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John Prado
02-21-2013, 10:16 AM
This post is open to anyone who would like to comment and has some insight into the subject. I would love to hear from any coaches or Parents of athletes that have recently gone through the college recruiting and signing process. This sight does a fantastic job of posting when the athletes sign and where they are going but I am interested in what the process was like for the individuals. I have a high school daughter who is very interested in continuing here running career at the college level of some sort. She is only a sophomore and we have no experience or real knowledge on the subject. We are picking things up through some of the college web sites and this one of course but more personal knowledge would be very helpful.

I am the father of a daughter so am obviously more interested in what the female athletes go through but for the good of the group here it would be great to hear about the boys situations as well. These amazing athletes put in an incredible amount of work, as everyone on this forum know, and it would be awesome to show them that there are opportunities beyond the trophies, plaques and lettermen jackets (which are all great too)! It is amazing to me to see how these kids basically give up their entire summer to prepare for the fall Cross Country season. It is increcible dedication in a teenager to get up at 5am and put in all those miles.

If anyone else is interested it would be great to hear. If no one else cares than you can ignore this post and I will go back to just reading :p.

Thanks!!

rnrdad
02-21-2013, 02:52 PM
I used to coach middle school and club runners for about ten years. I have not coached for about three years. What I am going to tell you is based on my own children but more importantly the experience of kids I coached that went to lots of different high schools, public and private, boys and girls, and what they found out about getting into college, and getting running scholarships in college. Some did, some did not, some didn't want to run in college so didn't care about the process but went to college on academics alone.

First off, three things matter in this order: SAT or ACT test scores, GPA, and times. Don't let any website or person tell you different, unless you are the father of Mary Cain.

College Coaches have a set amount of money and they have to use it wisely. If a kid can't show they can make it academically then they won't be around so the money is used elsewhere. you may go a to a college with less than stellar GPA or SAT, but you will get less if any money, and the college will not be a powerhouse.

Times and consistency matter. Cross Country: Mt. SAC, Clovis, A couple of other meets that most schools compete in, times count more than any other becasue they are recognized and are the same every year, for the most part. Because all of the courses are different, course to course comparisons are not as well regarded. The division mattters, but not nearly as much as the times. Championships do not matter as much as the times. In other words, a 15.00 flat at Clovis means more than if your team won or not, or the division you are in. The kids, boys or girls, that beat your time are in line for more money, if any. Each year should show improvement. College Coaches want to know what you have done, and how much they can expect you to improve in their program, and your times are what they look at.

Track, because most tracks are the same, time over the years and in a season matter. Basically 3200 at 15.13 is 3200 at 15.13, unless serious heat or dirt. So start of season 15.45, end of season or best time is 15.13, and each year improvement is what matters.

The bigger colleges track the websites of meet results so if your daughter is posting cetain times they will send letters of interest to her coach. This usually starts in the junior year but mostly senior year. These are computer generated and means she has the times, but her SAT and Grades are still more important.

You can start emailing coaches with her times and resumes at anytime, but they don't get much attention until her junior year. A note from her coach will mean a lot. It is best if she sends the emails, rather than you.

Some colleges let coaches admit a certain number of athletes without any money, if the athlete falls below the admission standards for that year, assuming the grades and SAT are not too low. No money but you get into the college you may otherwise not be admitted into.

Do not restict your search to name colleges and univerisities. there are a whole lot of very good colleges that don't have big names, but they do afantastic job of getting your kid ready for a career or graduate school. Tne name of the college you graduate from means less than how well prepared she is. After all, her job perfomance will be judged on how welll she does her job, not where she came from.


Many will disagree with everything I have said. But after 23 kids, 15 in their senior and junior year at colleges acros the nation including a couple of ivy league, and 4 in grad school, coming from public and private, big name and no name high schools, some running in college, some not but using their athletic experience as "well rounded", this is the truth as I know it.

rnrdad
02-21-2013, 03:13 PM
Your daughter does not have to be one of the elite to use her running to help her get into college. I know some mid level kids who got admitted, and even some money by emailing and applying to some of the lesser known colleges, lower division colleges.

Do you know about the national websites that show you where she is ranked nationally by year and overall, like milesplit.com? Not 100 percent accurate, but gives you a good idea.

Some of my kids (Thanks to their high school coaches and program) were top twenty, some top 100, some top 200, some way further down than that. The ones in the top 200 all got some money. Even one in the top 400 got admitted but no money at a good College. The main factor was they all had good SAT and GPA.

rnrdad
02-21-2013, 03:52 PM
If your daughter is Jordin, Milesplit has her at 19.06 at Clovis in State Finals in 2012 (Clovis Counts). Next question is what did she do at Mt. SAC on the regular course. Bonita is a good school with a good program. For California that puts her at 57th sophomore and 436 for the nation as sophomore. The college coaches will want to see continued improvement, of course.

Her grade competition is what matters, As a senior she will be competing against seniors for college admission and money. Doesn't matter if a freshman is beating her, the freshman is not applying to college when she is.

I think she is in a good spot, especially if her grades and the SAT are good. Remember a lot of those kids won't be going to college, and their grades may be bad, or dismal SAT.

I wish her the best.

John Prado
02-21-2013, 04:07 PM
Thanks for the great reply. Your insight is very welcome and helpful. Fortunately in my case, I have a wife that is a high school teacher and I am the son of a former high school teacher so in our house it is always academics first. All athletics are a privilege and would be taken away if there grade were to suffer. It is very interesting to think about the athletics maybe helping you get into a school but not necessarily getting you money. Gaining you entrance where otherwise you would not and not to even mention to be able to continue doing something you love at the college level. With the amazingly competitive world we live in, here in California especially, any help you can get could be crucial.

I hope to hear some more experiences from others.

RichEde
02-23-2013, 08:09 AM
mrdad has a good handle on it. Even the powerhouses who only look at the real elites aren't going to touch an athlete who can't clear the clearinghouse so the HS academic program is critical. Getting registered with the NCAA clearinghouse is critical for DI and DII. Don't restrict your school research to the "names." You daughter can get a great college experience in a lot of places. Look at schools moving from DII to DI. They've usually found some scholarship money they'd like to use, but many of my athletes have had great experiences being recruited by DIII schools where the athletic part can be a door-opener even if there's no athletic scholarship money to be had. It's amazing how many athletes qualify for need-based financial aid. As mrdad said, letters or emails from the HS coach can put your daughter on someone's radar. Good luck.