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Assisting Players in the Recruiting Process

Assisting Players in the Recruiting Process

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Published by Coach Brown

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Published by: Coach Brown on May 27, 2008
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 1I always like to start out with adisclaimer. First, nothing I am goingto tell you is original. I am notgoing to say I invented this orinvented that. I may not rememberwhere I got this information from butone thing I do know is that I got theinformation from someone else. Second,I am not going to tell you this is theonly way to do things. I am going totell you about a system that we haveused for the last fifteen or twentyyears. It has been very good for meand it has worked well for me.Everyone has their own particularsituation in the school where theycoach. The next disclaimer I have isthis. I have one goal here for thislecture. If you can take one idea fromthis lecture and adapt it to yourprogram, then I will have done a greatjob today. I will not try to sell youon the program we use, but if you cantake one idea and use it in yourprogram it will be worthwhile.Just one more disclaimer, in talkingabout the college recruiting processis this. There are not any rules onthis. No one makes the rules indealing with the coaches and playersas far as how to go about recruitingplayers. Every college does it alittle different. I am going to talkabout some of my experiences in therecruiting process. Then I will talkabout some recommendations on how wedo the recruiting process.The key to the recruiting system issimple. It is made up of one word withtwo letters. Everything we do in therecruiting process is WE. I have runinto some parents at other schoolsthat tell me their coaches do not doanything for the players at theirparticular school. I may know that thecoach has sent out tapes and madecalls to colleges and busted his taleto assist his players. Still there aresome parents and players that willtell others they did not get ascholarship because the coach and theschool did’ do anything to help them.Coaches have told me stories abouttheir players coming in to see themthe day after the national signingdate and tell them something likethis. “
Coach, I saw in the paper today where so and so signed a scholarshipwith so and so. When am I going tosign my scholarship?
It is important to get the players andparents involved in understanding therecruiting process. They must knowwhat is going on and they have to beinvolved in the process. I have asimple flow chart that indicates theway we view the process.
On the left side of the chart we havethe parents and players. In the middleof the chart we have the high schoolcoaches. The colleges are on theoutside of the chart. There are alwaystwo parts to the flow chart. We haveinput from the parents and players tothe coaches. Then we have input fromthe colleges back to the coaches.About ninety percent of what I amgoing to talk about is on the leftside. Basically this relates todealing with the parents and players.
 2The right hand side of the chart isvery easy. There is one simple way tohave a player recruited and that is tohave a stud player. It is plain andsimple. You can talk all you wantabout the different programs,but whatI want to discuss is how you deal withthe parents and players in this area.Of the kids that have gone on toDivision I schools from our program, Icould have told you they were going togo to college on a scholarship whenthey walked into our school asfreshmen. You could see they were justthe type of players that was going tobe recruited four years later. Theywere just studs. There was no magicsystem needed to promote them. Therewas nothing special that we had to doto get them recruited.We had a center this year that cameinto our program and worked very hard.He was 6’3” and 305 pounds and benchpressed 450 pounds. He went from a MACprospect to the Big East with Pitt.However, when he walked into our doorwe knew he was a Division I levelplayer and it would only be a matterof time to determine the level hewould play.We have a junior quarterback this yearthat can put his elbow on the rim of abasketball goal. He is a stud. He isgoing to get a Division I scholarship.Anything else you want to talk aboutwith him is immaterial.Everything we do in the recruitingprocess is based on WE. We are goingto do it together. If a kid comes tome and asks me what I am going to doto help him get a scholarship, I stophim and correct him. “We are going todo it together.” When we mail out yourfilm we will do it together so you cansee it go in the mailbox.” If I am tomake a phone call I will have theplayer sit right there as I talk tothe college coach. Everything we do isgoing to be together.To make this system work, you mustunderstand a few things. First,
“Nonews is bad news.” 
