Some Helpful Guidelines in Athletic Recruitment
Although preparing athletes to earn an athletic scholarship is NOT a primary objective of the Lake athletic program, our coaches and athletic department are prepared to guide student-athletes and their parents through the recruiting process.
Because our students have represented our school and community through athletics, we have a responsibility to help athletes and parents through the recruiting process and provide guidance as appropriate. The following points are some significant considerations our coaches and athletic department take into consideration when assisting any Blue Streak athlete through this process.
NOTE: A special thanks to Dr. David Hoch (former athletic director in Maryland) and “Managing School Athletics” for their assistance in providing data.
1. Prioritize Education: From the moment that freshmen enter Lake High School, we encourage them to pursue their academic pursuits very seriously. Starting to “bear down” on grades and classes their junior or senior year, may be too late in becoming “recruitable”. Athletic ability alone will not lead to acceptance to most four-year colleges.
2. Scholarship Differences: Scholarships differ among NCAA and NAIA levels of play. There are even greater differences among NCAA Division III scholarships and Division I & II, especially in terms of WHAT can be offered. Students and parents should consult the NCAA website (www.ncaa.org) and the current NCAA Guide for the College Bound Student-Athlete. The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) also has a helpful booklet titled A Guide for College-Bound Student-Athletes and their Parents. The information site for NAIA recruiting is http://www.playnaia.org/
3. Your coach’s role: Lake coaches play an important role to assist college coaches with requests for data, video copies and other related information. Our coaches are expected to assist with the completion of information questionnaires and phone inquiries from college coaching staff personnel.
4. Be realistic: This is often the “touchiest” area for all parties to address inasmuch as recruiting and assessment of interscholastic athletes is NOT an exact science! Parents and athletes are encouraged to have honest and realistic dialogue with their Lake coach in advance of any potential for recruitment. The objective of any successful recruitment process is to match the student’s skills, aptitude and academic goals with a college providing the complementary programs.
5. Academic Eligibility: The student will need to have the necessary academic qualifications to match his/her potential college of choice. Much disappointment can be saved when all sides work to ensure appropriate eligibility. At Lake, all NCAA Division I and II recruit candidates have access to a free service to evaluate eligibility: “CoreCourseGPA” is an intuitive program free to Lake students and parents who are potential DI or DII recruits. For more information, contact your head coach or Mrs. Debbie Marshall (Lake High School guidance office).
6. Strive for the Right Fit: In determining the appropriate factors a student will consider for their college future, the following may be included in the discussion:
a. Academic major
b. Size and location of the college
c. Preference to a rural, urban or suburban college setting
d. Style of play favored by the college coach
e. Distance from home and travel factors (including friends and family visitations)
f. Potential length of stay of the coach who is recruiting the athlete (change in coach may result in a change in style of play and general program philosophy).
7. Boundaries for Recruiters & Coaches: Students and parents should be very clear about establishing parameters for recruitment, especially at the NCAA Division I level. This includes how and the times of acceptable contact with the athlete. The Lake coach may also provide input for this realm inasmuch as he/she wants minimal disruption to the team development process. For example, the family may request that all communications go through the Lake HS coach so they (family) is not disturbed at home. If it is permissible to contact the athlete at home, all parties should establish acceptable times and limit the number of contacts.
8. Honesty and Openness with Recruiters: Our Lake coaches are expected to be honest when answering questions from college coaches. Embellishment of statistics or other related data does not endear coaches or parents with college coaches. College coaches who continually return to a school to recruit students are much more apt to do so when they consistently get the “straight scoop” on students from the high school coaches and the parents.
9. Beware of lofty claims: There are many recruiting “services” and web sites currently available to parents and students alike. It is important for athletes and families to understand that those entities are for-profit businesses that are under no legal obligation to guard their personal information as closely as the Lake Local School District. It is not uncommon for these services to post an athlete’s full name, birth date, photo, and high school name on a web page for public viewing. Although the “recruiting service” may indicate their objective is to help young people with the process, it also means that they must make a profit or they will cease to exist. Parents should always keep this in mind before resorting to such options.
10. “What should I do next?”: If you believe there is a possibility of recruitment during your Lake High School career, you should begin aligning your academic achievements with the standards established by the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) and the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. These two bodies currently oversee recruiting and eligibility for most four-year colleges.
Parents and students should review each of these following opportunities in providing assistance and information regarding academic alignment with athletic recruitment:
Below a link to a free 501(c)3 non-profit recruiting webinar our CoreCourseGPA.com program supports. We believe this information will go a long to better explain the recruiting process and address many of the realities and myths that exist with college athletic recruitment. This webinar is part of the educational package we can provide free-of-charge in working with CoreCourseGPA.
FreeRecruitingWebinar.org is endorsed by the NIAAA and supported by the ABCA (American Baseball Coaches Association.) It provides a cost-free means to educate families about the recruiting process by providing a webinar addressing these and other subjects:
- Three rules of being a parent
- Scholarship myths and facts
- NAIA and JUCO education
- Scholarships, do they differ?
- The Name Game
- Negotiate/Cooperative Education
- Dangers of social networking/cell phones
- National Letter of Intent
- NCAA/NAIA Eligibility Centers
- Recruiting Services
- NCAA core course requirements
3. Visit: http://eligibilitycenter.org -- NCAA Eligibility Center – You will need to go to this website to register by the end of your junior year if you plan on playing at a Division I or II school. Make sure to print out two transcript request forms – one to send a transcript now, one to send one when you graduate. Bring those signed forms to the guidance office when you register with the NCAA Clearinghouse.
4. ACT testing: Make sure when you take your ACT that you have your results sent directly to the NCAA Clearinghouse – the code is: 9999
5. Visit: http://www.playnaia.org -- NAIA Eligibility Center – You will need to go to this website to register if you plan to play at a NAIA school.