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How to Get Your Student-Athlete Noticed by Colleges
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It's hard to generalize across sports—the football drill is a lot different from recruiting backstrokers—but here are some tips.

Think your child is good enough to play college sports and maybe get a scholarship? According to [lacrosse], a measly 1.9% of high school boys will play Division I–level sports (where much of the money is). Girls fare a little better at 2.3%. How do they make the cut? It’s hard to generalize—the football drill is a lot different from recruiting backstrokers—but here are some tips:

BE HONEST ABOUT YOUR CHILD’S TALENT. Few kids are good enough to compete in D-1, so don’t eliminate D-2 and D-3 schools; many have great sports and great academics. An unbiased assessment of your kid’s talent by a high school coach will help narrow the search.

DON’T WAIT TO BE SCOUTED. “Most kids go to tournaments and showcases hoping a coach from the school of their dreams will notice them,” says Matt Wheeler of www.SportsRecruits.com. “That’s not going to happen. Coaches already have a list of kids they want to look at.” To get on that list, create a short highlight video, write a compelling profile (including grades), and send them to coaches. Start as early as your child’s freshman year. That way, you’ll know where things stand by junior year with his or her top school choices.

HIT THE BOOKS. Athletes with good grades have a big edge. Great academics also allow a coach to recruit others with less-than-stellar grades (because your kid’s high GPA helps bring up the recruiting class’s average).

SEEK OUT “INFLUENCERS.”It helps if your kid receives lessons from someone with college contacts. Influencers might also help your child get into an invitation-only college-recruiting camp. Another source: Enroll in a college sports camp, where you’ll be able to work out with the coaches themselves. Some clinics last only a day and run $100 or so. Others can last five days and cost close to a grand.

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Do college coaches prefer private school kids if all is equal?

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Do college coaches prefer private school kids if all is equal?
If they play better competition they do. But most coaches will still walk dummies into their program if it will help them. Look at all the convicts playing D1 football. Every week there are a handful arrested and dismissed form the team.

That is the big advantage of being a stud. You get into schools that wouldn't give you a sniff on academics alone.

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Nobody wants to share stories. Just goes to prove that everyone is out for themselves. Parents have ruined this great sport

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Nobody wants to share stories. Just goes to prove that everyone is out for themselves. Parents have ruined this great sport


True, once recruiting age hits, friends become enemies. Seen it first hand!

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Nobody wants to share stories. Just goes to prove that everyone is out for themselves. Parents have ruined this great sport


What stories do you want? How my kids got recruited? Tips on the process?

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Originally Posted by Powderfinger
Originally Posted by Anonymous
Nobody wants to share stories. Just goes to prove that everyone is out for themselves. Parents have ruined this great sport


What stories do you want? How my kids got recruited? Tips on the process?


Both of those would be great, if you don't mind sharing!

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Originally Posted by Powderfinger
Originally Posted by Anonymous
Nobody wants to share stories. Just goes to prove that everyone is out for themselves. Parents have ruined this great sport


What stories do you want? How my kids got recruited? Tips on the process?


I have a question-I keep hearing once the girls are on a college team (regardless of level) they get super close and have a unique bond, unlike high school drama. I would like to hear from those who have personal experience please (players/parents) thank you

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by Powderfinger
Originally Posted by Anonymous
Nobody wants to share stories. Just goes to prove that everyone is out for themselves. Parents have ruined this great sport


What stories do you want? How my kids got recruited? Tips on the process?


I have a question-I keep hearing once the girls are on a college team (regardless of level) they get super close and have a unique bond, unlike high school drama. I would like to hear from those who have personal experience please (players/parents) thank you


Yes they do since they spend a tremendous amount of time together and if its D1 even more time together traveling with more over nighters. D1 girls spend more time on the field then they do in the classroom and that's without all the gym work. Girls don't really have a chance not to be close. My daughter has some friends that aren't forced to dorm together at other schools as freshman so they actually made more friends but she was and then after a year or two they all move off campus together.

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by Powderfinger
Originally Posted by Anonymous
Nobody wants to share stories. Just goes to prove that everyone is out for themselves. Parents have ruined this great sport


What stories do you want? How my kids got recruited? Tips on the process?


I have a question-I keep hearing once the girls are on a college team (regardless of level) they get super close and have a unique bond, unlike high school drama. I would like to hear from those who have personal experience please (players/parents) thank you


Girls and boys. My kids are super-close to their teammates. One of my kids had a pretty bad college sport experience but never wanted to transfer because her BFF's were her teammates. She graduated several years ago and still does trips with her teammates, they're still tight. Now my youngest is telling me that her teammates and she are all getting tattoos together -- that would be the downside of that bonding.

