuss some elements of an effective highlight video strategy.  The first point to make involves the picture quality of the highlight video and the method of it’s delivery.

 

One, please understand that college coaches really don’t care about the quality of the video itself. As long as it’s not so grainy that a coach literally can’t decipher what’s going on, the quality doesn’t matter. A lot of parents seem to think that high quality video makes their kids look more athletic. It does not.

 

Two, upload the highlight video to YouTube so that you can email college coaches a link to your video. It’s important that you make things as easy on a college coach as possible, and it’s much less effort to open an email and click on a YouTube video than to open a package, read the intro letter, remove the DVD from its sleeve, and power up/connect/plug in the DVD player. Not to mention, YouTube eliminates the possibility that you send a DVD that is the wrong format for the coach’s DVD player, or that you send a DVD copy that hasn’t been properly finalized for viewing. With YouTube, if you can watch the video at home on your browser, then every coach in the country will be able to watch the video from their browsers. I know, I know- you don’t like that a YouTube video has less resolution and is of an inferior quality in terms picture clarity than a DVD. But please keep in mind point #1. College coaches just do not care about a video’s resolution and clarity. They just don’t.

 

We will continue this discussion on highlight videos tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

CRH Blog Post #17, Highlight Videos

Posted on: January 31st, 2013 by admin No Comments

One of the most popular recruiting misconceptions involves highlight videos. The utterly incorrect consensus is that “college coaches don’t like highlight videos” because well edited clips create an unrealistic glimpse at a kid. Even if that’s true, which is debatable (we know plenty of college coaches who believe they can tell a good player instantly based on a single play), the reality is that college coaches (particularly at division one schools) receive hundreds of random and unannounced packages in the mail from kids they’ve never heard of, and there literally aren’t enough hours in the day to adequately evaluate all full game films and follow through on every lead.

Not to mention, and this is critical to understand, it is a fact that at least 90% of the kids who send non-requested game film to division one schools are not good enough athletically to merit a division one scholarship. As such, college coaches are somewhat justifiably cynical about random leads and no college coaches consider an exhaustive film critique of a random lead to be a productive or wise use of their time.

Of course, a college coach certainly won’t offer a scholarship based on highlight clips alone, but often times, a coach will become intrigued by a player’s highlights and request full game film (if a coach requests full game film, the odds increase dramatically that he or she will actually make time to watch it) and/or invite that kid to an on-campus prospect camp and/or make plans to see that prospect play in person. A highlight tape is therefore the best way to pique a college coach’s interest who had previously never heard of you, and if a college coach requests full game film, or invites you to a camp, or makes specific plans to see you play live (either with your high school team, your club team, or at a showcase), you will have an incalculable advantage over the majority of kids who merely wish to be “discovered.”

CRH Blog Post #16, Advice to Parents, Real Final Piece

Posted on: January 25th, 2013 by admin No Comments

Periodically, we will find it necessary to revisit old threads. In this case, the “old thread” in question was “completed” yesterday, so it’s not too old. But anyway, we left out a very critical piece of information that all parents must understand.

 

As posted in our second ever College Recruiting Help blog post, for many kids, it’s important to be proactive and reach out to college coaches directly in self-marketing efforts. In other words, if you don’t like your current recruiting options, or if you don’t have any recruiting options whatsoever, it’s past time to get off your rear end and put in the time to help yourself. However, one VERY KEY POINT we neglected to mention in that post is this:

 

When it comes to initial (introductory) communication w/ college coaches, it MUST come from the prospect, not the parent!! When coaches hear from parents first, it makes the prospects look disinterested, lazy, and spoiled. Obviously, each school develops their own internal recruiting criteria system, so it’s hard to paint all college programs with the same brush. However, suffice it to say that we are aware of no college programs who deliberately attempt to recruit kids who seem to be disinterested, lazy, and spoiled. So, parents, please don’t introduce yourself and your children to college coaches; force your kids to introduce themselves.

 

Thank you very much for reading. Have a great weekend.
 

CRH Blog Post #15, Advice to Parents, Final Entry

Posted on: January 24th, 2013 by admin No Comments

This is the final entry on this thread about recruiting advice to parents. To review, refrain from commenting to a college coach about your child’s high school coach, treat referees with respect, avoid the temptation to coach your kid from the crowd, try your best not to get angry while watching your child play, and do your level best to have a receptive and appreciative attitude when a college coach calls, even if that coach does not represent a school where your child has been specifically dreaming about playing.

 

The last major red flag for a college coach in terms of parental behavior that we will address is taking notes/keeping stats while you watch your child play. Honestly, this behavior is just flat out the definition of crazy (unless you’re the official statistician for the team, having been assigned that duty by your child’s coach). Why on earth do you as a parent feel the need to take notes or keep stats? Could it be that you’re obsessed with your child’s individual performance and not particularly concerned about the team? Could it be that you like to keep track to harass your child’s high school coach if the posted stats are “off” by one or two? Could it be that you like and care about the sport your child is playing a whole lot more than your child does? Could it be that you’re planning to review your notes with your child after the game, thereby “helping” (“helping” here means “interfering with”) your child’s coaches?

 

Regardless of your reasoning, just stop. Please, just stop. College coaches will run away from Crazy Stat Dad faster than Europeans apparently run away from deodorant. So, unless you’re interested in hurting your child’s recruiting interest and options, please, just stop.

