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Sunday, 05 March 2017 21:45

Recruiting Tips: 4 Tips to Maximize Recruiting with Academic Select Colleges

Written by Tom Kovic
Author Tom Kovic Author Tom Kovic Courtesy of Author

Ivy League and other select, non-athletic scholarship awarding institutions can, in many cases, offer significant assistance in Admissions and Financial Aid that can potentially lend strong support for prospective student-athletes. It is important that prospects, families and high school advisors clearly understand the role the college coach plays in this process and to make every effort to develop sincere and robust working relationships with coaches.

Competition in Admissions at some of the nation’s premier academic institutions is fierce and those families who understand the potential impact the athletic component can make in “college select” admissions will position themselves best. Below are Four Tips to Maximize Recruiting with Academic Select Colleges.

College Coach Timelines

Academic select college coaches embrace a much different recruiting time-line compared to the majority of college coaches nationwide. Where many coaches are positioned to make verbal offers to high school prospects based mostly on athletic ability, coaches from academically select colleges utilize an extended time-line when committing to prospects.

These coaches are recruiting true student-athletes and work the admissions side first. They will require academic transcripts, standardized test results and a copy of the high school profile in order to submit an “academic pre-read” to the admissions office.

Early academic evaluations are effective means of determining the potential admissibility of a candidate. Typically, coaches work with an athletic department “Admissions Liaison” that can assist them in requesting “early reads” for prospects. If the admissions pre-read request comes back “favorable” and the family has cultivated a strong relationship with the coach, the pre-read will likely be honored and could be a real time saver in providing recruits with a good indication about their chances in admissions.

Build a Strong Case

The landscape with college recruiting continues to grow in numbers, quality and competitiveness. Like any talented athlete, a dedicated prospect should work diligently to separate him/herself from the rest of the pack.

When engaging college coaches about your sincere interest in their program there are 3 key areas that make-up the whole person…Academic strength, athletic prowess and core integrity. Every prospect should bundle these qualities into a complete product that presents them in the best light. Your personal portfolio simply needs to be unique, impactful and eye catching.

Athletic Evaluations

The primary recruiting tactic for college coaches in determining a potential student-athlete “fit” is purely “academic.” The next component is simply raw athletic talent and there are several ways prospects can assist the coaches with sport evaluations. The important component here is to be proactive with your effort to assist coaches to evaluate you best and with ease:

  • Highlight and meet video should be clean and offer crisp, accurate and concrete skill.
  • Attend camps and showcases where you have communicated clear event details with the coaches and you have a “good feel” for who will be attending and evaluating.
  • Specific college prospect camps are ideal if you have narrowed down a short group of “A list” colleges. You not only have the opportunity to make an un-official visit, you are guaranteed an on-site evaluation from the coaches representing one of your top schools.

Get Personal

College recruiting is indeed a process and a lot that goes on during the early stages of recruiting is behind the scenes and the vast majority of evaluations are objective. Make every effort to add a subjective touch to the recruiting process by offering the coaches with a glimpse into your distinctive core, the level of personal integrity you possess and potential leadership qualities you bring to the table. Schedule a phone meeting with coach or better yet, if you have the ability to meet with coaches face to face, plan a road trip and meet with coach as part of a campus visit.

If you are a true student-athlete and your ultimate college goal is to attend a brilliant college or university where the athletic component can complement an outstanding academic experience, your quest can be tremendously fulfilling but tactically distinct.

Present yourself in an organized and well-balanced manner that gives college coaches a clear picture to your unique college ambition and build a strong case with supporting student-athlete evaluation information. Make every effort to add personal ingredients that engage college coaches on a personal level and you will give yourself the best opportunity to maximize your college recruiting effort.

About Tom Kovic:

Tom Kovic is a former Division I college gymnastics coach (Penn) and the current director of Victory Collegiate Consulting, where he provides individual advisement for families on college recruiting. Tom is the author of “Reaching for Excellence”, an educational guide for college athletics recruiting. 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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