Former Recruiting Coordinator at Notre Dame and University of Michigan and current NCSA Speaker, Bob Chmiel, recently presented a Recruiting 101 Seminar at Owensboro High School in Kentucky. Senior Guidance Counselor from Owensboro, Jane Prince, played a key role in bringing Coach Chmiel to educate families and student athletes.
Aside from her role as Senior Guidance Counselor and high school coach, Jane is the mother of a current collegiate athlete and wife of a former collegiate athlete. The bottom line is that Jane has experienced recruiting from several perspectives. NCSA caught up with Jane to discuss the importance of recruiting education.
NCSA: What motivated Owensboro to bring in an expert to educate families about the recruiting process? Why NCSA and Coach Chmiel?
We will be working with NSCA this January to help my son achieve his goal of playing college football. He is currently a sophomore in high school. I’m also a Senior Guidance Counselor at Owensboro High School in Kentucky and coached high school tennis and swimming. Over the years, I worked with many high school athletes. My husband is the Head football coach at OHS and played college football at The University of Kentucky. My daughter plays college basketball at Georgetown College (NAIA).
Five years ago, another teacher and I formed a program at this high school to prepare high school athletes to become college athletes and I thought the NCSA presentation would be an excellent opportunity for parents to hear information about the college recruiting process from an outside source. We were just lucky that our guest speaker was Coach Chmiel. He is able to tell stories about his life experiences that get the attention of his audience and pull them in for the real message.
What was the most valuable information that Coach Chmiel passed along to families in your opinion?
He had some excellent suggestions like:
- Don’t send film to a college without the specific name of the coach that you are sending it to…..unidentified film goes in the trash”
- Separate yourself from problems or problem people
He also talked about three important aspects of an athlete necessary to be successful: (1) Strong academics, (2) good character, and (3) always give 110 % on every play and in all preparations to play.
What are some of the most common misconceptions about the recruiting process that families have?
Most families wrongly believe several basic concepts:
(1) That most athletes are discovered like a Hollywood movie star for their scholarship
(2) DI level of play is the only one that provides financial assistance
(3) It is the high school coaches’ responsibility to get their athlete a scholarship
(4) Academics really are not that important if they are talented enough athletically
(5) Every scholarship, in every sport is a full-ride.
What type of advice would you give families who are going through the process for the first time as not only a guidance counselor, but also a mother and wife of collegiate student athletes?
- Start preparing your potential student/athlete in the 9th grade by explaining the core GPA and the NCAA process. Register at the beginning of their junior year with the NCAA Eligibility Center. Keep constant tabs on their transcript and daily grades.
- Build a resume of sports accomplishments and awards as well as community service and inter-scholastic activities and honors. Save it in your computer and update it with everything they have accomplished each month. This resume should be sent to college coaches. This allows them to see the student/athlete as a person that is active and has good character.
- Choose a few good sports photos to have on hand to send with your resume and other sports related scholarships that they may apply for, such as state sportsmanship scholarships for example.
- Form good relationships with high school coaches; remember they will give the final recommendation.
- Learn how to speak to the media; you are representing your family, community, school and yourself. Complement your teammates and coaches in interviews; you didn’t get there on your own.
- Play other sports in high school, it’s good for you and makes you a more appealing athlete.
- Fill out all sports questionnaires, even to schools you may not attend. It’s a small world and coaches change jobs every day and may remember you.
- God gave you a certain body size and ability. You may be of size for the big time and you may not. Be thankful for whatever opportunities may come your way at any level whether it is DI, II, III, NAIA or Jr. College.
I really could go on and on…….there is so much for them to know……
Would you encourage other high schools to provide recruiting education similar to the seminar at Owensboro? If so, why?
Yes, it was very helpful to hear Coach Chmiel. He didn’t try to force the NCSA on his audience. He simply gave his educational message about the recruiting process and informed people about the NCSA at the end. I think this made people more interested in the NCSA material. Parents are really misinformed about athletic scholarship and need a lot of help in the process.
If you would like to learn more about potentially scheduling a Recruiting 101 Seminar, click here.