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by Powderfinger
Originally Posted by Anonymous
Nobody wants to share stories. Just goes to prove that everyone is out for themselves. Parents have ruined this great sport


What stories do you want? How my kids got recruited? Tips on the process?


Both of those would be great, if you don't mind sharing!


Three kids, three sports, all different recruiting stories.

Eldest, not lacrosse, I taped her entire junior year games, made a killer dvd and sent it out to coaches and got some interest. But what really got her noticed was going to showcases. Other than sending out the DVD, we didn't do much reaching out to coaches, and we didn't contact coaches prior to showcasing -- a rookie mistake. What I did learn though was that it was all about marketing and sellilng youro product, aka your kid. Not a comfortable fit for us but that's what you have to do.

Second kid does an individual sport so his stats spoke for themselves. We did some contacting of coaches, but they also saw his numbers and reached out to him.

Third kid is the lax kid. We wrote to many coaches before each tournament, got some interest from both coaches we'd contacted and coaches we did not reach out to. Did some clinics at schools she was interested in but they didn't pan out for whatever reason. No one asked for tape, anyone interested wanted to see her live.

What I have seen through all this is that very, very late in the game, I"m talking second half of senior year, you will start hearing from coaches. That's too late IMO, and there probably isn't any athletic money left, but I was always surprised by who reached out that late in the game. Also, coaches always wanted to know the GPA, no one wants a kid that will end up on academic probation.

The two most important things IMO were reaching out to coaches and being able/comfortable with selling yourself. This is no time for modesty, this is the time to say, "Yes, I am good," and owning it. And of course, you must be seen live so get to showcases and recruiting events.

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agree 100% but would like to add that you need to be realistic. The recruiting process can be like a roller coaster with lots of excitement and some disappointment. By being realistic but confident in the student athlete's abilities you may be able to reduce and sometimes eliminate the disappointment. Don't be in a rush to commit just to keep up with teammates and find the right fit academically, socially, financially and athletically. There is a place for everybody

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
agree 100% but would like to add that you need to be realistic. The recruiting process can be like a roller coaster with lots of excitement and some disappointment. By being realistic but confident in the student athlete's abilities you may be able to reduce and sometimes eliminate the disappointment. Don't be in a rush to commit just to keep up with teammates and find the right fit academically, socially, financially and athletically. There is a place for everybody


True. One of my kids expected the blue chip treatment, it didn't happen and we had to readjust. As a parent, it's hard to be realistic though, let's admit that.

One other important thing, your kid has to like the school, not just the lax ranking. My eldest had a miserable experience with her coach but LOVED her school and teammates so she stayed and overall had a great college experience.

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
agree 100% but would like to add that you need to be realistic. The recruiting process can be like a roller coaster with lots of excitement and some disappointment. By being realistic but confident in the student athlete's abilities you may be able to reduce and sometimes eliminate the disappointment. Don't be in a rush to commit just to keep up with teammates and find the right fit academically, socially, financially and athletically. There is a place for everybody


DITTO, too many first timers are eager to jump at an offer by any school. Don't panic, make sure you end up at a school that fits even if your child stops playing. All of the kids getting offers are studs but then they are on a team of 30 studs and playing time is reduced and the school work for some is overwhelming so some stop playing as they get to be jr's and sr's.

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Thank you so much everyone, excellent advice and input! I am finding out that some club directors and coaches have girls make lists of schools and help guide through process while others do nothing- Top clubs that don't even answer emails. Thank you for this board, it's very helpful to us rookies!

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Just attended my first and last Prospect Day! Total money grab!

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Just attended my first and last Prospect Day! Total money grab!


Prospect days can be the best way for many kids to get recruited. It depends on the player, school, and details of the situation. Some can definitely be a waste of time. Writing off ALL prospect days is probably a mistake. Where was it? What grade is your kid in? Why would you say it was a money grab?

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In general, Prospect days can be great for checking out the school and seeing what the coach is like. You shouldn't have high expectations of being noticed unless you've been in communication with the coach prior to the prospect day.

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Just attended my first and last Prospect Day! Total money grab!


I am so sorry for your experience.

I also took my son to one this weekend, second one for as many schools. None of the 2 have been a waste, may or may not get the nod for the school but we have time. We do know where he fits in. In fact the coach actually gave feedback. Now it is up to his grades and his continual growth in the game.

