The COVID-19 outbreak has changed the sports landscape as never before.
As of Monday, March 16th, 2020. All college organizations have suspended or canceled or postponed their remaining seasons, events, playoffs, etc.
Athletes' seasons, practices, and training have stopped. The panic of losing a sports year has come to many athletes. You could be missing out on a senior season, a year of competition, a chance to play in front of a college coach.
Below is a guide for unsigned athletes to succeed during this period.
Let's start with each organizations update on COVID-19:
The NCAA has canceled the completion of remaining sports for the remaining academic year across all divisions:
Winter Sports (nearing completion, if not completed)
- rifle skiing swimming
- indoor track and field
- beach volleyball
- outdoor track & field
- men's volleyball
- women's water polo
NCAA Division 1 Statement:
NCAA Division II Statement
NCAA Division III Statement
The decisions are still being addressed. I recommend following Inside the NCAA on Twitter for the latest updates.
The organization for university sport in Canada has canceled its remaining sports and championships (men's & women's volleyball, men's & women's hockey):
USPORTS has created a recruiting blackout for all of its sports. Meaning no in-person or off-campus recruiting visits or travel. Recruiting can still continue by phone call, email, text & social media. The future of this rule will be made in the coming weeks. Follow USPORTS on twitter for updates.
The National Junior College Athletic Association has suspended all spring competition until Friday, April 3rd, 2020. Follow NJCAA on twitter for updates.
If teams play less than 60% of their season athletes will be awarded a hardship waiver - meaning that they will not lose a year of eligibility.
The California Community College Athletic Association has postponed all spring sports indefinitely. Follow CCCAA on Twitter for updates.
The Northwest Athletic Conference has suspended spring sports until April 13th. Follow the NWAC on Twitter for updates
The Canadain College Athletic Association is the organization for college sports in Canada. The CCAA has decided to cancel the upcoming Men's and Women's basketball championship tournament. Follow the CCAA on twitter for updates.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU'RE A HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETE LOOKING FOR A SCHOLARSHIP:
Today things are different then they have ever been before.
Remember, you can't control this, but you can control how you react.
Your sports, tournaments, and training have all been postponed, canceled, delayed, etc. You may be a high school senior still looking for a scholarship, a junior who just lost an important season or a sophomore in junior college who's looking to play at a 4-year school.
But here is some good news:
Yes, seasons are postponed or canceled, but lucky recruiting can still continue under a "dead period". This period is nothing new and is a yearly occurrence in NCAA DI and DII sports.
Again:Dead Period: No in-person recruiting (campus visits, in-person evaluation, camps, combines, meetings, etc.) Calls, text, email and social media communication are allowed.
All of the NCAA and USPORTS have announced dead periods. It's safe to presume that all other conferences will also restrict in-person recruiting or evaluations in the near future.
What to do right now:
A coach cannot come to see you play, so you must continue the recruiting process with phone calls, text messages, emails, and social media.
Step 1 Prepare yourself.
Let's make sure you are prepared with a checklist of must-haves during a dead period.
1. Professional email address
Make sure you have an email address that includes your name. Something like email@example.com, not firstname.lastname@example.org
2. A quality email
To communicate with coaches via email you need to have an email that stands out. Include why you want to play for that program and coach, your recruiting video, links to your stats, and attached player profile with your attributes.
- Make sure to ask the next steps in the recruiting process.
- Ask if there is a good time to set up a phone call.
- Include your contact information at the bottom of every email.
Here is a template to follow from our College Recruiting 101 Course.
3. Player profile
A player profile can be an online platform (example: hudl).
Or a PDF document that has all of your stats, contact information, links, references, attributes on one page. Here is our easy to edit word document: free player profile
4. Recruiting video
If you do not have a recruiting video or have not completed editing now is the time. Unfortunately, you cannot currently get any more game film. However, for many sports, you can include practice footage.
Get outside and film ground balls, your driving range session, your backhand, anything that a coach wants to see in your sport.
Upload an edited recruiting video ASAP.
5. Confidence on the phone
Unfortunately, you cannot make relationships in person during this time.
Your next best tool to build a relationship with a coach is a phone call. You need to get comfortable talking about yourself on the phone.
Follow this phone script if you are not yet comfortable on the phone:
6. Social media profiles
Something that every coach is doing is looking at your social media. Not only to your skills and attributes but to who you are as a person.
Clean up your social media. Ask yourself what does a leader look like online?
I also recommend creating a social media account specifically for recruiting.
Read our how to get recruited using twitter blog to get started!
7. Study plan
The SAT or ACT is required to play NCAA DI or NCAA DII. Unfortunately, The test dates put on by the college board have been canceled due to COVID-19.
It is still unclear if you will need to complete an SAT & ACT to be eligible for the 2020-2021 academic calendar year in the NCAA.
While you have the downtime you should prepare for those exams. Search for online SAT/ACT companies to help you.
Step 2 Communication:
Create a list:
Here is a recruiting list template you can follow to help you continue your communication.
If you have already talked the coach start here:
Follow up on all previous communication.
1. Send an email, text, social media dm to schedule a phone call with you to talk about becoming part of their program.
2. Complete that phone call with you and or your family ask about the next steps in the recruiting process.
3. Act on those steps!
If you are introducing yourself to a new coach start here:
1. Find programs and schools that are the right fit for your athletically, academically and financially.
2. Introduce yourself to the coaches via cold call, email, text, and social media dm.
3. Ask to set up a scheduled phone call to introduce yourself.
4. Complete that phone call with you and or your family ask about the next steps in the recruiting process for you.
5. Act on those steps!
Stay updated on all the college recruiting news by following us on Twitter
Take advantage of this opportunity and don't let this recruiting period pass you by!