We will do a lot ofthings to assist the players. We willsend out film and we will send outletters to colleges. We will have aplan to assist the players. The mostimportant thing the player mustunderstand is this. If you send acollege a letter or film, the collegeis not going to call you and tell you,“We do not like you or you are notgood enough to play for us.”The players must understand something.“No news is bad news.” If they wantyou they will call you. Second,anytime I get a call from a collegeabout a kid I go straight to thatplayer and tell him what was said;good, bad, or indifferent. If I do notget a call I will not tell the playersanything. The kids know this and itkeeps us together on the process.This is what that procedure does forthe coach. It stops kids from comingup to you in the hall and asking youif you have heard anything back fromthe college we sent letters and filmsto. “No news is bad news.” As I getinto the system we use you willunderstand that one simple point. Itell the players if they do not hearback from the colleges, they do notwant you. It is as simple as that. Noone wants to be the bearer of badnews. Colleges do not call players andtell them they are not good enough toplay for them. They just do not dothat.In dealing with the parents you mustspend time with them. In dealing withthem I never expect parents to berationale about their children. Iwould say if parents are rationaleabout what their kids chances are,they are not very good parents. I amsure my parents thought I was a littlebetter than I really was. I think mykids are a little better than theyare. If I don’t, who does? If I don’tthink my kids are great, who will? Itis as simple as that. But all of ushave been in meeting where we have to
 3bite our tongue when a parent makes astatement like, “My son is the bestrunning back in this program. My boyis good enough to be a Division Ifootball player.”I think it is important to go intothose situations with one simplephilosophy. I expect the parents to beirrational about their kids. It is alot easier to roll with the tide whenthat happens. I also have a theorythat we have a new kind of parent outthere today. I am 55 years old. I grewup in a time when if we wanted to goout and play football in theneighborhood, we did. When I was 10years old and my parents told me to gooutside and play football, there weremore than a dozen kids that you couldplay with. There were kids all overthe place and we played outside a lot.We made up rules and played with theother kids. You learned how tointerpret rules. You did not need momand dad to do anything for you. But ifI told my kids to go outside and playthey would tell me there are no kidswithin two blocks that will go out andplay. There is no one left to playwith today.Today the parents have to step in andorganize all kinds of games andsports. Now we have all kind ofparents involved in our youth leagues.In the last ten years they have comeup with the “Select Teams” in soccer,basketball, and volleyball.I am also the Athletic Director at ourschool. I want tell you, sometimes theselect team parents can be a problem.They travel all summer and spendhundreds and hundreds of dollars. Theyjustify this by saying they are goingto get their son a scholarship. I willguarantee you that the summer coachestell the parents their kid will getthat scholarship. They want them topay that money to travel. It is a newmentality. If that student athletedoes not get a scholarship, somehow itis the fault of the high school coach.The point I am trying to make here isthis. We have a new group of parentsto deal with today. The parents of thekids today expect you to getscholarships for the kids. If theirkid does not get a scholarship, theydo not want to hear it. It is the highschool coach who is at fault. That issomething we all have to deal with.The next point I want to cover is thefact that the recruiting process isconstantly changing. It is alwayschanging. You must keep up with itsomehow. I do not have the answer. Ithink the best way to learn about theprocess is to have a recruit thatcolleges want. If you go through theprocess you will understand what thechanges are. We have been fortunatethat we have had players that havebeen recruited each of the lastseveral years. If we did not havesomeone that was recruited, I wouldcall the colleges and ask some of thecoaches what was new in the recruitingprocess. I would talk with coaches atclinics such as this to find out whatis new in the recruiting process. Tenyears ago I thought it was easy tounderstand.The recruiting process use to worklike this. I thought it was easy toexplain to my players and parents. Youplayed your senior year of football.Then in November the season was over.The college coaches would come aroundand watch film and set up visits. InDecember and January you took yourfive visits to the colleges. On a dayclose to the National Signing date youcommitted. On the National Signingdate you signed the letter of intent.It was a real simple process toexplain. It was not real complicatedand everyone understood it.In the last ten to twelve years theyhave started the process of earlycommitting. I think the further southyou go, the less the early committingtakes place. The further north you gothe more the early signings takeplace. Most of the northern collegeshave at least fifty percent of their

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