We also didn't go into it as a be all end all, it was used to see the campus and he was also tryout the coaches.

even if he didn't want the school it was a great "Clinic".

I am sorry you school was a waste of time and money. I guess some are some arnt weeding through those are the tricky part. Good luck.

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Help, trying to confirm how a 4 point grade system converts to a 100% grade system. I know it isn't as easy as multiplying the % grade by 4. I know there is some bell curve/calculation in there, otherwise a 50 would be a 2.0 and we all know C/D's get degrees (and c=2.0)


What grade does a 3.25, 3.5, 3.6, convert to. and for [lacrosse] and giggles 3.8

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Help, trying to confirm how a 4 point grade system converts to a 100% grade system. I know it isn't as easy as multiplying the % grade by 4. I know there is some bell curve/calculation in there, otherwise a 50 would be a 2.0 and we all know C/D's get degrees (and c=2.0)


What grade does a 3.25, 3.5, 3.6, convert to. and for [lacrosse] and giggles 3.8


google it. tons of charts

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Help, trying to confirm how a 4 point grade system converts to a 100% grade system. I know it isn't as easy as multiplying the % grade by 4. I know there is some bell curve/calculation in there, otherwise a 50 would be a 2.0 and we all know C/D's get degrees (and c=2.0)


What grade does a 3.25=87, 3.5=90, 3.6=91, convert to. and for [lacrosse] and giggles 3.8=93 95-100=4.0 in some charts

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why would you ask here? I agree you are on a computer why in the world go to a lax chat to ask that?

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
In general, Prospect days can be great for checking out the school and seeing what the coach is like. You shouldn't have high expectations of being noticed unless you've been in communication with the coach prior to the prospect day.


We (the parents) never spoke to a coach prior to going to a prospect day. We let our son reach out on his own behalf. Sometimes he did, sometimes he didn't - but we felt it was up to him to initiate contact. I also told my son if he was a good enough player to be noticed, the coaches would notice him. I also told him that if he wanted it badly enough, he shouldn't have a problem speaking for himself. We took him to schools that were aligned with his GPA and life goals. Three D-1 programs followed up with him and we let him handle EVERY communication himself (we were there for guidance when he needed it).

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ok father of the year!!!
you are awesome.

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I let my son hit the send BUTTON.. works like a charm...lol
Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by Anonymous
In general, Prospect days can be great for checking out the school and seeing what the coach is like. You shouldn't have high expectations of being noticed unless you've been in communication with the coach prior to the prospect day.


We (the parents) never spoke to a coach prior to going to a prospect day. We let our son reach out on his own behalf. Sometimes he did, sometimes he didn't - but we felt it was up to him to initiate contact. I also told my son if he was a good enough player to be noticed, the coaches would notice him. I also told him that if he wanted it badly enough, he shouldn't have a problem speaking for himself. We took him to schools that were aligned with his GPA and life goals. Three D-1 programs followed up with him and we let him handle EVERY communication himself (we were there for guidance when he needed it).

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this is one of the biggest crocks I have ever read.
I believe the poster who said "let him hit send button" that's so great

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
this is one of the biggest crocks I have ever read.
I believe the poster who said "let him hit send button" that's so great

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by Anonymous
this is one of the biggest crocks I have ever read.
I believe the poster who said "let him hit send button" that's so great


Hold on a second, that is not so far fetched. I also let my son be the primary contact during his recruitment journey. We talked to the coaches during visits, but my son was the one who initially corresponded by email with the coaches and he made ALL of the telephone calls. We would sit down with him beforehand and have him write down a list of possible questions/answers to refer to during his conversations with coaches, but it was all him once the conversation started. Also, after my son verbally committed (in a private conversation with the coach while I waited outside in the hallway), the coach told us it was nice to have a recruit speak for himself. This is not to say it's the ONLY way to go, but for what it's worth, this was our experience.

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Originally Posted by Anonymous
this is one of the biggest crocks I have ever read.
I believe the poster who said "let him hit send button" that's so great


IME, it's often a mix. My kids did most of the contacting, but I would have a lot of input in whatever letter was being drafted. And the athletic resume.

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Overall, my daughters recruiting experience was positive. We started with an unbiased assessment of her talent and prospects which allowed her to target her efforts on low level D-1 and pretty much all D2/D3.

