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March 16, 2020

Tips for What to Expect from Your Recruiting Process Amidst COVID-19

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The NCAA has suspended recruiting through April 15, 2020, due to COVID-19. The impact of COVID-19 on athletes across the world has been and will continue to be detrimental. Cries from student-athletes dealing with the uncertainty of college commitments, lost eligibility and canceled seasons are resonating all across the globe.

Coaches have never seen anything like this before; they are meeting to try and solve the recruiting problem and are doing the best they can to try to figure out how to proceed with the process. A lot of the schools already have signed athletes but are not quite finished. Coaches might have to sign athletes that have never visited the school. For the most part, college coaches will have to become creative by using social media and technology to get in touch with potential recruits. 

You need to remember that every high school athlete is in the same situation as you are. This means that you are not at a disadvantage. Even though all high school and collegiate sports are on hold, please understand that college coaches never stop looking for prospective student-athletes. 

We would advise that athletes get more involved in their recruiting process because we do not know the outcome of what is going to happen. You will need to be proactive, work out, train at home, eat healthily, fill out questionnaires, send email and send DMs to team social accounts.

“I think the timing of the virus won’t have a major impact on recruiting,” a Division III Track and Field Coach shared. “The impact this virus has on recruiting depends on the longevity and severity of it. A lot of high school athletes will more than likely reconsider where they have committed to. On-campus visits are going to be limited, and traveling to games/events will be rare. Recruiting is big on face to face contact, and that contact may not exist until the CDC or WHO finds a cure to this pandemic.” 

“It’s really stressful because I’ve gotten ten emails in the past few days saying that schools are canceling or postponing their clinics, and the whole point of those clinics is to get yourself noticed by coaches,” Ella VanLuvender, a sophomore from Haverford High School said. “But now they aren’t happening and time is going by fast. People commit soon!” 

Expectation: Things will get canceled

A Wesleyan University baseball athlete stated: “All of our tours and information sessions run by admissions were closed for the rest of the semester, so it will be challenging for coaches to work with the admissions staff on getting recruits.” 

Solution: Use your time wisely

Since everything is coming to a halt until April 15th (will be evaluated by NCAA), it’s important that you focus on everything you can control with your recruiting process. Although this may seem tedious, it’s an essential part of organizing your recruiting process.  

Over the next couple of weeks (maybe months) your time should be focused on: 

  • If you’re new to the recruiting process, creating a game plan for your recruiting process
  • Perfecting your highlight video using the footage that you have
    • It’s noted above that athletes were relying on this upcoming season for footage; our recommendation is to use what you have and in the coming months come up with a plan to attain more footage once you are able to. 
  • Creating emails to send to coaches 
    • If you have not already created an email to coaches, now is the time to do so
    • If you have already created an email, it’s a perfect time to craft a follow up email to coaches who haven’t responded to you. Feel free to include GPA/SAT/ACT scores, academic accomplishments, or any other updates that would be important for the coach to know about
  • Gathering contact information on coaches you want to get recruited by
    • If you are a senior and waiting on a decision, be patient with the coaches you have been in contact with (more information below)
  • Researching admissions processes for the colleges you are interested in
  • Studying for your SAT/ACT tests. If your scheduled standardized tests were cancelled please stay active on their sites for follow up 

If you had a junior day or a visit canceled, use virtual resources to navigate research on colleges. For example if you can not make it to a college to see their athletic facilities you can see virtual campus tours. You can also use YouTube and YouVisit.com. 

Note: If you are unsure if your event is canceled, please contact the coaching staff by sending an email or text message. 

Expectation: If you reach out to coaches, they might not respond

Coaches are trying to process their cancelled seasons and what to do with their current team, scholarships, recruiting for their following year and how the coronavirus has and will continue to impact their sport. As coaches are dealing with their next steps, please be patient with them and the process. 

“The one coach I’ve spoken to on-campus said his only focus is on his current players, and he won’t be focusing on recruiting for at least a few weeks,” a Wesleyan University baseball athlete said.

Solution: Creating your lists 

Seniors: Coaches are focusing on their current players, and helping them navigate their scholarships, getting home safely as well as meeting about how to handle their upcoming recruits and potential recruits. If you need immediate assistance and you are not getting through to a head coach, try reaching out to the position coach or other staff members. We do not recommend that parents contact the coaches.

Juniors: As mentioned above, this is a perfect time to focus on researching schools and coaches. Since you do have the time, you can do all of this work on your own. There is no need to spend thousands of dollars on a service that says that they will put you in contact with your dream school. This likely will not happen. The recruiting process is an easy one; all it takes is a well-crafted email to the coach with a link to your Hudl highlight video. A coach will be able to tell if you would be a good fit by watching your video. If coachability or personality is a factor for the coach, if he/she likes your highlight video, he will reach out. Be prepared to give him/her your current GPA/ACT/SAT. Again, create a list of all the colleges and coaches that you would like to compete for. 

  1. Start a spreadsheet following the format below (this spreadsheet is football-specific and will need to be modified for other sports)
  1. Visit the college athletics website
  2. Go to the sport-specific page (example: Men’s Golf)
  3. Click on the “Roster” link
  4. Continue to “Coaches”
  5. Click on the coach you’d like to reach out to (most of the time they will have an email or phone number available to you)
  6. Look on the sport-specific page to see if there is a recruiting questionnaire to fill out. You will want to copy the link to the questionnaire into your spreadsheet to fill out later. 

PRO TIP: If the head coach does not have an email on the athletics page, look to see if the assistant coach or position coach has an email. You can find this information on the school site. 

Expectation: Time

At the end of the day, the NCAA and colleges are following what they think is best for the health and safety of all students. Although this is creating turmoil and uncertainty, this too shall pass. 

Solution: Be patient and stay healthy

If you are patient, you can overcome any challenging situation with more flexibility and of course in a better way. Follow the safety guidelines provided by the CDC, avoid direct contact with others, wash your hands and keep your distance from those who are coughing or sneezing. Take the time to lean on your high school coaches and trainers to see what types of workouts they recommend for you and then start training at home as soon as possible. 

Please note that some NCAA information is subject to change as developments arise with COVID-19. For any additional questions, please sign up for our Varsity Membership and contact our support team. 

YOUR JOURNEY STARTS HERE