Here are 3 important things to focus on if you want to have success in the recruiting process. I heard these from Bob Chmiel this past week while I was speaking with him at the Tudor Collegiate Strategies Conference in Boston. Bob is the former recruiting coordinator for Bo Schembechler at Michigan and for Lou Holtz at Notre Dame. He has been named one of the top recruiting coordinators by highly respected talent evaluator Tom Lemming.
We will go from three to one!
“Number three,” said Bob, “is to play hard on every single play. You never know when a college coach will be watching. It may be on a play you take off. ESPN’s Jon Gruden was talking about a draft prospect who was a defensive linemen. Some other experts weren’t sure about him but Gruden showed them the play where that big lineman caught a running back on the other side of the field. College coaches and pro evaluators have the ability to measure your speed, but we can’t measure heart but we can sure see it by playing hard every single play!”
“Number two,” said Bob, “is to be the best student you can be! When I was recruiting coordinator the assistant coaches would bring me transcripts of kids to recruit. When they had a kid with a solid 3.2 or higher they would dash into my office all excited about me seeing the transcript. When they had a kid with a 2.5 or lower they would wait until I was gone to lunch to put the transcript on my desk. In football the magic GPA number is 3.0 or better. Don’t accept mediocrity. When I speak on recruiting for NCSA, I ask athletes to raise their hand if they want to be a mediocre athlete. None do. Well, why should they want to be a mediocre student!? If I am evaluating two players of fairly equal ability, I separate them and choose my recruit by comparing their transcripts. This is not an embellished statement. It is a reality.”
“Number one,” said Bob, “is character! I can’t pick up a USA Today without learning of some athlete that has done something wrong. How many of you volunteer at the Veterans Hospital or the Homeless Shelter. Do you do work at the Special Ed part of your school? Where is your character? You are applying for a job when you are in the recruiting process. What makes you different from all the other good players out there? Make me want to bring you to campus with your strong character. I’ve been in school parking lots and seen students smoking marijuana. I’ve been in school parking lots and seen someone take a cell phone out of a car that doesn’t belong to him. You are sitting there saying, ‘Coach I would never do that.” Let me tell you something. If you are standing next to the guy and a police car pulls up, you know what it says on the side of a police car – we serve and collect. Now your character is tainted. I once was recruiting a really good football player who had made 35 on his ACT (36 is highest). Just two days before getting him, he and 9 others were arrested at a marijuana party. The school Superintendent excluded him and the rest from extra curricular activities, including football. He did not become a part of our program.”
It is critical you know all of the things college coaches look for in recruiting.
Charlie Adams was a sports anchor for 23 years in markets such as New Orleans and South Bend where he saw many families struggle with the recruiting process because of a lack of education on the subject. Charlie is a supporter of NCSA’s message of Athleadership and often speaks on the recruiting process. His son was a college athlete, his oldest daughter will be a freshman college swimmer starting this fall, and his youngest daughter is very involved in AAU travel team basketball as a 6th grader. Since 2005 Charlie has been a motivational speaker with his keynotes and seminars often being based on sports-related themes. Corporate leaders that bring him in as a speaker often tell him that they seek to hire former college athletes because those athletes bring the ability to manage time, lead, compete, set and reach goals, and work as team players because of their college athletics background. For more information you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to StokeTheFireWithin.com