Mandi Morrow has been with the University of Michigan women’s golf team for several years. She has made it to the NCAA postseason advancing to the NCAA Finals twice. In 2015 it was for Tulane, and in 2017 it was for Michigan. Morrow has been a driving force in U-M’s success in the Big Ten and nationally. In 2017, she helped the team post a top-five finish at the Big Ten Championships. She also helped them earn their second straight NCAA regional bid and advance to their second consecutive NCAA Finals. Getting advice from coaches should not be taken lightly,it can help you out with your recruiting path and help you play for big DI schools like Michigan.
Kathryn: What is the most important quality you look for in a recruit?
Coach Morrow: As a coach of a high level Division I team, so much of what we look for is their pure talent. Sure, we want the best talent out there, but there are so many other qualities we look for in a recruit. I would say that we look at the overall background of a student-athlete–how they interact with others, how they treat their family/friends, what they’re posting on social media. If we recruit players that don’t mesh well with our team, you’d be amazed at the impact they can have on the program.
Kathryn: What is the best way for a recruit to get on your radar?
Coach Morrow: Initiate email contact. Send us their resume (include athletic achievements and academic information), tournament schedule, and coaches contact information–mainly if they are underage and we cannot initiate communication with them. Best thing is to also follow up every so often–BUT not too much.
Kathryn: When should an athlete contact you, what is the best way? (age, grade, time of year, email, phone or other)
Coach Morrow: I would say sometime between their freshman and sophomore year would be ideal for us, via email, and eventually by phone call. This allows us to try to get to a tournament to recruit the player, and have communication with their swing and/or high school coach. We are currently done through the 2020 recruiting class–this does not mean we are trying to get 2021/2022 commits locked in, but it allows us time to start the process of learning about the player.
Kathryn: What are your expectations for incoming players in the classroom, in the weight room, and on the field, court, etc.?
Coach Morrow: We expect our student-athletes to work hard and be as successful as they possibly can be, in all aspects of being a student-athlete. We get some kids may not get a 4.0, but that doesn’t mean they can’t try their hardest. We understand that not every player is going to lift the most weight, but that doesn’t mean they can’t push themselves. We expect our players to want to be the best she can possibly be in the classroom, in the weight room, in the community and on the golf course.
Kathryn: What are the do’s and don’ts when being recruited?
Be patient–early recruiting and early commits are happening more and more. But be patient!!!
Email coach if you’re interested–give important information, academically, athletically and give contact information to the recruit, and her coaches–especially if you are too young for us to communicate with.
Do research! Know who you are emailing–know the team (athletically). Does your stroke average align with our teams average? Can you be a key player on the team?
Change the coaches name if doing copy/paste emails!!!!! You would be SHOCKED at how many emails we get that kids do not change the name or university they are emailing
Don’t over communicate. We do not need weekly emails. Updates are great, but just not too often.
Don’t give up if you don’t hear back–for the younger ones–we can’t communicate with you directly, don’t give up if you do not hear from us directly–be sure to give swing coach contact information so we can reach out to them
Don’t post things on social media that would look bad (party photos, racial posts/comments, anything that can hard your character)
Don’t let your parents do all the communicating–whether that is via email, phone call, or on visits–we want to hear from YOU!
Kathryn: What is the best advice you can offer a recruit?
Coach Morrow: Keep an open mind–give yourself every possible opportunity you can. Visit lots of schools! Somewhere out there, there is the right coach/program at the right university. You need to find the best combination for you. And again, be patient.
Kathryn: What really jumps out at you when reviewing a recruit’s highlight tape?
Coach Morrow: Golf specifically–swing mechanics/technique, and power. Those jump out. From there, if the student-athlete looks like a pretty good player I will research her to find out scores/playing schedule
Kathryn: What are the main do’s and don’ts for a recruit’s highlight tape?
Coach Morrow:I don’t think highlight tapes are as big in golf as in some other sports. There is so much more to golf than just the swing, but ideally, name, grad year and where they are from. Few full swings from down the line and face on with driver, about 7 iron, as well as a few pitch shots and putting.
Kathryn: 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?
Coach Morrow: I think that freshman/sophomore time is ideal for us–that is when we are first really starting to follow progress and might be nice to have an idea of the player beforehand. I would say to do the video when they feel they are swinging pretty good at the ball.
Kathryn: 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?
Coach Morrow: This happens all the time, and it’s not easy for either side. It is not easy turning kids away, but many times we do not want to waste valuable time of theirs when they could be spending it elsewhere if we know it would not be a good fit. There are other fantastic schools out there–keep an open mind. If you are dead set on your dream school, that is OK, but realize maybe playing a sport at that level might not be in the cards, however, there are many club programs at many universities. Again, keep an open mind, and take a lot of school visits–there are a lot of great universities out there who want you!
Kathryn: How big a factor is social media when recruiting players? What advice do you have for athletes regarding social media? (Please explain)
Coach Morrow: I’ve mentioned it a couple times. As you go through the recruiting process, and as you start to recruit players more and more and trying to see if they’re a great fit for the team, I certainly take a look at their social media. If they’re posting things that could be inappropriate, or tweeting bad things, you really learn a lot about them. Your players are the face of your program, the athletics department and great representatives of the University–we do not want to harm a great reputation. It is certainly not the only thing we look at. It is part of our job to be able to pick up on some of that as well, and ultimately we have to make sure that they’d be a great fit for our program. Sometimes, their social media accounts can give you a quick answer (quicker than what you would be able to maybe pick up on at times).
For more information about Michigan’s golf team: https://mgoblue.com/coaches.aspx?rc=334&path=wgolf
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