Updated: May 22
We know we won't have an April/May live evaluation period or you won't be able to take official/unofficial visits since the NCAA has extended the recruiting shutdown until May 31st. We also need to consider will we have an opportunity to get on college campuses at all during the summer months? Will team camps and elite camps happen in June? Will the live evaluation period happen in July? How can I get on a college coaches radar that I'm not already on if they can't see me play this summer?
While we're in a time thats crazy and I'm sure no one ever expected anything like this would happen. Never did I think we wouldn't have April/May live evaluation periods, shut down of Spring visits etc. I want to take a couple minutes and review a few ideas on how you can help yourself in your recruitment process during this shutdown period.
Be Proactive Especially With Communication
First thing you need to do is be proactive. Although not only at this time but you should always be proactive and you should recruit the schools that you want to be recruited by.
EMAILING: I'm not saying that every email will get read but from my experience as a former D1 assistant coach while I would get a ton of emails I read over half of those. From my experience going the email route its best to send it to all the coaches on staff in hopes that at least one of those gets through the "email madness" and they open it and review your highlights and game film etc. This also follows number 4 and 5 from my recruiting tips I posted earlier in the year.
***I'll post another article later on how to write an email to a college coach in an effort to increase your chances of getting them to read it.
CALL COLLEGE COACHES: While college coaches can't call or send electronic messages to you before September 1st of your Junior year you can call them at anytime. This might be a difficult thing to do as a student athlete as you won't have access to many college coaches phone numbers but you should be able to get your high school or AAU coach to bridge the gap for you. This is the easiest way to build a relationship with a college and coach. It is important to recruit yourself especially at this time with all the unknown who knows when they will be able to see you play again. College coaches are going to want to recruit/offer student athletes they have good relationships with not only good basketball players.
Also from my experience I had my office phone voice mail connected to my email. While college coaches probably aren't allowed in their offices at this time you can still call the coaches office phone and leave a voice mail which would hopefully go to their email. If its like my voice mail was it was a generic email and I had to listen to every one that came through to make sure I wasn't missing any important phone calls. This is another opportunity you can do on your own by clicking the colleges website and finding the coaches page you should be able to find the office phone number. I would start with an assistant coach or two and leave them a voice mail as you'll have a better chance of getting your message listened to as you can imagine the head coaches are getting a ton of voicemails/emails. Don't be afraid to call.... even if your a freshmen or sophomore in high school. Leave them your information and give them your high school/AAU coaches contact. That way they can call your coach back if they are interested in more information.
Social Media: Follow coaches who you want to be recruited by... but be realistic. If your a senior in high school and have no offers following Baylor's Kim Mulkey and her assistant coaches will not help you get to Baylor. The power house schools have already narrowed down a list of prospects they are interested in. This can be a great tool but you have to use it realistically for it to work best.
College coaches can't go out recruiting until May 31st at this time and that could get backed up even further! We could not have college camps etc. the list goes on and on. You need to recruit the schools that you want to recruit you! Now is the time to be proactive with college coaches having a lot of time on their hands just like we all do.
Finish/Update your highlight film.
If you've already posted your highlight film take some time to redo this film and rerelease your highlights then post this back on social media. Feel free to tag @LGRBasketball and we'll make sure to retweet this for you. This is your "virtual handshake" while you can't get a job on a handshake some would say you can miss out on a job with a bad handshake. If your handshake is good then the evaluation process will continue and you'll need full game film to follow up with!
***I'll post an article on how to make a good highlight film later this week***
Stay Engaged - Take Advantage Of This Time
Anytime there is a major crisis like this happens in our lives a lot of people lose everything but on the flip side of this some people take advantage of this time and rise to the top because they take advantage of this situation. Believe it or not but a lot of companies make a lot of money out of these crises. While not everyone has this choice if you can control it take advantage of this situation and rise to the top!
This isn't just in basketball, but in school or life in general. If you're blessed to be healthy right now you should be taking advantage of this opportunity! Don't slip with anything during this period. Now is the time you can separate yourself. A lot of you are taking classes online and you'll be graded on if you complete those classes. Not having someone staying on top of you while you complete these classes with the A's you need to be getting or while you slip through the cracks and have your GPA impacted with below average grades? It's important with the sliding scale the NCAA provides that works with your ACT/SAT test scores as well as your GPA that you finish your school year strong. Some student athletes grades will be impacted in a negative way since no one is watching over them and this could open an opportunity for you to get that scholarship they aren't qualified for.... its just the business side of college basketball, some student athletes don't qualify and students that were eligible before all of this are going to slack off and not finish the year out as strong as they could have earning themselves grades lower than they should of and that could impact their future.
Make sure to take this time seriously so your future is in a better place. You can take advantage of this time and gain ground or extend the gap between you and the next student athlete both on the court and off the court as well. Taking advantage of this opportunity in the classroom will show college coaches that you can handle things on your own which is how it will be in college. You won't always have someone looking over you during your school work and if your not making the grades in college you could lose your scholarship you worked so hard for in the first place!
On the court?!?!? How are you taking advantage of this opportunity to improve on the court or in the weight room/conditioning? If your coach hasn't sent you workouts to do at home they have this amazing thing called the internet where you can find countless numbers of workouts all over the place! I even posted a pretty cool app called "HomeCourt" which sadly is only available on iphone or ipad at this time but it give you countless ball handling drills etc. Think about it like this..... over the summer when you're working out like normal what do you think all the other student athletes that have a dream of playing basketball at the next level are doing? They are also working out right... so not only do you have to work out but you have to outwork them every day in order to beat that student athlete and become better than them. During a time like this though, you can spend time working on your game while others are sitting at home doing NOTHING. I like to tell my team "there is no traffic on the extra mile" and that means going above and beyond. When you go above and beyond you can pass those other student athletes that have your same dream by out working them. If they aren't working and you are think of how much more ground you can make up or think of how much wider that gap can get between you and them..... take advantage of this opportunity because basketball will be back and will you be in basketball shape for June elite camps if they happen or July evaluation period if it happens?!?!? The college coaches will notice those that separate themselves when basketball starts back.
Do Your Research
How else would you want to spend this extra time we have on our hands than to invest in your future? Do some research on all the schools your interested in. While we can't take visits to these campuses now is the time to do some research on these schools. Not just the basketball team but actually research the school. Research the history of the team and the coach/coaching staffs. You can take virtual tours and a lot of other things can help you in making a decision but its all about what your interested in. Half of the choice should be about basketball but the other half should be about the school!
Look at the rosters if your a 5'10 post player but you look on the previous rosters for the past 3-5 years and they don't have a post player shorter than 6'2 then you probably won't be able to play post at this school. If you are you'll need to be able to bring something DIFFERENT than just a post player. Maybe you can stretch the floor and hit the 3pt shot at over 35% (in game). College coaches tend to stick to these trends and the rosters tend to stay the same over the years. *If a college coaching staff has turnover meaning a different coach this of course would not apply.
Take advantage of this time... don't be the person that is sitting around waiting on someone to tell them what to do! Grow your game and be better after this is all over. A lot of people are going to be sitting around and doing nothing... this is where you can really separate yourself and make that major jump while other student athletes are sitting still. Be proactive!!! Reach out to college coaches, make a highlight tape, please don't take this down time and just sit around for the next 2-3+ months!
Thanks for reading and if you'd like some more recruiting tips check out my previous article here
If you need anything from LGR please don't hesitate to reach out!
*Credit goes to Coach Clint Cosgrove as this article came from his YouTube video posted here