Video: Katerina Kountouris jump rope workout
College coaches urge potential student-athletes to remain active.
MaxPreps recently sent a nationwide survey to small college and junior college coaches in a variety of sports. We asked for advice, insights,
creative solutions for high school athletes and their coaches to help in the recruiting process.
The general response was summed up this way by one coach — "Those who work and don't look at this as a vacation or feel bad about the situation will move ahead of others."
As a service to hopeful collegiate student-athletes, parents and perhaps high school coaches, we're sharing some of those responses below.
American River College (Sacramento, Calif.)
coach Doug Jumelet said "The late bloomers are really going to have a hard time getting noticed right now." His advice to players is to contact him "or have your coaches call us. … We need help finding players too during this time. It is real." Moorpark College (Moorpark, Calif.)
coach Mario Porto says the best thing coaches can do is be honest with their players and pick the best level they can play. Advice to players is to ask the high school coach to call the colleges they are most interested in attending. Though these are tough times, without a senior year, "Good athletes don't allow setbacks to hinder them. Keep working toward your goals."
Casper College (Casper, Wyo.)
coach Nate Macy is specific with his program's wants: A 3-to-4-minute highlight package with season or career statistics is a good start. He advises players: "Keep crafting your game this summer," he said. Citrus College (Glendora, Calif.)
coach Greg Dinneen tells players to do their homework when researching a school, contact coaches they are only serious about and respond to a coach or a school "even if you are not interested in their program." He advises high school coaches to call the college coach to discuss the student's grades, character, work ethic and potential. Colorado Northwestern (Rangely, Colo.)
women's coach Sherryl Kloserman said players need to take their recruiting into their own hands. "Send emails, make calls to coaches and send game film, not highlights," she said. The shelter-in-place lock down has postponed off-campus visits and "it's harder to evaluate character and personality," she said. Hutchinson Community College (Hutchinson, Kan.)
coach Phil Anderson said any and all forms of communications is a must at this point, including all social media. That advice isn't just for players but high school coaches, Anderson said. Most of the communication between high school players and coach is through FaceTime and emails.
Peru State College (Peru, Neb.)
coach Joan Albury advises athletes to take their time at this point "to work on your personal improvement. Colleges will find you." She asks the high school coach to help athletes with workout clips to display all the player's skills. Then it's just a matter of getting those clips funneled through social media. Shippensburg University (Shippensburg, Pa.)
coach David Smith reminds coaches to make sure to make honest evaluations of their players' talent and what level of college play they should be playing. Players should send "full game videos, not just highlight tapes. Also workout videos showing various skill work." Waynesburg University (Waynesburg, Pa.)
coach Sam Jones said recruits more than ever are hesitant to make decisions, which is making life challenging on the college coach. He wants to hear from any potential players who feel they can play at Waynesburg. "We are anxious too and appreciate players who reach out," Jones said. High school coaches can help by putting together tapes of their standouts and contacting Jones. Webster University (Groves, Mo.)
coach Chris Bunch uses numerous online tools, including MaxPreps, FieldLevel, UCSA and Hudl with the recruiting process. He suggests athletes reach out to the head coach or assists directly through email, giving "plenty of information," such as links to video, grade point average, ACT/SAT scores, cell numbers and other contact information. Valdosta State University (Valdosta, Ga.)
coach Blake Justice advises players to do "anything that will help market yourself," he wrote. "Be mature and respectful when reaching out and try to present something initially that will jump out to coaches." It's important now more than ever to stay positive: "It is an adjustment for everyone," Justice wrote. "If you've put in the time and are good enough, you'll find the right fit." Justice is big on video highlights and full game tapes — "anything can easily be sent to a coach."
His advice to high school coaches is to "help them with communication skills. Reach out on their behalf but also help their players to understand the proper way to reach out and present themselves."
Alma College (Alma, Mich.)
coach Jason Couch tells potential players "Don't blow off your schoolwork just because it is online; Your GPA is the first thing I look at." Couch encourages players to utilize Twitter and direct message him. "Research the school that fits your interest and submit your game film to those schools," he said. "We review every film that is submitted to us." He notes that "we have relied solely on texts, calls and social media." Warner University (Lake Wales, Fla.)
coach Kirk Talley tells players to continue to be in touch with college coaches via email. Take advantage of putting together your video and sending out emails to schools that you're interested in attending. "Have patience and just like games, we can only control what we can control. The school put together a video for virtual tours. We are doing our campus visits via Zoom."
Baldwin Wallace (Berea, Ohio)
coach Jim Wojtkun said the No. 1 tool players and coaches should use is the phone. Not the computer. Coaches should keep athletes "calm and reinforce the importance of initiating contact," Wojtkun said. "Reach out, reach out, reach out." His biggest advice for players is to "be safe." And also make appointments with coaches to talk or FaceTime. "Just be proactive." Doane University (Crete, Neb.)
coach Jennifer Kennedy-Croft said there are a lot of online tools players can utilize now, including free tool kits for fitness, watching game film of professional teams and practice mindfulness — the mental side of the game. She advises the high school coach to send game film and remind their players to "stay fit, touch the ball and keep positive." For players, "send coaches film, email colleges you are interested in and take virtual tours of the campus." As far as recruiting on her end, "there are less commits and more uncertainty. But we will get out of this as soon as possible. We will not get discouraged."
Ursuline College (Pepper Pike, Ohio)
coach Dave Leskovec said though a difficult time this can also be a time to get out ahead, noting that drills can be watched online. "Also don't forget to work on your strength and conditioning, along with your mental game," he wrote. "This is a time where there will be a reordering of players. Those who work and don't look at this as a vacation or feel bad about the situation will move ahead of others." Leskovec encourages recruits to "over-communicate with those coaches you want to play for. They are also trying to get any remaining slots filled."
Lakeland University (Plymouth, Wis.)
volleyball coach Ryan Schopf said to utilize YouTube to upload game film. He believes just the ability of the high school coach to converse on the phone with the college coach is all that's needed. Schopf said recruiting is difficult at this time because "for athletes to make a decision when they have not stepped foot on campus," is very tough. That said, "Everyone is in the same boat right now," he said. Lenoir-Rhyne University (Hickory, N.C.)
coach Mark Wimberley said a key for recruits is to find game film. "There's a film out there," he wrote. "Even if you or your parents didn't film any games, the odds are someone did." He even encourages recruits to reach out to opponents to get film.
University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, Minn.) coach Keanne Burt said at-home training tips are readily available to help keep potential recruits fit. Besides contacting schools of interest, recruits should know some facts about the college. Also they should select a major. "Ask to set up a video call to chat face-to-face," Burt said. "Most schools have a virtual tour-go so watch it." With travel halted and schools closed, recruiting has also paused. "There's lots of video meetings," Burt said.
William Baptist University (Walnut Ridge, Ark.) coach Michele
Lawson said her program relies heavily on videos. She reminds
players to "never give up. There is still time to make it happen." It's
important for players to stay in contract with prospective schools.
Staying ahead of the curve is vital: "Go online for videos on
volleyball strengthening. Don't just sit and wait. You should have been
already working out. Find new ways for fitness. Be inventive."