My articles are built on countless interviews on recruiting with the purpose being to educate and motivate you to have success in connecting your young people with scholarships and opportunities to be athleaders in life. I just came from talking to many Athletic Directors at the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association annual conference in Indianapolis. NCSA’s Amanda Rawson, who works with High Schools to make sure they have recruiting education, and NCSA Speaker Paul Putnam were also at this significant annual event.
I talked to dozens of Athletic Directors from many states and asked them what myths their families had about recruiting. These insights will help you realize where you need to be more proactive and realistic.
“That all the kids will be D1” – Athletic Director, Nebraska
“‘Why aren’t the College Coaches calling my kid because he or she is so good?!'” That’s what many of our parents say. We are a small Minnesota High School and if you talk to many of the parents, 4 or 5 of our seniors are D1, when in truth none are capable of playing at that level, but can at other levels. We are a 2A High School with 4A being the highest and many kids and parents say, ‘Why should we look at Saint John’s (a D3 in Minnesota) when we know we will play at the University of Minnesota?’ They don’t understand if the Gophers want you, they would have already been on you. The other misconception many parents have is ‘Oh, College athletics isn’t that much harder than High School.'” – Athletic Director, Minnesota
“A big myth our parents have is that every athletic scholarship is a full ride, even at Division One. They don’t know that many D1 sports are not full ride athletic scholarships. The other myth they buy into is that all Colleges, no matter what size, will come recruit their child. They think they come find them.” Athletic Director, Missouri
“A lot of our parents think that is the kid is good that people will knock our door down to get them, and so many of them think their kid is D1. Most of our parents believe it is the responsibility of the High School coach to do the recruiting work, until they hear from NCSA that the parents have to be more proactive with reaching out and making sure video gets done. We started hudl this year and it puts it back on the families. They can edit hilite clips and not expect the coach to do it.” Athletic Director, Virginia
“A myth our families have is that it is okay to wait until senior year to do anything about recruiting, and that the High School coach can do it all or has all the answers. They also do not understand the levels of college sports. We have one volleyball girl going D1, and two juniors being recruited D1 in basketball. We have 540 athletes in a school of 1650. Three are D1 out of 540 athletes in the whole school. I think about 20 will sign at different levels. Other things where they make mistakes is that they don’t take the ACT or SAT until senior year, which they should do sooner, and they don’t get in the NCAA Eligibility Center or the NAIA one. Some of our coaches understand that, and we are trying to do more to educate our coaches, but it is not their job.” Athletic Director, Virginia
“Since 1964 we have had two athletes go full ride D1. We are a 1A school. A lot of our kids think recruiting just happens. They have to understand they have to generate awareness, especially at a 1A school. Our volleyball team just won the State Championship, but not one is being recruited – even though they got all the publicity of making it to Indy. The parents assume the AD or Coach is contacting everyone, but I have too much on my plate. We have issues like Hazing, new transportation costs, sports like bowling on the rise. I don’t have the time to really help with recruiting. I told three of our best athletes that the scholarships are out there, you just have to find them. ” Athletic Director, Indiana
“A myth some people have is that if they get a letter from a College program, they think they are being recruited. It could be a computer generated letter, but parents go berserk. They think their kid is being recruited by Notre Dame. There is also a lack of knowledge about the different kinds of scholarships athletes can receive.” Athletic Director, Ohio
“I was a football coach for a long time before becoming Athletic Director. I had a linebacker who was 5 foot 6 and 180 pounds. He was a good High School linebacker. His Mom wanted me to send tape of him to Florida State. I told her I was not going to send tape to Florida State. We have a D2 across the river that would have been more of a fit.” Athletic Director, Indiana
“One thing that happens when you have a star D1 recruit is fall-out the next few years. We had a Rivals Top 100 player in Christian French who was 6 foot 5 and over 220 pounds in High School. He ran a legitimate 4.48 40 and a 10.68 in the 100 meter. He was the top football recruit in the state of Iowa. He picked Oregon over Notre Dame and Iowa. But what happened after that was that a lot of parents wanted to know why their kid was not getting that kind of attention. We had a really good athlete not go out for basketball because he wanted to specialize in football and personal training because kids then think they are the next big D1 thing.” Athletic Director, Iowa
In speaking in settings from Fairbanks, Alaska to New Orleans, I always ask the Athletic Director of the school what is the number one misconception their families have about recruiting. The OVERWHELMING response (and I have asked this hundreds of times to AD’s all over) is, “Parents and kids do not have a realistic view of where their daughter or son can play in College.”
I hear that over and over and over again.
There is a huge…no, make that gargantuan lack of knowledge about the levels of college athletics and where a child can truly play and have a great experience and get significant funding.
If you do not have a realistic 3rd party evaluation of your child athletically and academically, you are headed towards frustration. You could miss out on significant scholarships and opportunities. You get ONE SHOT at the recruiting process, and then the window closes. You HAVE to be educated on the process. We have a team of former College Coaches and Athletes that have worked with thousands of families. You could very well qualify for one of the sport-specific presentations that can be eye opening and life changing. To see if you qualify for one of the one hour sessions that involves powerful visual and audio education go here
Paul Putnam, former College Football player and Decathlon athlete at D1 Weber State University, is one of over thirty speakers NCSA has all over the country that can come to your school, club or event and educate your families on all of the myths the Athletic Directors talked about. Amanda Rawson, pictured here, coordinates our speakers at your events. Contact her and she will assign a speaker to you. In many cases there is no cost because of our partnership with organizations such as the NFL Players Association.
Amanda can also show your coaches how they can help their athletes with the new Recruiting Management System NCSA offers to coaches. This powerful new tool was shown to AD’s in Indy and they were very excited to know this resource was available to their coaches.
Amanda can be reached at email@example.com
As always, if you have any questions, you can reach out to me at my email. As the parent of a NCAA student athlete who has found the right fit for him, and as someone who has interviewed thousands of coaches and athletes on the recruiting process, I would be glad to answer your questions. I will be delivering the keynote on recruiting at the American Volleyball Coaches Association events in San Antonio this weekend, and will write about that soon.
Charlie Adams, Speaker
NCSA Athletic Recruiting