Now that summer sports camps are over, what can student-athletes do to help their recruiting?

A big mistake that I see athletes make is they do not use summer sports camps to their recruiting advantage. 

For most athletes when camp season ends in July, many student-athletes take a break. However, this is the perfect time to start thinking about the next steps in your recruiting process.

College athletic camps in the summer are a staple in the recruiting process for  high school student-athletes. Camps are offered at almost every grade level and skill level. However, the high school camps comprise the implications of recruiting. Athletes attend camps to demonstrate skills, talent, and personality. They also have a chance to see the college campus, take some pictures for social media and shake a few hands of revered college coaches. 

True, college camps are a fun experience, but actually they are vital in moving the recruiting process forward for prospective student athletes. Certainly, student-athletes want to come away from a camp with more than a t-shirt and sunburn.So, now that cams season is over, what must a serious student-athlete do? How can the investment of time, energy and money of summer camps be used as a recruiting advantage?   

Immediately after camp season completes the student athletes should develop a plan to improve the identified strengths and weaknesses. The measure and collecting of metrics and statistics during camps should reveal the areas in need  of improvement. For example, if a timed speed metric is too high then, the next step for the student athletes is to figure out what is needed to lower the time to the appropriate range. This may include adapting new speed drills and revising workouts to improve speed. 

In recruiting, college coaches want student-athletes who put in the work to improve all aspects of their game. . Staying the same is not good. So develop a plan to strengthen strength and work on weaknesses.  Surely, coaches will notice the next time the opportunity to be evaluated. 

Next, student-athletes should update their recruiting profile with current metrics and measurements.  Recruiting profiles are excellent for sharing academic and athletic information with college coaches. But, if a student-athlete does not have an athletic profile, then immediately after reading this blog, go build one ! 

Summer sports can also provide opportunities to capture useful video for recruiting. Featured footage from camp competition, drills, skills, and agility can easily be edited for recruiting purposes. Most importantly, include video links of the new film to your newly updated recruiting profile. 

Finally, take all that new information and then touch base with coaches you met at camps. Best forms of communication are email and direct messages. In this communication, make sure to mention the name and dates of the camp you attended. 

Following these simple steps can surely help move the recruiting process forward for any student-athlete. 


Extended Dead Period (Again!), Delayed Season, What’s Next?

Clearly, recruiting for the class of 2021 has taken on a much different timeline than years past.  As most student athletes are aware, the NCAA has extended the Dead Period to September 31st.  So what’s next? Lately, I’ve been getting questions about this so here are a few helpful pieces of information. 

While it is true that summer evaluations have been hamstrung, comparatively, this isn’t much different than in years past because as of August 1, the Dead Period/ Quiet Period starts. At this time, college coaches may not have face to face contact with athletes or their parents. It also means that college coaches cannot watch players compete UNLESS that student athlete is actually on the college campus for a camp or college visit.

Now, following the Dead Period is the Evaluation period from September 1- November 30. By definition the evaluation period permits college coaches to watch college-bound student-athletes compete. Ideally, this will allow for student-athletes to be evaluated during Fall season sports.  

Next comes early singing period staring in November 13 for sports other than football and December 18-20 for football. Keep in mind that around 5% of athletes from the 2021 recruiting class sign early. Typically, the majority of the recruiting class sign in the Spring. Further, recruits can sign until the August 1 cut off date. 

What does the extensions and delays mean for student-athlete seeking to get recruited? Student-athletes should focus on the things that they can control. Photo by Fitsum Admasu on Unsplash

Give the delays as a result of covid-19 for ACT and SAT tests coupled with cancellations of evaluation related camps it is likely for a significant number of the 2021 recruiting class to sign late.  

What does this mean for student-athlete seeking to get recruited? Student-athletes should focus on the things that they can control. First, the primary focus at this time is to keep preparing for the season. Stay in shape, keep up the workouts and stay hungry. Second, when school begins concentrate on getting the best grades possible. Don’t slack off or miss assignments. Take care of your academics and when the time comes your academics will take care of you. Third, it is important to be patient with the process. These contact periods are designed to slow down the process so that coaches have adequate time to scout prospects. Now that covid-19 has impacted the process it is even more important to be patine. Last, and perhaps most important during the delay, players can, and should, continue reaching out to coaches during all contact periods so that they stay on the radar.