Jessie was a phenomenal athlete and was a highly recruited 17-year-old basketball player. She attended numerous basketball showcases and schools such as Michigan, UCLA, Texas, South Carolina, Maryland, Ohio State, Mississippi State, and the list goes on. When it was time for Jessie to take her official visits, she decided to narrow her choices down to four schools. She expected her first visit to be stressful and a bit unnerving, but she never expected it to entail lies and hypocrisy.
It all started after a three-hour flight, Jessie and her parents arrived at the airport where the basketball team and staff welcomed them at the luggage station with huge smiles and hugs. Everything was going so well; she took a sigh of relief and wondered why she had been so nervous. She settled in and was on her way to a nice dinner at an excellent restaurant in the city. Quite a few potential teammates joined the dinner, and the conversations seemed to flow. Jessie started to have a sense that this school was not the place that she could see herself going to. After dinner, she settled into bed, and she fell asleep quickly.
The following day, the schedule included breakfast with the coaches and parents, followed by team bonding activities, a tailgate, on-field events and pictures, and then the rest of the day was planned by the team. During breakfast, the conversation turned into talking about what a tremendous impact Jessie could have on the team as well as her being one of best guards they had ever recruited. Her parents were excited and could not stop smiling; they were proud of how much praise their daughter was receiving from the coaches.
Everyone continued the day by going to the coach’s house where there were some more team bonding activities. Jessie could feel that something was not quite right. She felt alone and noticed that only the host seemed happy that she was there. She tried to get the negative vibe out of her head while they drove to the gym to tailgate.
When they arrived at the gym, Jessie went to the locker room by herself to use the restroom, while her parents continued the visit the rest of the facilities. She was amazed by the size and beauty of the locker room; she had never seen one like it. What she did not find so appealing were all the papers that were lying around on the bathroom floor, and the papers had her name on them!
Jessie was extremely upset at what she about to read.
Jessie, 17, Guard, originally from Boston, MA.
Key points to remember during her visit (Labor Day weekend):
PLEASE do not bring drama into the weekend. Fake good team chemistry!!!
Jessie’s host walked into the locker room wondering where she was and wanted to see if she was ok. She found Jessie crying in one of the bathroom stalls. The host could not believe her teammates had left the recruiting papers in the locker room. She apologized on their behalf and chose to talk to Jessie about the incident.
The host, Emily, told her that the team and coaches were lying to her about the team chemistry. The team pretended as if they got along while she was on her official visit and the coaches were promising her things that were never going to deliver. Emily was brave enough to tell Jessie that she should not attend the school. The host’s word’s, “It’s all pretty and pink until you come here and take one of their spots. Honestly, the first summer here was awful for me.” Emily also opened up about the fact that she, herself, was going to transfer in December because she could not see herself at the school anymore.
Jessie appreciated the fact that Emily was so open and honest even though she was a part of the dishonesty in the beginning. The girls went to the football game, and Jessie told everyone that she was going to head back to the hotel to spend the night with her parents. She packed up and left the following morning. Jessie’s dad called the head coach to tell her that the official visit was over and they were leaving. He spoke to the coach about the importance of honesty and told the coach and how disappointed they were with the program. Not a good end to an official visit.
Fun fact: Emily and Jessie kept in touch. Jessie ended up not committing to any of the schools that were listed on her top 4. She decided to go to the school that Emily was transferring to in December and they are presently roommates and great friends and are graduating this upcoming May.
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.