One important aspect that may be a huge benefit to your recruiting process is staying organized. While it may seem easy, keeping track of all the attention that you receive is something that will help you make that final decision. It gives you a chance to look back at all of the schools you are considering before making a final college decision.
We will go through a variety of ways in which a recruit and their parents can track their attention. Some are easier than others but really, you are looking for a system that works well for you. It may be to write things down in a small notebook or put together an spreadsheet to determine which schools are after you when.
The easy and simple paper trail (As submitted by parents) We use file folders for each school and this is where we keep the mail, brochures, hard copies of emails, etc. On the outside of the file folder we make notes of telephone conversations with coaches and put the date / time. We store all the file folders in a bin. Then when (their sons) would receive a call, they would get out that school’s file and be reminded of all previous contacts. We would also take that school’s file with us on game / official visits.
This is a rather simple method that can be used. It keeps you updated of all the recruiting attention that you have been getting and allows you to know what the colleges are telling you. If they are feeding you lines from the previous conversation, you can keep updated notes in the file. This gives you the opportunity to double check down the road.
The thing that I really like about this method is that the folders allow you to take it with you on an official visit. If the coaches have been hyping a certain attraction on campus, you can make sure to visit it when you make the trip to their school. All you would need is a computer, printer, a box, and file folders. This is cheap and an easy solution to stay on top of the athletic recruiting process.
Going digital and using a computer (As submitted by a parent) I put together a database of 28 colleges ranging from DII to major DI colleges within a 12 hour radius. Information such as coaches names, position coaches, addresses, and phone numbers. I kept this information on a laptop so I could update any contact information. I also was able to keep track of who had been sent film and who needed film. We kept mail if it was hand signed by a coach with whom we had a relationship with that had information about upcoming games or recruiting. If it wasn’t hand signed, after awhile we just threw those away…junk mail! After the initial junior film had been sent out and reviewed, we followed up with phone calls to find out which schools were genuinely interested. In the beginning, there was Iowa St., Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Kansas St., Nebraska, Northern Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, South Dakota St., Nebraska Omaha, Missouri Western St., Western Illinois, Northern Illinois, and a host of smaller DII schools. The key was to have as many options as possible, because we knew by fall this list would narrow down quite a bit, and were hoping 6-10 would still be in the mix.
This parent used the power of a computer to keep track of college information. He kept the schools that the family was interested and knew the names and contact information of the coaches at the school. The fact that they were able to stay on top of the highlight tapes sent out was a huge advantage to them. If a school requests a video, it is important to follow up with them. Talk to them about the video, what they thought, and how they feel about you as a prospect. This family was able to do that effectively.
Although not mentioned, a spreadsheet could also be used to track when a college coach contacts you. If you are included enough to stay totally digital, you can scan letters and anything that they send. After scanning, put it in a folder on your computer under their school name. This may be tricky when you do visit the school but the laptop should be able to help you along those lines.
These are just two options to do in the recruiting process. Find something that you are comfortable with, is easy to use, and allows you to stay on top of it. It very well could be using a PDA to update when a coach calls an athlete or just writing it down on a piece of paper. The bottom line is that by doing this, it allows you to know who is calling your son or daughter.
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