The college experience is, in many cases, the most important four years in the prospective student athlete’s life, as it will shape their future personal and professional direction. That being said, securing admission to a college or university that best match students’ desires, strengths, and aspirations is essential.
(Editor's Note:  The latest in Tom Kovic's ongoing series of articles on the recruiting process... just as in-gym visits begin).  Whenever I lecture on college athletics recruiting, a primary area I focus on is using “deliberate” communication with college coaches in an effort to build sincere personal relationships.  Although eligibility, financial aid and contacts and evaluations are all very important, I am convinced the area of communication is very important to the likelihood of success in the college search for athletes.
Organization is an important component in the college search for athletes and completing a college-bound assessment for what you would like to achieve is a great way to start! Think of the assessment as the seed you want to plant to grow your recruiting effort. What grows will be determined by how you cultivate it from start to finish. Looking at the “big picture” can be a tall task for most high school-aged athletes, but if you can begin with the end game in mind and work backwards in developing your personal plan for success, you will most likely run…
Like it or not, we are a society of rapid change and the rate we effectively adapt to that change can make the difference between a good and great experience. The same holds true in college athletics recruiting. The question is: How do we come to grip with this rapidly mounting culture shock in the college quest for athletes?
Today’s college athletic climate is much different than it was 20 years ago and college coaches are under tremendous pressure to achieve two important goals: win and raise money. The one directly affects the other and alumni will enthusiastically support a winning team…and yes, the opposite is true. The cost of effectively managing a successful college athletics department has increased over the years, while support from university subvention has, in most cases, increased slightly, if not at all.
In his latest contribution, Tom Kovic shares the importance of persistence in the college recruiting search... The dictionary definition of persistence is: continuing in spite of opposition; enduring, lasting or recurrent. In a nutshell, I feel strongly that a persistent effort in every aspect of the college search for athletes will, in the end, give prospects and their families the greatest chance at success.
For the past several seasons, we have made an assessment of each incoming recruiting class and have provided a ranking. This year, the task proved to be especially tough. Today, there is much greater access to information on the athletes, their skill level, level of polish, and of course, their accomplishments, so we cannot rank an athlete merely on her resume alone. The athletes’ college choices also reflect increased parity, making the job of ranking the Top 10 Recruiting Classes quite difficult.
Georgia tops the Women's Preseason Coaches Poll, pulling down 13 first place votes. Utah was 2nd, with six first place votes. Bama was third, but 8 voters rated them #1. Florida, in 4th, and UCLA, in 5th, each pulled down two first place votes. LSU, Stanford, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Oregon State made up places 6 through 10. For the rest of the Top 25, keep on reading...
The college search for athletes has grown more complicated and increasingly competitive, especially during the past 10 years. There are countless components that require attention in developing and executing a successful plan of action, along with several key “players” who make-up the team. Parents can play a significant role in the recruiting process and in my opinion; they should make an active commitment to enthusiastically assist their children from start to finish in what will be a very important life decision.
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