July is just around the corner and whether you’re thinking about all of the barbecues you’ll be attending for the fourth, the warm weather, or a break from your summer job there are a few things you have to keep in mind. July 1st is an incredibly important day for any soon-to-be high school seniors in the final stages of the recruiting process. July 1st marks the day that coaches at the Division I level can begin to have off-campus, face-to-face contact with recruits (**Excluding football, men’s/women’s basketball, women’s gymnastics and women’s ice hockey**). While coaches have long been in contact with their main recruits via email prior to this date, July 1st stands as the date that college coaches legally begin making phone calls to their top recruits. There are four things that we feel at NCSA are vital to remember as June 1st rapidly approaches…
- Phone calls from coaches means they are interested in you as a player, but that doesn’t mean they are ready to hand you over a scholarship. The point of a coach calling is to figure out if you are interested in them. The coach is trying to feel out if you are going to be a good fit for their program. If the coach feels you are interested, engaged, and would be an asset to their program, they will begin to pursue you further and decide if they are going to eventually make an offer. If a coach gets the feeling you aren’t interested in their program, chances are you aren’t going to be pursued much further.
- If you don’t receive a phone call July 1st, don’t panic! If you don’t receive a phone call on July 1st, you probably aren’t being seriously recruited. Phone calls are what truly counts when it comes to making offers, so if you aren’t receiving any, you need to step up your marketing efforts. Don’t panic! You still have time to get noticed, but you can’t rely on it happening without putting in any effort. It is time to formulate a plan and market yourself better to coaches. Be proactive and call or write a coach on your own. If you already have an NCSA profile, you shouldn’t have any trouble getting in contact with coaches. Contacting coaches at this point needs to be a priority. You may also want to re-evaluate your target schools. Ask yourself “Am I pursuing the right colleges at the right level?”
- If you do receive a phone call, be prepared in advance! Here are some good questions and topics of discussion to have prepared. College coaches are going to be asking you a lot of questions to try and decide if you are the right fit for their program. Be prepared and have some questions to ask the coach. Nothing is going to stand out more to a coach than having questions prepared and showing that you have done your research. Here is another blog that can help you prepare some questions to ask if you do receive a phone call. http://www.ncsasports.org/blog/2013/05/30/coach-communications-questions
- If you’re being heavily recruited, you may receive anywhere from 10-20 phone calls on July 1st, but treat every phone call equally. Just because your top school called doesn’t mean they aren’t calling another 100 student athletes that day as well, so give every school that calls your full attention and be as enthusiastic about each school as you feel is necessary. Your top school might not call until late in the day, so you need to be just as engaged and interested when that coach calls as you were for the first call that morning and all the coaches in between.
What does this mean for rising high school juniors? Well, as the fall season begins, college coaches should know about you too, and you should be receiving more recruiting mail stuffed inside your mailbox. If you aren’t being contacted by coaches via mail at this point, you need to start reaching out yourself. Take the initiative yourself and you will see results.
If you haven’t created an athletic recruiting profile, it is time for you to get one! See what college programs you might quality for by creating your free NCSA Athletic Recruiting profile