 

This concludes this thread about parental “do’s and don’t’s.” Thank you very much for reading.

 

 

 

CRH Blog Post #14, Advice to Parents, cont’d

Posted on: January 23rd, 2013 by admin No Comments

In giving recruiting advice, it’s important to cover the do’s AND the don’t’s, and today’s post is a mixed bag of both, as they are often related. Today, we’re going to discuss the importance of showing appreciation any time a college coach shows interest.

 

Few things turn a college coach off more quickly than calling a kid who, in spite of having limited or even no legitimate recruiting interest whatsoever (a typed letter or brochure means NEXT TO NOTHING), expresses no excitement or appreciation for the phone call. Not to mention, it’s just plain bad manners to have an attitude of disappointment if not disdain for a college coach and/or his or her program. And yet, if you ask the average D3 coach, D2 coach, NAIA coach, JuCo coach, and even smaller D1 coach, they will tell you how often parents and kids jump to dismiss their programs.

 

Now, to be clear, it’s totally understandable for a parent to tell a college coach, “thank you very much for the call, but we are not interested a this time” if your kid has multiple solid options on the table that he or she likes better. We would never advocate wasting your time or a coach’s time if your child is just not interested based on a comparative study to your child’s other options. What we’re saying is that it’s incredibly unnecessary and disrespectful, not to mention delusional and stupid, to metaphorically spit in a college coach’s face when your child has a grand total of ZERO better (or even other) options.

 

And yet, parents treat college coaches who don’t coach at the Cadillac D1 programs with this kind of attitude on a very regular basis, as though it’s an insult for any program outside of the top 10 D1 programs nationally to even entertain the notion that they might be able to recruit their children. From a college coach’s perspective, why would he or she want to deal with parent who makes a first impression of rude, arrogant, and delusional?

 

Our advice, return every coach’s phone call and treat every coach who calls with courtesy and appreciation. And if you in your mind believe that your child should have “better” options (from an earlier post, remember that “better” and “perceived higher level” are not always synonyms – pick the school first and the program second!!), keep that opinion completely to yourself at least until so-called “better” options emerge (instead, just say, “Coach, thank you so much for the call. We are appreciative of your interest, and we’re keeping all options open”). Because we can promise you one thing: a college coach will remember being treated like the ugly duckling, even as the ugly duckling starts looking prettier to you as a parent based on the presence of no other ducklings. And we weren’t math majors, but one solid, realistic option is more than zero solid, realistic options.

 

Thank you very much for reading. We hope these posts are helpful, and we would welcome any questions or feedback.

CRH Blog Post #13, Advice to Parents, cont’d

Posted on: January 22nd, 2013 by admin No Comments

Having discussed the importance of you as a parent hiding your tendency (if you have one) to undermine your child’s coaches, and having implored you to leave the referees alone, we’re going to take a look today at another common parental behavior tendency that can turn a college coach off.

 

College coaches generally don’t like parents who coach their kids from the stands. Again, this places on a stage, for college coaches to witness, your desire to interfere with and undermine your child’s coaches.  And college coaches understandably do not want to deal with parents who have track records of offering contradictory advice to what their children’s coaches are telling them.

 

Additionally, showing anger as a parent and berating your child (or anyone else’s child), while maybe not technically the same thing as “coaching from the stands,” is also a potential red flag to college coaches. And to the fathers out there who know that college coaches might be turned off by their unstoppable desire to coach from the crowd and therefore develop an elaborate, baseball-manager-style system of signals and gestures, you ain’t slick. Actually, “secretly” coaching your kid from the stands is an even bigger red flag, because now you’ve painted the picture that you’re not only meddlesome but duplicitous.

 

To review: do not criticize your child’s high school coach to any college coaches, treat referees and officials with courtesy, and do not coach your child from the stands (especially when college coaches are in attendance). Tomorrow and Thursday, we will mention 2 final pieces of advice to parents and conclude this series.

 

Thank you very much for reading. We hope these posts are helpful.

CRH Blog Post #12, Advice to Parents, cont’d

Posted on: January 18th, 2013 by admin No Comments

Now that we’ve established the importance of appropriate parental behavior and words, and outlined why it’s a bad idea to speak ill of your child’s high school coach to the college coaches who call, it’s time to discuss another common parental mistake that college coaches can’t stand, and that’s decorum while watching your child play.

 

No matter how terrible the referees are, you as a parent should leave the referees alone completely. First of all, fans who go crazy about officiating make general fools of themselves, because the last we checked, referees don’t typically change their minds after making calls. As such, arguing with a referee could not be more futile.

 

But in terms of recruiting, parents who berate and abuse referees paint a picture of themselves that is not at all flattering.  Specifically, over-the-top comments directed at officials makes you look like a lunatic who has no self control. Again, harkening back to a previous post, college coaches do not like difficult parents, nor do they prefer crazy parents. And screaming at referees is a good way to convince college coaches that you are difficult and unreasonable. Needless to say, convincing college coaches that you’re a nutjob is not exactly in your child’s best interests. So, again, our advice is to keep your anger to yourself and your mouth closed when it comes to both your child’s high school coach and the referees who officiate your child’s games.

 

Thank you for reading. We hope these comments are helpful. Have a great weekend. We’ll be back at it on Monday with more advice to parents.