New Year's resolutions are great things, but most of them don't make it past February. So I'm not going to suggest you turn over a new leaf as it were. But I do have a few reminders that you might want to consider. Now that the holidays are over, there is recruiting business you need to attend to. You can, of course, continue to procrastinate and just hope you (or your athlete) will get lucky. People win the lottery, so why not you? But how many people buy tickets and don't win the lottery? Hmmmm???
If you're a senior and you're still looking for a college, it's time to pick up the phone. Sell the heck out of yourself to any coach who will listen. Emphasize your love of the game, your commitment to playing, your willingness to consider all options. There are still coaches looking for players, but assuming they'll randomly discover you is like believing you're going to win the lottery even though you never buy a ticket.
If you're a junior, you need to get active with your college search (if you haven't already started.) You need to schedule SATs and ACTs, get your video shot and uploaded to YouTube, and begin working on your letters and resumes that you'll mail college coaches. (yes, I said MAIL, not EMAIL. If you don't understand why, please call or email me, and I'll explain it to you.)
2013 will be the best year ever only if you're willing to put some effort into it. So...in the words of the immortal Captain Jean-Luc Picard, "Make it so!"
1-14-13 HEAD IN THE SAND VERSUS EYES WIDE OPEN
It's incredibly easy to believe that dreams can come true even if we do nothing to make it happen. And there really isn't anything wrong with this. Optimism and hope are good things. However, when it comes to recruiting, I see so many families who--when confronted with the work involved in finding the right college and team--choose to bury their heads in the sand, hoping luck will win out and their player will land at her dream team without any appreciable effort.
While I can sympathize with these families, I also know that I'm likely to feel a whole lot worse when they find themselves in the fall or winter of the player's senior year with few options and a heartbreaking sense of disappointment. I cannot say it often enough, but the recruiting gods help those who help themselves. And if knowledge truly is power (which I believe it is), where recruiting is concerned, the more you know--and the more YOU do--the better off you'll be. If luck ends up playing a major role, that will be terrific. But if not, you won't be left holding the bat and ball and wondering why you have nowhere to play!
2-1-13 DON'T SHOOT THE MESSENGER...PLEASE!
I recently heard that a parent who had just attended one of my workshops was unhappy that I presented the "realities" about recruiting. She didn't want to be told that, for example, 75% of colleges are not D-I, but are D-II, III or NAIA. And she most definitely didn't want to know that only about 55% of softball players will get athletic-based aid. This mom clearly thought I should have sugar-coated the truth and made it appear that every girl who even thinks she wants to play ball in college will not only be magically recruited, but will probably get a scholarship too. If only it were so.
Recruiting can be a good news/bad news or glass half full versus half empty scenario. I personally think there's a lot of good news to be had, and the glass is--without a doubt--more than half full. However, you need to be realistic, and you need be prepared to do some work if you want to reach your goal of playing in college. I know that some parents find it very difficult to accept the fact that their daughter might be more likely to be successful at a smaller program or that she might not be offered a full ride scholarship. Just remember. I don't make the rules of the recruiting game. I only try to help you win it!