What to do for the under-publicized player that CAN play at the next
level. Here are a few thoughts and ideas.
Many outstanding athletes playing for schools in remote areas of the
country receive local recognition but rarely experience the kind of
recruiting attention they deserve. They may be excellent athletes,
but for a variety of reasons, colleges know little about them. High
school coaches may not share information routinely, or the player
may be a late bloomer, only recently having developed into a college
level player. Many of them are too far removed from the mainstream
of sports activity to attract the attention from awards committees
Whatever the reasons for lack of recognition, these athletes require
help from coaches, counselors, parents, or others who feel they are
qualified and deserving of being considered by college programs.
Coaches are the most obvious persons to provide help in the following
They can send letters introducing players to college programs, at
the start of his junior year, to encourage college coaches to watch
the player. Sometime during the student athlete's senior year,
generally in the middle of the season, they can send letters that
share recent statistics, honors such as "Player of the Week",
continued academic excellence, leadership contributions to the
team, size, strength, speed.
At the conclusion of the season, they can send another letter that
shares final individual and team statistics, improvements in size
and speed, letters of recommendation from opposing coaches, and an
educational profile, including current GPA, test scores, and
academic and career interests.
At the conclusion of the junior season, they can also call various
college programs -- such calls are only to be made after the high
school coach meets with the athlete, his parents, and counselors.
This is also the time to send videotapes of games or individual
Generally game videos should reveal the athlete's performance
against the toughest opponents on the schedule. Tell the college
coach that you will be calling two or three weeks after the tapes
have been received to discuss his evaluation of the player's college
potential. If the athlete is obviously outstanding, the college
will call, probably often! If the athlete is marginal but suggests
good growth and skill potential or has a level of commitment that
will guarantee success, the high school coach should call to maintain
or further the college's interest. Players sometimes
possess intangibles, such as unusual toughness or dedication, that
must be shared with college coaches and that will require more than
one phone call.
Send additional letters from both you and opposing coaches throughout
the process. Also include any reference to any additional honors
the athlete may have received in the interim.