She searched to detemine which schools had the program she was interested in, size of school, rural/urban etc. She compared this to Laxpower rankings to get a sense of the quality of their lacrosse and teams they typically play. From this she developed a list of her top 10 targets. She shared the list with her club and HS coach to get input on if she would be a good fit, coaches experience with those colleges (if any, etc.).

We created a 8 minute highlight video showing goals, assists, off-ball movement and re-defends. In the Spring/Summer between her Sophmore and Junior year she contacted each of the coaches from her list to introduce herself, express interest in their school and program. Her email included a link to her video as well as the tournaments she was attending, team name, schedule and her number. She also asked her club coach to reach out on her behalf as well.

Most of the schools ended up watching her play at the tournaments and reached out to us to discuss visits. She worked with her coaches and upper classman on questions to ask during the visits. I let her lead all the conversations, I asked my parent type questions in the meetings but she definetly was the primary driver. She narrowed her list down to the top 3 and scheduled overnigt/weekend vists.

She received multiple offers ranging from $5,000 per year to $30,000 per year. She ended up accepting a D2 offer from a private instution for $20,000 athletic. The school stacks so she was able to add on $12,000 academic which put her offer at 75% Cost of attendence. 2 years in she is have a great experience and loves the school she attends.

The key for her was that initial assessment. It allowed us to ignore all of the requests to attend camps and clinics at Maryland, Syracuse etc. and really focus on her sweet spot while many of her teammates were traveling up and down the East Coast attending clinics from schools that were never going to give them an offer.

Hope this helps.

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Good info. Thanks!!

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How did you get the unbiased assessment?

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
How did you get the unbiased assessment?


And how did you make the video?


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For the unbiased assessment we started with her club coach. We let her know our priorities: 1. Good education 2. Our daughter wanted to play, not sit the bench 3. We were not focused on any particular Division and were completely open to D1, D2, or D3. This took the pressure off the club coach as she did not feel like she needed to push D1 to justify the club costs.

Lacrosse is also a fairly small community so we took advantage of some local high school varsity coaches we know as well as a local college coach we know very well to get their assessment of our daughter based on their observation of her play.

We compared this with the club coaches assessment and they matched.

Maybe not 100% unbiased but it helped.

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We purchased a decent HD camcorder from Best Buy for about $350. We considered ordering the video packages from the various tournaments but when you add the costs for multiple tournament video packages it actually ended up being cheaper to buy the camcorder ourselves and we can use it outside of lacrosse as well.

At tournaments we filmed only when she was in the game. If possible, we tried to film from high up on bleachers to get a better view. We stayed somewhat zoomed out in order to see how the play developed. This is not a home movie, coaches can care less if they can see your daughter's face.

We own a Macbook which comes with iMovie. We simply imported all the video into iMovie and then watched each clip. IMovie allows you to cut and paste portions of the clip you think is good into a movie timeline. After reviewing each clip we were able to distill 5 or 6 hours of video down to about 25 minutes or so.

We then reviewed the 25 minutes to further refine the video down to 8 minutes. The hardest part was figuring out how to highlight our daughter in each clip so that coaches knew where to focus their attention. We did this by using Paint (from my work computer) to create an oval with a solid border and a transparent center. We imported this into iMovie and dropped the oval over our daughter at the beginning of each clip. So basically the clip would start, my daughter would be highlighted with the oval and then the oval would disappear as the play progressed.

Honestly this sounds harder then it was. We did the video over a weekend, it was fun watching her previous games and bonding with her as we did the video.

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
We purchased a decent HD camcorder from Best Buy for about $350. We considered ordering the video packages from the various tournaments but when you add the costs for multiple tournament video packages it actually ended up being cheaper to buy the camcorder ourselves and we can use it outside of lacrosse as well.

At tournaments we filmed only when she was in the game. If possible, we tried to film from high up on bleachers to get a better view. We stayed somewhat zoomed out in order to see how the play developed. This is not a home movie, coaches can care less if they can see your daughter's face.

We own a Macbook which comes with iMovie. We simply imported all the video into iMovie and then watched each clip. IMovie allows you to cut and paste portions of the clip you think is good into a movie timeline. After reviewing each clip we were able to distill 5 or 6 hours of video down to about 25 minutes or so.

We then reviewed the 25 minutes to further refine the video down to 8 minutes. The hardest part was figuring out how to highlight our daughter in each clip so that coaches knew where to focus their attention. We did this by using Paint (from my work computer) to create an oval with a solid border and a transparent center. We imported this into iMovie and dropped the oval over our daughter at the beginning of each clip. So basically the clip would start, my daughter would be highlighted with the oval and then the oval would disappear as the play progressed.

