Page 8 - KnightTime News Winter 2019
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KNIGHTtime News
 As I wrote in the previous newsletter, the first step for any prospective college recruit involves thoughtful soul-searching. Once you’ve determined that playing college athletics truly is for you, then the actual process begins. I refer
to this step as, “Establishing and Maintaining Relationships.”
Step one of this process begins with that cliché,“You never have a second chance to make a first impression.” With that being said, your first outreach to coaches should be by way of a more formal letter (with letterhead) and athletic-focused, professional style résumé. I prefer
to have students mail hard copies
to each coach so they can see the professionalism in print. While it’s unlikely they’ll respond to that first outreach, it provides the athlete with a natural opportunity to follow up: about 10 days following, send an email version of the letter in the body of an email with the résumé attached.
From this point, you’ll engage in the art of maintaining a relationship with every coach on your list, all the way through the end of the recruiting process. And it truly is an art. On the one hand, you don’t want to pepper coaches with weekly updates and
The Importance of Relationships
      emails sharing everything that’s happened in your past week, yet nor should you wait for months on end to reconnect.
Consider sending athletic and/or academic updates about every 3 weeks, looking to highlight what
is most important. Maybe you get your quarter grades and there’s a spike in your GPA (or you continue to maintain your current, strong GPA), or improved your swim times by
5 seconds or scored key goals in a set of league matches—all relevant updates to send to a coach.
This is all important for three reasons. First, and most importantly, at some point in the process, you’ll reach out to your top-choice school and let that coach know they are your top choice. This will make a considerably stronger impact on this coach if they’ve maintained a relationship with you and you’ve made it evident you’re taking the process seriously. Secondly, your tastes will likely change. It’s often the case that
the top choice of a first-semester sophomore changes by second
semester junior year; and thirdly, it’s often the case that the coach at an athlete’s top choice moves in a different direction. In both of these later cases, we’ll want the athlete
to have spent the year maintaining relationships with all the coaches on their list so they don’t get to a “crunch time” near the end of the process in which they’re initiating a relationship late in the game. Not to mention, this relationship-building has the added benefit of allowing the athlete to get to know the respective coaches, which is all part of the investigative process.
In short, the bulk of this often year- long process is about you getting
to know the coaches, them getting to know you, and you continuing your investigation as to what the best fit is for you. And remember, college coaches are hearing from hundreds of “all-star” athletes, all competing for just a few recruiting spots—very often, the personality and professionalism of the athlete is what sets them apart from the other equally talented recruits.

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