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Coach Chmiel Weighs In: How To Tell If Your Child Is Good Enough To Play In College


NCSA Recruiting Expert and Educational Speaker Coach Bob Chmiel travels the country year-round, providing families with recruiting education at partner camps, combines, and high school events. With over thirty years of experience in college football – specifically football recruiting – Coach Chmiel now lives his passion for sports and education as a speaker at NCSA.

Spending over twenty-five years as a college football coach and recruiter, and now having just celebrated ten years as an NCSA National Speaker, I field many questions from parents and student-athletes across the country and in all sports.

These interactions with families were always my favorite part of coaching. Having in-depth conversations and providing recruiting education to everyone aspiring to play at the next level continues to be my favorite part about being a teammate at NCSA.

Nothing compares to the life lessons sports and being a student-athlete can provide. Nothing compares.

I’d like to start sharing some of the questions I’m asked most frequently when I am approached by student-athletes, their parents, and high school coaches.

There are just over a handful of questions that I’m asked at almost every educational event I’ve been to over the past decade. But one of the most frequent usually comes from a parent who simply wants to know:

Is my child good enough to play in college?

This may sound like a vague question. How can I answer that, I’m just meeting you for the first time?

However, no matter what the student-athlete or their sport, there are a few universal ways parents and prospects should be approaching their recruiting process, and when asked this question, my goal is to make those universal points crystal clear.

Now, as I eluded to, in most cases I’ve never seen their son or daughter play. Even if I had, while I know the world of recruiting and have made it my livelihood, as far as a skill evaluation, football is where my expertise lies.

Still, there are certain aspects of recruiting that ring true for all sports. If you are wondering if your son or daughter can play their sport in college, here is what I will tell you.

If your child is committed to playing their sport in college, and they have a true passion for their sport, they can find the right fit.

This is absolutely true.

However, in order to find that opportunity, you have to be realistic about the ability level of the student-athlete.

Most scholarship opportunities and available roster spots lie outside of Division I. This is a fact, and this fact isn’t changing.

Taking a realistic approach when it comes to the schools your son or daughter can play at is going to be how you find success at the next level. And if your son or daughter wants it badly enough, and is ready to get real about where they qualify to play, there is absolutely a program out there for them.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help to figure out where your child can realistically play.

It all starts with getting film together of the student-athlete playing.

From there, you have to find a third-party who is an expert in their sport to evaluate their film and can determine what level the student-athlete is going to have the most opportunities in.

And again, this comes back to getting film – there has to be evidence of their ability, and it has to be easy to share.

Almost all recruiting is done online. From getting evaluated by an expert, to actually being watched by a college coach – it is highly, highly unlikely either party will see a student-athlete play in person. The overwhelming majority of getting to know a student-athlete on the field (or on the court, diamond, course, rink, or in the pool…) is done online.

Video of a student-athletes best plays at the highest level of production is absolutely key.

If you are a senior just entering the process, it is not too late, but you need to work hard.

If you are just entering the process, and it is your senior year, you are behind.

It is time to accelerate to the highest level of work within the recruiting process that you possibly can.

While the door to getting recruited hasn’t closed yet, the window of opportunity is shrinking by the day. Do not give up.

Use every resource possible to determine what programs could be right for you, and what programs within that level still need to fill a roster spot at your position.

Get that film together as soon as possible. Take every recording you have and get it edited to indicate the best of your abilities and the best you’ve played. College coaches want to see that not only do have a natural ability, but that you are constantly improving, and have not let up.

If you are willing to work, and have a passion for your sport, you can play at the next level, and have all or some of your college education paid for. Dig deep and decide if that’s what you want, and go for it full throttle, because there is an opportunity out there for you.

The recruiting experts and digital platform at NCSA can help you find those opportunities. The best way to get started is with a recruiting profile.

About the author
Laura Chmiel

Laura Chmiel is a marketing coordinator and a lead writer for NCSA Athletic Recruiting. As someone with a passion for athletics and education, she graduated from Indiana university with a B.S. in Elementary Education. After school, she gained first-hand experience helping student-athletes and their families get to college.