Archive | May, 2013

Graduation Day – Six recruiting secrets from the Class of 2013

26 May

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Key Insights

Now that my seniors have made their final decisions for the fall, I thought this would be a good time to share some key insights.  There are two athletes in particular that I will use as examples:  Daniel and Griffin.  It’s important to note that both players got a late start in the recruiting process having signed up with PG Method in the fall of their senior year  (I recommend starting as sophomores or juniors).  But we took on the challenge with gusto and in the end, a number of wonderful opportunities surfaced.

First a little background on the seniors:

Daniel wanted to look at colleges and universities all across the country.  His grades and test scores were such that we targeted our list toward many of the nation’s elite schools. With regard to athletics, Daniel was a true holding midfielder and a great passer of the ball with the ability to link up play between the back line and forwards.

Griffin wanted to stay close to home and so from the get-go we kept our list focused on California.  From an academic standpoint, he qualified for admission at several great schools in the Golden State.  From an athletic standpoint, Griffin was a skillful defender and blessed with tremendous ability in the air with a true blend of technique and athleticism.

Both boys attended the same public high school and played for the same elite club team.

Key takeaways 

Cast a Wide Net

Daniel reached out to over 40 schools and made a consistent and dedicated effort to connect with college coaches.   In the end, two D3 schools heavily recruited him and a few others offered him a spot on their team should he be accepted to the school on his own merit.  Griffin’s outreach was a bit smaller since he was focused on California schools only.  However, he still connected with over a dozen in-state schools and two ended up expressing serious interest and recruiting him heavily.  In both cases, our efforts to create a substantial and targeted list was essential because it increased the odds of getting noticed.

 A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Both Daniel and Griffin utilized a customized PG Method player profile as well as a professionally edited highlight video, which gave coaches a sense of their abilities with the click of a mouse.  For Daniel, the video was absolutely essential because a number of the schools that he targeted were back east and there was no way they could see him play in person.  One elite school ended up heavily recruiting Daniel based on his video and references alone.  For Griffin, the video served as the catalyst to get a number of college coaches to the sidelines of his club matches.

Development Matters

During the recruiting process it’s easy to become fixated on whether or not you are actually being recruited.  What gets lost sometimes is the fact that in order to attract college coaches, you need to continue to improve as a player.  Griffin presented a clear example of why development is so crucial to the recruiting process.  Over the course of his senior year he worked very hard on his strength and overall conditioning off the field.  This dedication allowed Griffin to turn from a very good player into a “special player.” His work rate, passing, and movement off the ball became second to none.  His game developed to a place where a top D1 program became seriously interested. I’m proud to say that Griffin was recruited to play for the Loyola Marymount in the fall.  Go Lions!

It all Begins with Grades

The first thing that coaches look for in student-athletes are their grades and test scores.  Daniel had an excellent GPA, took a rigorous course load, and boasted a truly impressive SAT score, which made him immediately attractive to several highly ranked schools.  Griffin also had a fantastic GPA, which not only qualified him for admission to LMU, but also made him eligible for an academic scholarship there.  It’s important to note that compared to athletic scholarships (which most parents and students focus on), academic scholarships can often make a bigger difference on total tuition cost.  On average, soccer scholarships, which only 2% of athletes receive, provide around $2k/year.  Compare this to academic scholarships which are more abundant and average around 10k/year…and you have another reason to stay focused on the books.

Character Score

I had lengthy conversations with a number of coaches on behalf of Daniel and Griffin.  These conversations usually happened once the coaches had a pretty good sense of the boys as both students and athletes.  Their calls to me became more of a character check-in.  Most often they wanted to know about these guys as young men.  Questions like, “Are there any character issues I should know about?” and  “How serious is this player’s approach to the game?” and “Will he contribute to my program both on and off the field?”  Both Daniel and Griffin are fantastic all-around leaders so it made it easy for me to pass along high praise.

Money Talks

Daniel and Griffin both received offers to play collegiate soccer.  It’s fair to say that when those offers presented themselves, the total cost of college rose to the forefront of the decision making process. Tuition can easily get lost in the dialogue when so much of the focus is on being recruited, but rest assured that the cost of college will appear once it’s clear which schools are in play.  As such, it’s very important that families have a clear line of communication with regard to the cost of college, throughout the recruiting process.

In summary:

The takeaways above outline some broad stroke observations from the class of 2013 and can apply to most individuals looking to play in college.  However, each student-athlete is unique and some of the more profound insights can be found on an individual level.

With so many factors playing into the recruiting process such as athletic talent, academic profile, personality, location preference, tuition costs, etc it’s easy to see why so many families get overwhelmed.

It’s crucial to have a game plan in order to have success in recruiting and PG Method is here to help every step of the way.  My initial consultation is free.  Contact me here