Monday, December 8, 2014

#43 How College Coaches Should Use NCSA

I believe life is a series of near misses. A lot of what we ascribe to luck is not luck at all. It's seizing the day and accepting responsibility for your future. It's seeing what other people don't see AND pursuing that vision.  --Howard Schultz

If you ask any college coach around the country what the most challenging part of being a college coach is, I would imagine that they would all say, emphatically, in unison:  "Recruiting!"  Very few coaches [and none that I know] got into coaching for the great joys of traveling the country, sitting in hot sweaty gyms to find one talented young person out of the 300 and then trying to convince that kid and their parents that their school was the best of the 50 schools recruiting them.  Most coaches are teachers at heart.  They are competitors by nature.  They love practices.  They thrive on teaching individuals to perform as a unit.  They strive to make the little things they are teaching end up being the difference on the scoreboard night in and night out.  

Recruiting, on the other hand, is simply an action that we have to do, so we can do what we want to do.  The best coaches love to recruit (at least they tell people that).  What they really love is the commitment that comes at the end of a long, daunting wooing process from the kid they know will change their program.  But, finding that kid,  or multiple kids, who are truly program changers is increasingly more difficult because more and more coaches are looking around and taking advantage of the unbelievable resources at their fingertips; not to mention the growing talent around the world.

Like most coaches, I was and still am very particular to who I recruit.  Grades, test scores, size, height, etc. are all very important, but that was never enough for me.  I wanted a particular personality, drive, attitude, resilience, vision.  I wanted a kid who would make me see the game differently and who would make every guy on the team love playing with him because he made them better.  I love the clothing stores that have those special mirrors that seem to take 15 lbs off of your reflection.  I walk-out of that store feeling like a new person.  That's what that special recruit does to you as a coach and their new teammates.

As I look back at my career, I now kick myself that NCSA was not a HUGE part of that process for me.  I had the usual small school problems:  very little staff (who made close to nothing), no recruitment budget (except for what I fundraised), and a very demanding Admissions/Financial Aid office (who very much limited who I could recruit financially, as much as academically).  What would I do differently,  if I could do it all over again, you ask?  How should I have used NCSA?  Great questions.  Below is exactly what I would do:

1.  I would have called 866-495-5172 and found out the name of the NCSA Head Recruiting Coach ("HRC") assigned to me.  I would tell that person that I would be calling once per month come rain or shine.  Keep in mind, these recruiting coaches are all former college athletes and/or coaches who are experts in your respective sport.
2.  I would give that person a detailed list of my recruiting needs for the next 3-4 years and ask them to begin sending me the resumes (including video) of kids that fit my EXACT requirements (grades/text scores, height/weight, ability, experience, etc.) for each of the classes I wanted to start evaluating and recruiting.
3.  On my monthly calls to my HRC (usually no more than 5 minutes long), I would explain the good and bad of what I was seeing in the resumes and ask them to tweak the type of player they were sending, so the HRC could learn exactly the type of player and person I was after.  Very quickly, I would only be looking at student-athletes who fit my needs and desires without wasting my time on prospects who would never be able to play at my level or find success in my college's classrooms.

You may ask "Is it really that easy?"  Yes!  And, you are crazy if you are not taking advantage of having a FREE service of highly qualified individuals with the best recruiting technology in the world serve as your full-time Head Recruiting Coordinator.  That's what NCSA strives to be, and we are knocking it OUT OF THE PARK for the coaches who have come to their senses and are using us in that very way.

Why is NCSA different?

1.  Only student-athletes who are qualified get evaluated by the Head Scouts (me).  If the kid is not recruit-able (doesn't have the grades, size, ability, commitment, character or experience), they are not activated to the network, and you will never, ever see them come up in your searches or be sent their resumes.  So, if a kid can't play or cut it in the classroom, they are not in our activated network.
2.  NCSA stands by our student-athletes throughout their recruitment helping them develop their social skills, athletic potential, and realistic self-worth.  We make them better without letting them float off into fantasy land.  We evaluate the film and resumes of every kid we activate, and we only introduce them to the college coach if they fit EVERY criteria that coach is looking for.
3.  We are a proven commodity.  In 2015, we placed over 20,000 student-athletes on college rosters with an average academic/athletic scholarship package of close to $19,000/year.  I don't remember ever giving a scholarship to a kid who couldn't play or because some recruiting company told me to.  These numbers are so outstanding because we put the best of the best in front of each coach and their respective criteria.  WE make the coaches life easy.  Would it not be nice to pick up the phone and say, "I want this, this and this," and then minutes later receive an email with 10-15 kids' profiles (including edited/verified/highlighted/annotated video) that fit exactly what you are looking for?

Why are 35,000 college coaches actively using NCSA?  The better question is "Why are you NOT?"  And, if you are one of the 35,000, "Why are you not using us the way you should be?"

Call the number above or email me with questions.  Let us help you make your program more efficient and your budget work a thousand times longer and farther.  It doesn't make sense not to!
Good luck and best wishes!  I hope it is a significant and healthy season for all of you!

Coach Matt Rogers
Phone:  (312) 610-6045
Twitter:  @madcoachdiary

Matt Rogers is an 18-year high school and college coach veteran.  He has led two teams to the NCAA National Tournament and one team to a High School State Championship.  His teams hold numerous school and one NCAA record. He has mentored and coached players at every level while serving as an athletics administrator at the high school and NCAA levels for 9 years. He has helped numerous players continue their careers at the professional level. He currently is the Head National Scout for NCSA Athletic Recruiting where he has helped hundreds of young men and women from around the world achieve their dreams of playing at the college level.  Coach presently lives in the Denver, CO area with his wife of 17 years and his two children. 

To request Coach Rogers to speak at your school or event, you can reach him through any of his contact information above.