Monday, 08 September 2014 00:00

Recruiting Tips: The Flip Side of Recruiting

Written by Jill Hicks
Jill Hicks Jill Hicks (c), Jill Hicks

When we think of recruiting we often think of the athlete, but what is it like for the college coach? They are also going through the recruiting process, just in a little different way.


Year after year there is another new batch of gymnasts to scout and recruit to each college team. The “recruiting game” as it is sometimes called, can be exciting and exhausting for the college coach too.


The college coach spends many hours viewing videos, responding to emails and narrowing down which gymnasts to pursue. Once this has been done the coach hits the road. Summers are often a whirlwind of travel for the college coach, in and out of airports, club gyms and homes of gymnasts. The fully funded programs have several coaches to help with this travel, but it is still very time consuming.


One of my clients and her parents recently returned from several unofficial visits. They were so impressed with the amount of hours the college head coach spent with them.  Most of the coaches took them on a tour of campus, work out facility and answered all their questions. It was about a 3- 4 hour visit. This kind of treatment is very common when a potential student athlete comes to a college campus. What is more amazing is the fact that some of these gymnasts may not even be girls they are actively recruiting.  Depending on the school you can now multiply this day by 15-20 gymnasts per summer.  What parents and gymnasts don’t often realize is what happens behind the scenes after a recruit has signed a National Letter of Intent. The admissions process can be very tedious for the coach. Making sure each incoming freshman is admitted properly and adheres to all the NCAA regulations. There are many hoops to jump through to be sure the academic paper work is approved for competition as well.


Overall, the recruiting process is very time consuming and the details are very important to ensure a great start to a gymnasts college career.


As you can see the recruiting process is challenging for both the gymnast and the college coach. Once the decision it is a huge relief. Finding the right fit is crucial on so many levels. As you go through your own personal college journey remember the road
may have many twist and turns, but ultimately it will be worth the time and effort for both gymnast and coach.


Let us realize that the privilege to work is a gift,
The power of work is a blessing,
The love of work is success!
David O. McKay

About Jill Hicks:

Jill Hicks is a former elite gymnast, Division I college athlete, club coach and Division I college gymnastics coach (Cal State Fullerton, Oregon State) and the owner of Jill Hicks Consulting, where she provides recruiting services and choreography for prospective student-athletes and their families. For further information visit:

Editor's Note:  Publication of this article is not an endorsement of any recruiting service.  Always check with the NCAA or your school's compliance officer for any questions regarding recruiting rules, the latest timelines, or other issues.

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