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Recruiting Pet Peeves

BY BILL MANNING
PHOTO BY ED MORAN

Even with all that has been written about recruiting, college coaches still find many things they wish every prospect understood. Here are a few behaviors that frustrate coaches across the country. Consider these recruiting pet peeves and do yourself a favor by avoiding them.

When emailing a coach, sign your first and last name to every message you send. Even better, include your graduation year (2021, 2022) and affiliation (school or club). You’re not the only Isabelle or Jimmy they’re hearing from.

If the coach asks you to submit their recruiting questionnaire, do so immediately. You can always email new information or update the questionnaire. Never refer a college coach to your beRecruited/CaptainU/NCSA online profile as a substitute for submitting their questionnaire. Many athletic departments require coaches to communicate with prospects through their recruiting software and need the questionnaire to do so.

If a coach requests your unofficial academic transcript and/or test scores, make sure your name is clearly visible on what you provide. Sometimes what you may download as a grade report doesn’t show your name. If you send this information as a link to a school website, make certain that it’s not password-protected and the coach can access it. Also, send the materials to the coach; college coaches typically cannot review what goes directly to the admissions office.

If a coach requests video, send footage of you pulling hard, not paddling around. Coaches want to see how you behave at race pressure and race rates. Ideally, have you and your blade(s) fill the video screen. If the video shows you in a team boat, clearly identify which seat you’re rowing. Keep video clips to less than 30 seconds.

And of course, everyone’s favorite: Do not make excuses for your erg time. Telling a coach that you “didn’t get the chance to test” or “can’t find an erg” makes you come across as unmotivated. Your peers who find ways to get more fit and demonstrate their fitness are getting the attention you seek.

You don’t necessarily need to pull a 2K. Most college coaches will accept the results of any erg test that your team does. When sharing erg times, send a picture of the monitor showing your time and splits. Coaches like  this verification and seeing how you paced your piece.

Finally, ask questions rather than make assumptions. College coaches appreciate direct questions regarding their team, recruiting standards, and timeline. “What do I need to do to earn a scholarship/admissions support?” is much better received than “Will you give me a scholarship/support?” The coaches also know more about the recruiting and admissions process at their school than anything you’ll read on message boards. If you rely on internet gossip, you’ll get exactly what you deserve. The opinion of your peers is valuable, but it should not stand alone when evaluating your options.

Good luck with your college search and selection process!

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