March 23, 2021
As a prospective college student-athlete, you’re not just pursuing recruiting exposure for exposure’s sake – you’re looking for results in your recruiting! Recruiting and exposure opportunities are only good in their capacity to get you to your goals of college softball.
You’ve seen the lines and promises everywhere: “Be seen by college coaches”, “Play in front of college coaches”, “exposure to college coaches” – these taglines are the promises of tournaments, showcases and camps that land in your inbox every day. They seem like an intuitive beginning to the recruiting process – after all, a key first step in getting recruited is having a coach see you play. But they also leave out crucial parts of the exposure and recruiting process, including efficiency in targeted exposure, the preparation to be ready for your opportunity and giving coaches everything that they need to make a recruiting decision. Simply “being seen” by college coaches is not enough – you need more! Showcases and tournaments need to do more than simply have coaches there for you to advance your recruiting.
When it comes to delivering recruiting outcomes, there are more questions about a showcase or exposure opportunity than simply “are coaches watching?” Some that we ask are: Are the right coaches – the schools and types of programs that you’re targeting in your recruiting – watching? Do coaches have everything that they need to recruit you out of the event? Are you prepared and ready for your opportunity when the eyes are on you? Do coaches have the chance to do more than simply see you play through the fence?
Coaches being able to see you play is an important start to getting the right exposure, but it isn’t enough to truly deliver results in your recruiting. To help you make the next steps in your recruiting, it has to be the right opportunity offering more than simple, passive observation from coaches.
At Honor Roll, we’ve broken down what it means to get effective exposure into three key areas of focus for our camps: Right Coaches, Right Tools, Right Format. This combination of factors is what ultimately can drive results in your recruiting.
Honor Roll Results:
The concentration, volume and variety of your target high-academic programs to deliver efficiency in your recruiting.
If you’re a high-academic student-athlete, generalized, non-targeted exposure to as many schools as possible isn’t going to be the type of exposure that will help you. You’re looking for a very specific type of college experience which places academic and holistic fit at the forefront of the search, with softball playing a very important – but limited – piece of the puzzle. General, non-targeted exposure at a large-format tournament or showcase camp isn’t what you need, because it doesn’t offer you the efficient exposure to the schools that you are looking for. To deliver on this efficiency, an important piece of your targeted exposure is going to be the concentration of high-academic schools who are watching you.
Targeted high-academic exposure should deliver two specific things: 1. Exposure to the programs that you already know are on your list, 2. Exposure to schools that have a lot in common (academic profile, athletics) with the schools you already know you’re interested in. By doing this, a targeted high-academic showcase like Honor Roll not only allows you to advance your recruiting process at the schools on your list, it also provides a discovery platform to learn about even more schools that could offer the right opportunity for you at the next level.
Before Headfirst Honor Roll created the first high-academic showcase in 1998, student-athletes like you – and like our team here! – didn’t have the right opportunities in recruiting. A player looking at the NESCAC, Ivy, Patriot or SCIAC schools would travel to a large-format tournament to “be seen by” hundreds of schools – only to have just a very small handful of those schools be ones that were viable options in the next steps of recruiting. Alternatively, these high-academic players could travel to each school’s individual prospect camp to get great exposure to one of these target programs at a time – and then rinse, (spend), repeat to do it for all the 20, 30 or 50 schools on their early list, which very quickly becomes cost (and time)-prohibitive.
Rather than these two inefficient methods of exposure – mass exposure to a low concentration of the right schools, or one-off exposure to a single program at a time – Honor Roll offers efficiency in the high-academic recruiting process by giving you high quality and guaranteed exposure to 50-65 high-academic programs at each showcase. This not only means that you gain efficiency by targeting all in one place the schools that are already on your target list, but also you get exposure to other high-academic schools that fit the same mold as your school list. At one single camp over the course of two days, you get guaranteed, multi-context exposure to a high number and concentration of high-academic college programs, so that you can move your recruiting forward at the schools already on your list and also discover even more that could offer the perfect college fit.
This is what “right coaches” means at Honor Roll: a high concentration, volume and variety of high-academic programs, any of which could offer the perfect holistic fit for you as a student-athlete at the next level.
The guidance and preparation to be ready for your opportunity with college coaches watching.
Advancing your recruiting process at your target schools takes more to drive results than just the simple opportunity to play in front of the right schools – it also means being at your best when all the college coaches’ eyes are on you. The Honor Roll experience is designed and executed to not only give you the opportunity for guaranteed exposure and direct engagement with college coaches, but also so that you’re ready for the opportunity.
Before Camp Preparation & Guidance –
Well before you ever arrive at your hotel for an Honor Roll Camp, you will have received insights, guidance and preparation on how to best take advantage of your camp opportunity, including:
Our pre-camp curriculum is designed to help you be well-prepared for camp, so that you’re able to be at your best when the lights are on. This means knowing what’s coming at camp, and how to best prepare for and take advantage of the opportunity in front of you to advance your recruiting.
At Camp Preparation & Guidance –
From the moment you arrive at camp on Day 1, our experienced Headfirst “red shirt” team is there to help you and get you ready for the two days in front of you, both physically and mentally. As we say at camp: Honor Roll is not an advice free zone. Our camp programming and dedicated team gets you ready for your showcase and games, including:
There are pieces of the recruiting process that many families, student-athletes and even college coaches chalk up to luck, or “right place, right time.” We believe that what often looks or feels like “luck” in recruiting is actually where your hard work and the right preparation has met the right opportunity. At Honor Roll, our job isn’t just to put the right coaches on the field – it’s also to make sure that you’re prepared and equipped to take advantage of the chance you have when all the eyes are on you.
Everything college coaches need to recruit you.
College coaches need to assess and evaluate all aspects of your game to make a recruiting decision and move forward with you – which includes seeing your fundamentals, your play in live games, having data and analytics on your play, engaging with you face-to-face and more. The programming at an Honor Roll Camp is built to give you guaranteed, multi-context exposure to all the college coaches in attendance, so that recruiters have the chance to see you and evaluate you as a complete student-athlete.
Coaches are evaluating the player that you are today so that they can assess and project the player that you will become. They call this your “projectability”. Each different context for exposure – whether it’s the Offensive & Defensive Showcase, the live gameplay, the data and analytics or the objective measurements – gives coaches more insight into the player you are, and the player you have the potential to become. We’ve gone in-depth on a separate post about the recruiting insights that advanced data and analytics give coaches – check out that complete post here.
How you play in a live game situation is a very important piece of the puzzle for college coaches – but it’s not the complete picture. This is why Honor Roll is built to deliver a complete 360-degree view into you as a player, so that coaches can be confident in their recruiting decisions. This includes a dedicated player meet-and-greet, so that you have the chance to connect with coaches face-to-face off the field to help them put a face to a name, and to get to know you as a student-athlete. This dedicated meet-and-greet time, combined with the virtually limitless opportunities for on-field and in-dugout engagement with coaches during gameplay mean that student-athletes have the chance to get to know coaches and their coaching styles.
We believe that the equation of Right Coaches + Right Tools + Right Format leads to results in your recruiting – and the track record of Honor Roll alumni playing in college shows this.
In 2019, there were nearly 170 Honor Roll alumni on rosters at our partner programs, and in 2020, there were over 320 Honor Roll alumni playing at 71 different programs.
Ultimately, showcase exposure is meant to deliver opportunities and results in your recruiting – which takes more than simply “being seen”. “Being seen” isn’t sufficient – and it’s also the passive voice. Be proactive, and be ready for the right opportunity in your recruiting.