We spoke with a former collegiate soccer player who played at the Division I level about an unpleasant experience he had at Western State. Before committing and attending Western State, he felt like he had done his homework. He is a well-rounded kid and would be an asset to whatever school he decided to go to. This prospect ended up choosing Western State, as he thought it worked out best for him academically, athletically, and financially.
Throughout the entire recruitment process, his coach seemed to be a modest man. Every time they spoke on the phone, he appeared to be pleasant. The coach would go overboard with his concerns and sounded a bit too polished with his questions. It started to feel fake, but there was no real way of telling. When my friend went on an official visit, everything seemed normal; the coach talked about the school and the team and made my friend feel welcome. My friend was excited about the school, coach, and the opportunities that the coach had guaranteed him.
Unfortunately, things did not go as expected. From the very first day of preseason, it was an unsettling experience. Usually, on the first day, the team would get their equipment and team gear in the equipment room. The bags would contain cleats, runners, training tops, etc. The coach stood behind the counter and hand the athletes their bags, and of course, he should know their names or at least acknowledge them. He didn’t seem to care or call any of the new players by their names or even acknowledge them. The athletes talked about this with one another in the locker room and were surprised at how cold and uncaring the coach was.
Sadly, this behavior from the coach continued for the next two years. As a Division I player, my friend knew he would have to fight for his time to play. He would continuously speak to the coaches about what he needed to do to get some playing time. He was not bothersome by any stretch of the means; he is a nice guy who was just looking to better himself or get advice on what he should be doing. Since my friend reached out to other coaches for advice, only then did he start to see some playing time. He got valuable playing time, which in turn, lead to goals and assists. He was beginning to prove his value to the head coach.
Even though my friend worked hard and proved himself as a player, it was not enough for the head coach. Without warning, the coach stopped playing him and would not give him any answers as to why. Unfortunately, a lot of coaches ignore athletes and their concerns because they do not want to confront athletes. Coaches need to communicate better with their athletes and be honest. My friend ended up transferring and playing for a coach who respected his players.
Q: What have you taken away from this experience?
A: This was a learning experience for sure. I learned that I should have researched the coach more. During the recruiting process, we seem to get caught up in the hipe. My advice would be to ask questions and use a site like Locker Room Talk to see what other athletes are saying about their coaches. This way, at least you have all the information in front of you so you can make the best choice possible for yourself.
Posted on November 22, 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.