I often speak in front of large groups of athletes and parents. Afterward, many parents will come up to me to tell me what they are doing. They hope that I will validate that what they are doing is correct, when in fact it is often flat wrong. If I suggest they might be wrong, rather than searching out the right path they withdraw from the discussion to continue down the same path. Their outcome becomes quite predictable. But that doesn’t have to be you.
“Fallacy”- an error in reasoning that renders an argument logically invalid.
When it comes to a student-athlete being recruited to play college sports, there are eight common fallacies derailing well-intentioned athletes and parents.
1. Exposure to dozens of college coaches will get you recruited.
What every mom and dad should know is that planned evaluations by known coaches will get you recruited, not random exposure to coaches who don’t know of your child in advance. Exposure is out, evaluations are in. Why?
Exposure often leads to the interest of assistant coaches from colleges outside of your interest in them, thereby yielding to little value. Whereas, evaluations come from coaches who specifically evaluate known-players of interest, delivering great value. It might seem like semantics, but it represents a big difference in results.
2. Email blasts to dozens of college coaches will get the interest of coaches.
What every mom and dad should know is that email blasts represent a pure “reactive-based strategy” generating interest of coaches from colleges that don’t necessarily match your child’s interests or qualifications. However, it works well for attracting camp invitations.
If you want more out of this than camp invitations, then it’s your child’s job to target coaches from colleges that specifically match their qualifications and interests.
3. Recruiting begins on the playing field.
What every mom and dad should know is that real recruiting interest begins in the coach’s office with meaningful discussions, while establishing credentials and building value. It is at this time in which a coach’s interest will rise for allocating more time and effort to your recruiting.
4. Non-response to emails sent to college coaches means they don’t have an interest in the sender.
What every mom and dad should know is that spending time reading and responding to emails is low on the coach’s priority list. What it means is that they don’t know your child well enough yet to spend time on them.
Coaches receive dozens of emails every day. Relate it to yourself, do you respond to every email you receive? Probably not, neither do coaches. However, coaches will respond to emails of prospect’s who have established value worthy of the coach’s time and effort.
5. Being an all-conference high school player combined with playing on travel teams is your ticket to becoming a collegiate student-athlete.
What every mom and dad should know is that your child’s ticket is secured by connecting with coaches in a personal level. Sure, it helps to be recognized as a top quality player and it’s good to play in top competitive events. But in today’s times, there are a lot of kids doing that.
The job of the student-athlete is to distinguish themselves from the pack of qualifiers by contacting coaches with an effective email marketing package and having quality visits. Odds are greatly improved this way and it has nothing to do with having all-conference status or playing on expensive travel teams.
6. Trail-blazing a path of showcase events and college camps is your best strategy for being recruited.
What every mom and dad should know is that showcases and college camps can be useful when strategically planned as a supplemental piece to the recruiting strategy, but attending these events cannot be the strategy. For too many parents, this becomes a desperation strategy resorted to when things don’t seem to be going their way.
The value of showcases comes from having known coaches in attendance for the purpose of your evaluation. Otherwise, they are a sign-up and pay, show-up and play, go home and pray strategy; not the kind of strategy we like to endorse.
7. Winning is the college coach’s top priority and recruiting is their daily objective.
What every mom and dad should know is keeping their job is the coach’s top priority. Taking care of the current team of players is the coach’s daily objective.
College coaches love their jobs and they all like to win. But getting fired will result in a quick jettison from the world of college coaching. They will not risk that. Therefore, they pay close attention to managing their program and coaching their players.
8. I don’t have to worry about the admission process, the coach will take care of that for me.
While it would be nice and convenient to believe this, everyone attending college needs to work the admission and application process. This means connecting and building value with the college admission counselors by having the ability to express a vision and interests for college study; having good grades and top SAT/ ACT scores; having a quality-written application essay with timely submitted and completed applications.
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Hans Hanson has worked as a College Advisor for 15 years and has published articles in such places as US News and Forbes.