#66: How to Get Recruited with Tonya Sims

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What is the most important step that all athletes and parents must take to get recruited to college?

 I know a lot f athletes in our community want to embark on this journey.

And there are a lot of sports moms out there who are thinking, “I don’t even know where to start in this process,” and it can be overwhelming. But there are steps you can take to get the process right.

Together with Tonya Sims, we’ll discuss when athletes should start applying. What’s the deal with recruiting platforms? How important is the FILM — what should be included in it? And resources for parents to know how they can continue to set their athlete up for success on this recruiting journey.

Tonya Sims is a former division one student-athlete. She assists parents in getting their children recruited by college coaches. She is the founder of the Upper-Level Sports Academy, and she works with our dream team athletes, our small group coaching program that helps athletes get recruited. Tonya is extremely knowledgeable in this area, as well as for parents dealing with the initial steps in connecting with college coaches. 

So, prepare your notes because here are some recruiting tips for parents who are just starting! 

Top 3 Tips to Be Aware Of

Here are three pointers to prepare for athletes who are just getting started in their quest to play in college.

Tip 1.

Determine where your child would best fit. Know where your child would be most comfortable in terms of academic potential and athletic potential. And the way that you can determine the best fit or which level your child is best at is by getting an assessment from a coach. It could be a high school coach or someone that has coached your daughter before. There’s also their in-season coach and their AAU coach. You have to understand or have a better idea of what level you’re child is playing at, and what suits her based on it. 

Tip 2.

Academics. Unfortunately, some athletes have outstanding marks but have not been able to complete the essential core courses. It is recommended that parents meet with their child’s academic guidance counselor to develop a strategy. This will make sure they’re on track and that they take the required core courses. 

Tip 3.

Build relationships with college coaches. Building relationships with college coaches is similar to selling. The entire recruiting process is similar to sales. If you walk into your favorite store and a salesperson approaches you and asks you to buy anything right away, you are unlikely to do so. But it’s just about establishing that relationship. Getting to know the coaches and having them come to know you over time. Then, hopefully, they’ll offer you a spot on the roster.

When Should They Start This Process? 

Recruiting begins quite early. Most people wait until their senior year, and it is sometimes too late by then. So, if you start contacting college coaches and beginning the recruitment process in seventh or eighth grade, you’ll be on their radar. Instead of waiting until your child’s sophomore year, they already know who you are. These early recruitment get-to-know-you sessions are typically held at a camp. Coaches are paying close attention to those players at the camp, no matter what. 

It’s a terrific idea to think about going to a camp at the college you want to go to and playing it. 

You can make a list of institutions that your child is interested in and then begin targeting those colleges. Fill out the online recruitment forms and send emails to college coaches. A recruitment form is divided into three sections. Typically, the first section contains personal information. The second section is about academics. And the third component is usually the athletic section, where they request similar stats.

 What’s the Deal With Recruiting Platforms?

It is preferable to do the work yourself rather than using these recruiting platforms.

If your daughter sends an email using the recruiting platform. It is sent from their service. So, for example, if you use ABC recruiting service firm’s platform to try out, the email sent to a college coach will include their company name. And many college coaches do not read those emails. They are not fans of recruiting services, but if you must use one, do a lot of research. Look for good feedback. Some are very expensive, while others are a little shady. These platforms are extremely aggressive in terms of sales. And they will continue to call you, so keep that in mind.

How Important Is the Film — What Should Be Included in It?

During the epidemic, we entered a new era of recruiting in which video is used extensively. And having a highlight reel or a competition film has become significant because it could be the first thing that college coaches view right now. They wanted to see video clips of your daughter competing. They’ll probably follow you and inquire if you’re interested in that point.

You might use this chance to invite these coaches to a camp or tournament that your daughter will be attending. And these coaches would rather attend these events than watch their athletes play in a regular-season game. That’s because there might be other players they’d like to see in the tournament as well, so it’s like killing two birds with one stone. So, you can e-mail the coaches ahead of time and offer them information that distinguishes your athlete, and they’ll recognize your daughter.

Free Resources for Athlete Moms

Tonya’s website can be found at www.upperlevelsportsacademy.com. And if you go to that website, you’ll find a link to her Facebook group. It’s a free organization called college recruiting secrets for athletes’ parents. 

Her website also offers three freebies. (1) The college recruiting secrets cheat sheet, in which she reveals nine secrets of the college recruiting process; and (2) The perfect email guide, which is a step-by-step guide that explains what you need to write in an email to a college coach. (3) And the Twitter recruitment checklist, which will assist your daughter in getting started on Twitter to reach out to college coaches.

Tonya will be joining our sports LEMS inner circle in the coming month. And she’ll be addressing a lot more questions from mothers of athletes in our program.

So, before we go any further, here are some important things to keep in mind:

  • The top three things to consider during the recruiting process are: (1) determining where your child would fit best. (2) Academics. (3) Establishing contacts with college coaches.
  • Recruiting begins at a young age.
  • Rather than using these recruiting platforms, it is preferable to do the work yourself.
  • Having a highlight reel or competition film has become important because it may be the first thing that college coaches look at right now.

That’s it! Your athlete may aspire to compete at the next level. And if she’s just starting, make sure to assist her with these tasks. As mothers, you can help your children achieve their goals and pursue their passions.


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