Honestly this sounds harder then it was. We did the video over a weekend, it was fun watching her previous games and bonding with her as we did the video.


Sounds like you are a great parent. Your daughter is lucky to have you.

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
For the unbiased assessment we started with her club coach. We let her know our priorities: 1. Good education 2. Our daughter wanted to play, not sit the bench 3. We were not focused on any particular Division and were completely open to D1, D2, or D3. This took the pressure off the club coach as she did not feel like she needed to push D1 to justify the club costs.

Lacrosse is also a fairly small community so we took advantage of some local high school varsity coaches we know as well as a local college coach we know very well to get their assessment of our daughter based on their observation of her play.

We did the same thing with our daughter, except the club director was useless. You may want to consider taking advantage of the many university "virtual tours" as you can get a great feel of a campus prior to visiting-and it helps to eliminate some chiices. A few other tips: make 2 visits to campus- one during the course of a typical school day to get a feel of the student body and the other on a weekend to see if the campus is quiet or busy. Also consider taking a look at the past 5 years roster and get a feel of whether players return or leave. A revolving door of players is never a good sign. Remember, there is a place for any girl who wants to play at the college level, don't get caught up in the "D1" drama, I know a handful who attended out of state colleges and are now back home because they did not play or because they missed their family at the games. Education should be paramount in the search. Best of luck!

We compared this with the club coaches assessment and they matched.

Maybe not 100% unbiased but it helped.

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Originally Posted by Anonymous
We purchased a decent HD camcorder from Best Buy for about $350. We considered ordering the video packages from the various tournaments but when you add the costs for multiple tournament video packages it actually ended up being cheaper to buy the camcorder ourselves and we can use it outside of lacrosse as well.

At tournaments we filmed only when she was in the game. If possible, we tried to film from high up on bleachers to get a better view. We stayed somewhat zoomed out in order to see how the play developed. This is not a home movie, coaches can care less if they can see your daughter's face.

We own a Macbook which comes with iMovie. We simply imported all the video into iMovie and then watched each clip. IMovie allows you to cut and paste portions of the clip you think is good into a movie timeline. After reviewing each clip we were able to distill 5 or 6 hours of video down to about 25 minutes or so.

We then reviewed the 25 minutes to further refine the video down to 8 minutes. The hardest part was figuring out how to highlight our daughter in each clip so that coaches knew where to focus their attention. We did this by using Paint (from my work computer) to create an oval with a solid border and a transparent center. We imported this into iMovie and dropped the oval over our daughter at the beginning of each clip. So basically the clip would start, my daughter would be highlighted with the oval and then the oval would disappear as the play progressed.

Honestly this sounds harder then it was. We did the video over a weekend, it was fun watching her previous games and bonding with her as we did the video.


Kudos to you! Our video skills suck. We split the cost of professional videos with 2-3 (sometimes more) other parents on our son's respective teams, which was a little more expensive than doing it ourselves, but we discovered that the quality was much better than what we could create on our own and it allowed us to watch the games instead of worrying about getting the right video at the right angle, focus and zoom.

Then my son did exactly what you did - imported a red oval graphic with a transparent center and used it in conjunction with iMac to create his own BRIEF highlight videos. The editing process was easy. Once he started the process, he had his first video done and posted in less than 90 minutes.


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Re: How to Get Your Student-Athlete Noticed by Colleges
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My two cents for whats its worth. My son recently committed to a D1 school and I would say we were a pretty typical case. My son identified about 5 D1's and some D3's as well that he was interested in and began contacting those coaches his freshman year. To me the most important parts of this process were communication, video and support from his HS and club coaches. The school that picked him up identified him through one of the highlight videos we sent, contacted his HS and Club coach and requested that he come to their prospect day. He happened to have a very good prospect day and two days later they were on the phone with his coaches requesting that he come for a visit right away. One week later he did his overnight visit and we met with the coaches the following day where they made him an offer, which he decided to take. So I would say to anyone going through this process, make sure you are being active throughout the process, these coaches are not going to come to you unless your son is one of the rare kids that stand out physically and academically, but as we all know those kids get scooped up pretty quickly. Go to the big showcases as much as you can, send out your highlight videos, email the coaches with updates and grades, and have your HS and club coaches follow up. Dont get sucked in by all the money grabs and as much as possible go to the prospect days at the schools that your kid is interested in. Hope this helps, good luck to all!

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