Amanda Reckamp was recently named the new head softball coach at Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM). During her first season of 2018-2019, she worked hard to revamp the Dragons softball team. Under Reckamp’s guidance, the Dragons were able to break the doubles record in mid-April.
Reckamp coached at Grinnell College for eight seasons. In 2018, she guided the team to an impressive 41 records with 24 overall wins 12 conference wins and qualifying for the MWC Tournament for the first time in 12 years. Coach Reckamp gives recruiting advice to athletes.
LRT Sports: What is the most important quality you look for in a recruit?
Coach Reckamp: Persistence and communication in the recruiting process.
LRT Sports: What is the best way for a recruit to get on your radar?
Coach Reckamp: Filling out our recruiting questionnaire and then following up with an email and/or phone call. Don’t be afraid to follow up.
LRT Sports: When should an athlete contact you, what is the best way? (age, grade, time of year, email, phone, or other)
Coach Reckamp: After freshman year of high school – that summer. Email and phone. Utilize all communication avenues with a coach if you really want to go to that school. Stand out from all other recruits that are trying to reach out to me.
LRT Sports: What are your expectations for incoming players in the classroom, in the weight room, and on the field?
Coach Reckamp: In the classroom – be on top of your work and the academic resources around you. Ask questions, seek out best practices for being successful in the classroom. In the weight room and on the field – be hungry to always get better. Don’t expect that everything will come easy for you; work to be the best version of you every time you hit the weights or the field.
LRT Sports: What are the do’s and don’ts of being recruited?
Coach Reckamp: Do – be prepared with questions; do your homework on the school, coach, and program you are interested in; make time to visit the school; be persistent with communication. Don’ts – do not be afraid to tell a coach when you have moved on from being interested in their school, honesty in the process is huge; don’t expect a coach to be at every single game or tournament you have – if we are interested you will know we are interested and that may not result in us traveling to every tournament – we recruit nationally; don’t go long periods of time without touching base, otherwise we may move on.
LRT Sports: What is the best advice you can offer a recruit?
Coach Reckamp: Be real, be honest, and put yourself out there.
LRT Sports: What really jumps out to you when reviewing a recruit’s highlight tape?
Coach Reckamp: Good form, even if there are mistakes. I expect to have to develop every player that comes in my program, regardless of the talent/skill they have coming in, as for feedback from the coach that is recruiting you. I appreciate the honesty. If they say you are great at everything, ask for more.
LRT Sports: What are the main do’s and don’ts for a recruit’s highlight tape?
Coach Reckamp: Do – show your best skills; Don’t: go over 3 or 4 minutes
LRT Sports: 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 the season, or after each game?
Coach Reckamp: Whenever you have it, send it.
LRT Sports: What advice do you have for recruits who get turned down by their dream schools? What are their options if they don’t gain the recruiting attention they desire?
Coach Reckamp: If your dream school turned you down, then it isn’t your dream school. Work hard to get a mutual interest in the recruiting process. Look for a coach, program, and school that will push you to become the best you can be. In terms of options, ask that school or coach why they aren’t interested so you can work to gain interest elsewhere. At the next schools, you look at, be honest with the coach, and say, hey, I got turned down at X school, and I really want to know what I can do to get on your list. That shows you have grit and are willing to work hard.
LRT Sports: How big a factor is social media when recruiting players? What advice do you have for athletes regarding social media?
Coach Reckamp: I don’t look a ton at social media, but my team does. When they know we have a recruit, they are searching to find out more about who you are. And if they find something not so good, they do tell me, and when you come to visit, they may have a preconceived opinion that may not be the real you. Promote yourself in the best light on social media. Personal branding can be the best thing or the worst thing for you when it comes to social media.
When doing research in the recruiting process for my daughter I came across the LRT Sports website. I was immediately intrigued as this was another dimension of the recruiting process that many people don't even consider. My daughter and I could "short list" schools based on the education she was looking for, as well as the opportunity to play her sport. LRT Sports not only gave us pertinent information into the recruiting process with different interviews of coaches and players, it also gave us insight into current and/or former players' opinions on the coach of that school in her sport. We could use this information to re-prioritize my daughters list of schools based on this feedback. I have many friends that are, or will be, going through this process shortly and I highly recommend using LRT Sports as part of anyone's recruiting process.
The college process presents a myriad of challenges. Factor in athletics and it becomes even more daunting. Now, add the fact that you have zero experience with sports. What is a the mother of a college bound student-athlete to do? LRT Sports has truly lived up to its promise. It has kept "the college recruiting process honest and easy by providing first hand information about coaches, schools and the recruiting process." Their interviews with current students, coaches, and professional athletes have provided realistic guidance. I am much more informed because of LRT Sports! The coach ratings are the most helpful. LRT Sports interviews allow us to hear from students as to how the adults are impacting not only their athletic experience but also how they are helping to shape their adult self.
The C.A.L.C. was thrilled to have Keirsten Sires come and speak to us on multiple topics relevant to high school athletics today, including recruiting. Keirsten reached all of our students and left them with great strategies that will not only help on the fields, courts, and mats, but also in the game of recruiting. She was a true professional and delivered a wonderful message.
Now that the recruiting process and the related stress is over, I wanted to thank you for your guidance. You did so much more than we had expected. Once you started the process by matching the best academic schools first, not the best sport programs, I knew you were the one. The way you laid out a timeline of contacting coaches, visits, and camps completely took any guesswork out of the plan for us. All of the student athletes that you put us in touch with gave us a look from the inside, and made us more comfortable knowing what was coming. Finally, using your website as a resource for knowing what to expect from different coaches based on former recruit reviews gave my son confidence before our meetings. There is no way we could have figured this out on our own, you really put us in a great position when decision time came.
I think hearing from other athletes is very beneficial. To be able to learn from people’s mistakes, and to be able to have access to those voices is really helpful; especially voices that have been there and done that. It’s very important for people to have access to information that could benefit them, and in this case there are many voices that can help the next wave of athletes.
If you have something that’s going to spell [the recruiting process] out for you… it’s so valuable. I think what everyone at LRT Sports is doing to spread the word and help advocate and educate athletes on the recruitment process is incredible.
Without question would have used LRT Sports. It would have probably been one of the most valuable tools that I could have had. If you want to know what these coaches are really like then I think this is the best tool out there. I’m really glad you are allowing recruits to have a resource like this moving forward.