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The huddle

December 5, 2016

Brown University Rugby Coach Kathy Flores Offers Recruiting Advice

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Coach Flores has already led the Brown Women’s Rugby team to an undefeated season. She also received the USA Rugby Female Coach of the Year award.

Before coaching at Brown University, Coach Flores was the U.S. Women’s National Team coach for eight years and coached for the San Francisco Fog Men’s Rugby Club, the Berkeley All-Blues Rugby Club, and the University of San Francisco’s women’s Rugby club. June 2016, Flores was inducted into the U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame.

What is the most important quality you look for in a recruit?

Character.

When should an athlete contact you? (age, grade, time of year)

They can actually contact coaches at any time on their own time and money, but coaches are not allowed to send any recruiting materials, correspondence or contact by telephone until Sept 1 of their high school junior year.

How should an athlete contact you? (phone, email, social media)

Athletes may contact a coach at any time by phone but coaches may not return voice mail – the athlete must talk to the coach directly. An athlete can email at any time, but correspondence may not be returned until the Sept 1 of a student’s high school junior year. Coaches may not reply publicly to an athlete (but can message them if it is Sept 1 of their high school junior year) until they have actually been accepted and paid a deposit to the institution.

What really jumps out at you when reviewing a recruits highlight tape? What are the main do’s and don’ts for a recruits highlight tape?

While I am interested in their skill level, I am more interested in the kind of teammate they are. Do they isolate themselves on the field and only work when the play is around them or do they look to be involved at every instance whether it’s offense or defense. I prefer to have video of a match as opposed to a highlight tape as most times, the highlights show only the things they do well. I need to see how the athlete responds when things aren’t going as well: if they have missed a tackle, knocked a ball on, etc. Do they come back harder or do they stay in their head?

When do you recommend recruits put together and share their highlight reels? Is it best to make their highlight reel during offseason, in the middle of season, or after each game?

I suppose off season might be best so they can include all footage of the past season. As I said, I actually prefer to watch match video so I would want links to various matches if possible.

What advice do you have for recruits that get turned down by their dream schools? What are their options if they don’t gain the recruiting attention they desire?

It’s tough to not get in to where you were hoping but that doesn’t mean you can’t get into a school that has a good program. Rugby has more recently gained attention as an NCAA emerging sport but there are top programs that are not under the NCAA label yet. Coaches are different in what we look for in an athlete and though you may be a highly skilled athlete that may not be the top priority of the coach/school you are looking at. The most important thing is to be able to play the sport – not everyone gets in where they want but everyone can still play somewhere and it’s up to the athlete to turn what they feel is a negative into a positive.

What camps, leagues, showcases and teams would you recommend a recruit to attend to gain exposure to college soccer coaches?

Many programs will have their own camps to give athletes the opportunity to not only get in front of the coaches but a chance to see if the coaching, the school and the area is really what they want. An organization called Atavus that is part of the USA Rugby development structure is a great way for athletes to not only have fun and develop their skills, but gets them in front of coaches who may attend to watch these camps.

How big a factor is social media when recruiting players? What advice do you have for athletes regarding social media?

Social media is everywhere now. As a coach, I do check the social media of a student athlete I am interested in to see what things they post. I noted that I look for character first so I want to know if the athlete will fit in with our culture.

What is the minimum SAT/ACT score a high school athlete needs to have when applying to Brown University?

SAT at least 1410/ACT at least 30, GPA at least 4.0…these are not hard numbers as most students are above these

What advice do you have for high school or club coaches that are working with recruitable players? How can they make sure their athletes get in front of the right people?

Most college coaches are checking national development teams, looking for their athletes. However, I appreciate when coaches contact me about their student athletes as most times, they know the athlete has the grades to get in, now we need to see the skill level. For Brown, regardless of whether i like an athlete, the first thing is their grades and test scores. I am often notified by coaches that their athletes will be at a camp in my area so if I have the time I can go and view.

What type of events do you recruit at?

I have gone to the high school championships and worked at several camps where I’ve met athletes I was very interested in. I’ve also attended local regional high school all-star events.

What advice can you offer a recruit?

Know that you are coming to a school to be part of a team.  While we recruited you to be here as an individual we do it in the hopes of making the team stronger with your inclusion along with your development.  It’s not about what the team can do for you but what you can do for the team.

 

Photo taken from BrownWomensRuby.com

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