As a high school student-athlete, the thrill of recruiting seemed surreal. Thinking about a coach potentially reaching out to me was a dream that was about to happen. The college that I was most excited about was William & Mary, and the opportunity to meet with the track coach sent chills up my spine. The coach seemed to embody everything I could ask as far as a coach was concerned. He was excited to meet me, and after many conversations, my official visit was scheduled. I was excited to meet my host because the coach had spoken highly of her. However, on my first official visit of my recruiting period, I learned that a coach could sell a college from just a phone call.
After a short flight down to Williamsburg, Virginia, on a Saturday night is when my visit began. The coach came and picked my family and me up at the airport. Once we arrived on campus, my highly anticipated host arrived fashionably late. We immediately headed off to a restaurant where my family and I got dinner with the coach and his family. We parted ways after our meal; there was no time to talk because the coach had to get back to work. I was dropped off at my host’s dorm and quickly realized I did not have anywhere to sleep. I was left to put my bag on the floor beneath piles of dirty clothes, old paper, and food. The room situation put me off. However, we were going to spend some time exploring the campus before bedtime, so I tried to overlook the sleeping situation.
As we were about to start the night tour of the campus, my host’s boyfriend joined us; I soon realized I was going to be the third wheel on this trip. We walked around campus, and as they only talked to one another, I felt incredibly uncomfortable. During this awkward tour, my host and her boyfriend decided to take me to the track and field practice field, keep in mind it was midnight and dark outside. All of a sudden, I noticed my host and her boyfriend were gearing up to throw some implements (a track and field term for throwing a hammer). The last thing I wanted to do is throw anything onto a field of hammer holes. It was a very awkward situation, as I knew I was not allowed to be throwing hammers on college visits, nor did I want to be throwing anything in the dark. After spending more time at the field watching my host and her boyfriend chuck the hammers around, we went back to the dorm. To my surprise, my host’s boyfriend joined us, and I was left to awkwardly navigate, getting ready for bed while my host and her boyfriend were in the same room. I excused myself and found my way to the bathroom, where a mess greeted me. The garbage was overflowing, which covered most of the floor, and the entire bathroom smelled like urine. After trying not to touch anything, I prepared for bed. I went back to my room, where my host and her mate did not make me feel welcomed. After some more awkward moments, I said I was tired of traveling and told them I was ready to go to bed, I took a blanket and slept on the floor. My host and her boyfriend hung out, cuddling on the bed above me. I was not happy.
The next morning I went to a Sunday afternoon soccer game and toured more of the facilities. After the game and sports facility tour, I found myself questioning the team’s dynamics, the coach’s poor judgment of the team’s behavior, and my desire to compete there. After another night on the floor, I spent my last day on campus with the academic advisor and coaches. My host left me in a lecture hall while she went to her classes. The professor called on me and asked who I was; I had to explain that I was a recruit, and my host was in another class. Please do not misunderstand, I did appreciate my time at the college, but I was not interested in these subjects and spent four hours of my time listening to two lectures. I felt as though I was left out to dry and that no one knew what to do with me.
Finally, after exchanging goodbyes, I was on my way back to the airport to digest my visit. Despite the excellent academics and overall kindness of the coaching staff, there were too many things that made me feel uncomfortable. On a positive note, I attended other official visits that were more to my liking.
Posted on December 20, 2017 in Recruiting 101
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.