You can’t determine an athlete’s character through communication with a proxy.
An Unpaved Path
Going through the recruiting process is a vulnerable time for a family. The unpaved path is daunting. You don’t know what you’re expected to do, or when to do it, and there are so many rules. Undoubtedly, having no clear track to follow can scare even the most knowledgeable parents and athletes.
Up until recently, there were limited options out there to guide families through recruiting. The space has been dominated by recruiting services with questionable business practices that lock athletes out of their own recruiting processes.
Pay to Play
Traditional recruiting services promise to promote your profile to thousands of college coaches in their extensive network. All you do is fill out a profile, invest thousands of dollars in a “coach” or “consultant,” and the service takes care of the rest – and this is where things gets murky. Recruiting services seem like the perfect solution to remedy uncertainty. Seem being the operative word.
Recruiting services seem to take the guesswork out of recruiting. Recruiting services seem to have the athlete’s best interests in mind. Recruiting services seem to offer exposure that a family can only dream of.
Recruiting services seem like a no-brainer. So why the questionable reputation? Unfortunately, recruiting services are not as they seem. Here are three reasons why recruiting services don’t work.
The Recruiting Service Paradox
1. College coaches want to hear directly from the student-athlete
According to a survey of college coaches by the ABCA, the majority of college coaches want to make communication through players a requirement of the recruiting process.
This is perhaps the most important reason why even well-intentioned recruiting services put athletes at a disadvantage. The recruiting service model contradicts what college coaches are looking for. College coaches want players that take initiative. An athlete that transfers responsibility to a third-party misrepresents himself as passive and unmotivated.
This goes back to the fact that coaches take a holistic approach to evaluating student-athletes. They want students who will be super teammates and superstars. A student-athlete’s character is a key factor in a collegiate coach’s evaluation. You can’t determine an athlete’s character through communication with a proxy.
At their core, recruiting services monetize fear.”
2. Inflated Sticker Price
Recruiting services operate on a simple premise. A rookie recruiting mistake can cost a family a lot of pain. The cost of the recruiting service pales in comparison. This pitch preys on a family’s insecurities about being novices to the process. Recruiting services take advantage of a family’s desperation to navigate the process correctly. At their core, recruiting services monetize fear.
Families are manipulated into forking over thousands of dollars for an inflated service with no clear attribution of value.
3. Relinquish Control to a Third Party
Recruiting services remove the athlete from his or her recruiting process. Relinquishing control is dubious when you consider that it’s to somebody that cares less about your future than you do. It’s ironic how a solution which promises to eliminate uncertainty leaves you even more in the dark.
And in whom are you entrusting your future?
Let’s recount how they work. Recruiting services hook families through enticing them to create a free profile viewable by colleges. It is only after they invest the time into building a profile that the families are presented with the tall cost of the “free” service.
The dishonesty doesn’t end there. Once they’ve secured a family’s money, do recruiting services deliver?
“They promised they would be there for support every step of the way,” said Sean Lunkenheimer, a former student-athlete whose family invested in two years of a popular recruiting service to help him run track in college. Routine check-ins were part of the offering. “I only heard from them once.”
“I would write with schools I was interested in,” said Lunkenheimer.
“They told me that the schools were not looking for someone like me this year, based on the events I ran,” said Lunkenheimer. “Despite the fact that my events spanned sprints, middle distance events, and hurdles.”
“It was basically a transaction.”
A New Solution
Perhaps in the past, recruiting services were the best option for families to plug into a network of college coaches they were locked out of – even if it meant abdicating control of their futures to a third party. But times have changed, and there is a better way.
SportsRecruits does not ask for blind trust. We don’t want a family to surrender their independence. What we offer is a transparent solution in which what you see is what you get. Access to the SportsRecruits platform provides an athlete family with all the tools they need to build a profile, contact coaches, and track progress. Athletes have at their disposal everything they need to drive their recruiting process.
It’s true that recruiting can be scary, but it’s nothing an athlete can’t handle. We believe that it’s in athletes’ power to achieve their dreams, as long as they are willing to work hard and persevere through failure. To put themselves out there and relentlessly pursue the reality they desire. Our role is to offer them resources to get educated, and a platform equipped with every tool they need to do it themselves.
SportsRecruits stands against an industry in which taking advantage of athletes is the status quo. SportsRecruits proposes a democratization of recruiting. We do this through a software platform that empowers athletes to easily navigate the process, without relinquishing ownership of it to third parties.