May 14, 2018
Now in our 20th year, Headfirst Honor Roll Camps have long been the premier showcase for academically-minded student-athletes. Our full-time staff of former coaches and players is present at every event to deliver insight and guidance as you navigate the process. Whether at Stanford, Duke, Amherst, Lafayette or Georgetown, our team has been through this process – first as student-athletes and then as coaches and recruiters. We’re well-versed in the nuances of recruiting at high-academic schools from both the player’s and coach’s perspective.
Because of this wealth of experience, parents and players often reach out to us with questions about the recruiting process. To help as many families as possible, we decided to address some of the most frequently asked questions here on our blog.
How many times do coaches need to see you before they are ready to commit you?
Before we dive into this question, let’s acknowledge the simple fact that each college coaching staff is unique and their processes will differ accordingly. However, from our personal experience as college recruiters and based upon 20 years of hosting our showcases, we have identified several patterns that reflect common practice across all programs and all NCAA divisions.
Just like professional sports organizations, college programs use a system called “crosschecking,” where other members of the staff will confirm what is initially reported by the coach who first discovers the player. Whether it is the Head Coach, Recruiting Coordinator, Pitching Coach or Director of Player Development that sees the student-athlete first, the process is the same. The coach will return to the office, write the player’s name on the whiteboard and another member of the staff will be assigned to follow up and “crosscheck.”
With the scarcity of scholarships and admission slots at high-academic schools, coaches recruiting for academic institutions need to be especially careful during this phase. Typically, by the time a player receives an offer – whether it is attached to scholarship dollars or not – virtually the entire staff has seen the player and the coaches are all in consensus on the player’s athletic and personality fit. This can happen quickly, or it can stretch out over months across the recruiting process, depending on the player, coach and program. Eventually, the staff will hold a meeting – often led by the Recruiting Coordinator (who functions as the controller on scholarship dollars and admissions slots) – and a decision will be made.
Because programs utilize this team-style recruiting, players should emphasize “planting seeds” early in the process and then move towards cultivating relationships with schools and coaches that have demonstrated interest.
With upwards of 100 true academic schools represented at Headfirst Honor Roll Camp and ample opportunities for direct, face-to-face engagement, our showcases are the best opportunity for academically-oriented athletes to get their name on as many recruiting whiteboards as possible, while also establishing and building individual relationships with coaches at their dream programs. By attending an Honor Roll Camp early in their recruiting journey, players can spark interest with a high volume of schools and then – based on their athletic and academic interests – choose which relationships make the most sense to foster moving forward.
If you have a question about recruiting at high-academic schools, please don’t hesitate to reach out directly to us at 202-715-6654. Our dedicated team of former high-academic coaches and players is always available to help you in your recruiting journey.