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Alerting College Recruiters
To The Under Publicized Athlete

by: Bob Howdeshell
High School Baseball Web

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 and recruiters.

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 ways:

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 work-outs. 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.

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