Recruiting Tip: Three college coaches discuss what athletes control in recruiting

Recruiting Tip: Three college coaches discuss what athletes control in recruiting

Recruiting Column

Recruiting Tip: Three college coaches discuss what athletes control in recruiting

The USA TODAY High School Sports Recruiting Tips are provided by our recruiting partner, Playced.com.

Contrary to popular belief:

  • Bats are not blind,
  • Bubble gum doesn’t take 7 years to digest, and
  • You are the one in control of your college recruiting journey.

Whether you realize it or not, you are the one in control when it comes to the college recruiting process. You determine which colleges to pursue, which campuses to visit and which scholarship to accept. The college recruiting process is not a situation where you sit on your coach checking for emails from interested college coaches. If you take control of your recruiting process, you will most likely be happy with the result.

Over the last several years, we’ve had the opportunity to talk with and interview hundreds of college coaches and when they are asked about what a student-athlete controls their answers are very similar.

Here are the answers from 3 current college coaches at major Division I programs when we asked, “What can a student-athlete control during their recruiting process?”

Texas A&M University basketball coach Billy Kennedy

“Recruits control everything. The student-athlete should control everything that happens. From figuring out what kind of a degree they want to what type of a program they want to play for, they should control it all. The quicker a recruit can “zero in” on the colleges that he/she genuinely has interest in, the better off they will be.

“The college recruiting process shouldn’t be about how many schools have interest in you or how many offers you get, it should be about you finding the right school. The priority is to get a degree and have a successful career, not to just get a scholarship. Control the things that matter, not the things that are all hype.”

North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams

“They control everything. It’s a lot like sales in the sense that the customer is always right. Before you buy anything of value, you want to make sure you’re getting what you really want. You want to feel good about what you’re buying. That’s recruiting.

“As a high school kid, you need to feel good about where you go to school, on and off the court. Are you going to a place where you will truly be happy? Do your beliefs align with the beliefs of the coaching staff? With the rest of the program? I always tell the young men I recruit to be truthful with what they want out of this process.

“Be honest about your intentions and tell no lies. If you can do that, then you won’t have to remember what you said or how you may have misrepresented yourself. You’ll end up in a program that wants you, as much as you want them.”

North Carolina women’s soccer coach Chris Ducar

“Ultimately, you control what coaches you get yourself in front of. Once you understand that idea, it’s a matter of focusing, organizing and coordinating your efforts to make sure those programs can see you play. Even at a school like North Carolina, we don’t have an unlimited recruiting budget and I think that’s something players and parents don’t quite understand until maybe it’s too late. We have to be strategic in determining where we’ll go and what events we’ll attend in our effort to identify players.

“The same applies to the recruit and to a large degree, you the recruit, have to play a part in getting us interested in you. Also to that point, you’ve got to have a really good understanding of who you are, in the moment. You need to understand your skill-level before you start investing too much in this process.

“College recruiting is not a lottery. You don’t just send an email to a coach and have them miraculously open it up and instantly offer you a scholarship. This is a process. To play for a Top 30 program, not just North Carolina, you’ve got to be the best player on the field, at all times. And if you’re not at least the best player on your team, don’t invest your time trying to get the attention of those type of schools that are most likely outside of your talent range. That’s not meant to be a knock and it’s not meant to be negative.

“Focus your energy and efforts communicating with the schools that realistically match up with your talent-level.”

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