Two Buckets

In regards to the recruiting process from high school to college athletics. Most athletes fall into one of two buckets. The first bucket is full of the 5-star prospects who have the proven athletic ability and check all the boxes across the board. In the scope of every high school athlete in the country, these are a rare breed. The second, and much larger bucket, contains the kids who may have the same upside as the other group. But for many various reasons, haven’t reached the same level of achievement or exposure as the kids from bucket one.

the-recruiting-funnelSince it makes up the vast majority of athletes and I see more of these type of kids. Today I’ll be focusing primarily on the second bucket. Perhaps these athletes weren’t coached at the right time or maybe they didn’t develop as early or as quickly. It could be that possibly they could have had 5-star potential but the location or the school just didn’t allow the right amount of exposure. Regardless of the reason, these athletes will have to work their way through the recruiting process in order to get noticed.

The hard truth is, most kids fall into this second group. Your kid probably falls into this category and there’s nothing wrong with that. Just look at the statistics. There were only two 5-star high school recruits that played in the last three Super Bowls. If you look around the NFL, you could put together a very impressive team with players who were rated 3-star recruits or lower out of high school. Some of those players would be Luke Kuechly (3-star), Richard Sherman (3-star), J.J. Watt (2-star), Russell Wilson (2-star), Le’Veon Bell (2-star), Aaron Rodgers (zero), Antonio Brown (zero) and Josh Norman (zero). Those are just a few. And I’d say they are doing quite well for themselves. Plug in a simple Google search about NFL players overlooked in recruiting during high school and you’ll find pages and pages of results.

The athletically dominant powerhouses, like the SEC, Big 12, Pac 12, Big Ten and ACC programs have the resources to actively and rigorously seek out and pursue the handful of kids in that first bucket. There are 128 Division 1 schools and, although most stories are told from the point of view of those big-time programs, these are not representative of the experience most kids will have. If you have a chance to play all four years at a DII/D1-AA school over maybe getting one year of playing time at a big time conference school. You might need to consider adjusting your approach. There are tons of players that have made it to the next level coming from a smaller school. All because they were open minded about the process. Had time to develop their skills in game time situations. And never lost sight of what they wanted to accomplish and understood the journey of getting there.

5 star ratings

I’m here to tell you the good news is there’s a place for every kid — your kid — in college football, regardless of their situation. The key is to get the right tools to optimally position your child in the recruiting process.

Having experienced the recruiting process first hand, whether it be my experience playing at the college level or coaching hundreds of kids through the recruiting process. I’ve been able to gain a breadth of knowledge on the topic of athletic college recruiting. The key to success is a customized approach based on each kid’s unique scenario. Fortunately, even kids without the “perfect” athletic profile and attributes can get noticed by recruiters if the proper self-promoting  and marketing techniques are leveraged.

Unlike most recruiting services, the program at the Sport and Speed Institute has the experience of seeing the recruiting process from all angles: the player, college coach, high school coach and parents’ view. We know all the specific roles and expectations involved with each point of view. More specifically, the relationship building. This is the most critical element of this process (also one of the most overlooked) and the burden of overseeing this task falls primarily on the parents.

From my experience, parents usually tend to be involved in every aspect of their kid’s life up to this point. Then curiously choose to relinquish control at this most critical moment of the kid’s developmental process. They allow their kids to make the decision autonomously and independently, thinking the kids and their existing support system (high school coach and staff) have everything under control. The truth is, no program in the country, no other person, will represent your kid the way you would. Therefore, no one is more critical to this point of the process than you, the parent.

Over the past decade I’ve helped hundreds of kids get into college, with scholarships.  SSI’s success rate with our high school athletes is over 90%, and even higher for kids who have been with us for over a year. What parents have come to realize is that the SSI difference has to do with the customized and personalized approach we employ to develop the kids, to guide them in the direction that best suits them. For you to get the most out of your college athletics experience you must make a smart informed decision with an open mind and a vision towards your goals for the future. All of these things are important to understand when making a decision that will determine your happiness and success for the next 4 years. Possibly even the rest of your life.

Be Your Best,

Coach Kavanaugh