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What You Should Be Doing In Your Junior Year - Track and Field Recruiting Advice

Track and Field Recruiting

Track and Field Recruiting


RECRUITING ADVICE FOR CURRENT JUNIORS –

You are almost halfway through your junior year of high school and will be heading off to college in little over a year. Many programs have completed their recruiting classes for this year and are now focusing their efforts on next year’s class – this year’s juniors.

As it is now permissible for college coaches to call juniors the recruiting process has already begun. To ensure that you take full advantage of this process, here are a few suggestions to help you find the right fit for you.

1.         Cast A Wide Net

Your junior year is about seeing what’s out there and what kind of school might be a good fit for you. If you have not yet done so create an expansive list of schools/programs that meet your specific needs and desires. Among factors to consider are affiliation (NCAA I, II, III, NAIA and JUCO), competitiveness of the program, cost of attendance, quality of education, geographical location, intended academic major, enrollment size, public vs private, and other factors that matter to you.

Think about what may impact your athletic experience the most like coaching style, athlete retention, and success of the program. Determine if you are a good fit athletically – many schools post their recruiting standards online.

Know what the academic requirements are for the schools you are considering to determine if you are potentially admissible. 

Continually revise your list. During my coaching career, I often saw recruits close doors too early.  They would rule out programs in their junior year of high school based on a variety of factors and then end up scrambling in the end when Plan A did not work out. Make sure to keep Plan B in play as to not have to settle for Plan C at the last minute.

2.             Fill Out Online Recruiting Questionnaires

The online recruiting questionnaire is a good first and simple means to initiate communication with a program. It allows the coach to assess if you are a good fit for their program. In a recent interview with the Recruiting Code, Duke University Head Women’s Cross Country Coach, Rhonda Riley was asked, “What are the important steps for an athlete to get noticed by you?” She responded, “The two ways to get on my radar are to fill out our online questionnaire and to follow up with an email. When a high school athlete takes the time to send an email with their contact information, personal best marks, academic information etc. it means they are serious about considering Duke as a potential university.”  Online recruiting questionnaires are typically very easy to find on individual schools’ track and field websites.

3.             Contact College Coaches

Over the span of my 30-year coaching career, I learned that communication is the most important element to reaching your goals. If you have not yet started - start reaching out to college coaches from the schools on your list. You will be surprised at how effective personally reaching out to coaches will enhance your recruiting experience.

Proofread every email before hitting send. A great deal of communication in the early phases of the recruiting process is going to be cut and paste on both sides, however, making a simple mistake can dehumanize the process and render the remainder of your communication less credible. Make sure you are addressing the proper institution and coach. I cannot tell you how many emails I received from recruits specifically addressed to a rival coach expressing their interest in a rival school.

Send updates on a regular basis.  Most coaches receive dozens of emails from recruits each day so it’s important that you keep yourself on their radar.  

4.             Take The ACT / SAT

Register and take the SAT/ACT during your junior year. If you feel adequately prepared, I would suggest taking the test in the fall of your junior year. This will allow you plenty of time to take it for the second time in the spring. Everyone's test prep is going to vary based on their own strengths, weaknesses, schedule, and goals. At the very minimum, though, all students should try to put in 10 hours of focused test prep, at least to get familiar with the format and timing of the test. Realistically, you would need to put in much more time over a sustained period to do well.

However, if you are not ready to take the test do not view it as a test-run. Do not take the test until you have prepared to do so at a level that is reflective of your academic potential.

If you are considering attending a highly selective academic institution taking the test earlier will significantly enhance your recruitment. Most selective schools will not vigorously pursue a potential-student athlete without test scores to determine admissibility. 

5.             Utilize Unofficial Visits

Unofficial visits can help you gather significant information about individual programs and schools. This time will allow you an opportunity to meet the coach in person, tour the college, check out the athletic facilities, and possibly meet current team members. 

Do your homework - know who and where you are visiting. Have a keen understanding of the unique strengths of each school and team, as it will show the respective coaching staff how serious you are about their program.

Use this time to learn as much as you can about the program and coaching staff. Identify the factors that will be most important to you in determining if you will return for an official visit. Have a short list of specific questions ready that address the most critical factors in your college decision.  

There is no imposed limit on the number of unofficial visits you may take, so take as many as possible. There is no better tool to help you hone in on the best school/program for you. 


In summary:

 Your junior year is quickly passing and it is time to start seriously considering where you want to continue your academic and athletic pursuits. Do not be passive – start reaching out to college coaches now. Be aggressive in your outreach and email every program that you are interested in, regardless of the perceived reach. Be your own greatest advocate and take charge of your future. 

 

Ivy League Track and Field Recruiting - Why We Chose Cornell

KAITLYN AND SARAH ROFFMAN - CORNELL TRACK & FIELD CLASS OF 2022

KAITLYN AND SARAH ROFFMAN - CORNELL TRACK & FIELD CLASS OF 2022

Why I Chose Cornell: Kaitlyn Roffman

The minute I stepped onto Cornell’s campus for the first time last February, I was pretty confident that it was the place I wanted to spend my next four years. Cornell, being comprised of numerous colleges within the school, provides an extensive list of majors and countless opportunities to pursue as an undergrad. Being undecided about my major, I know that I will have the flexibility to take classes and learn what I am passionate about. Additionally, the success of the track and field and cross country programs at Cornell is very impressive. Meeting Coach Artie and the girls on the track and cross country teams made me realize that Cornell was a place where I could grow and be challenged both academically and athletically. In addition, the size of Cornell is absolutely perfect as it can at times provide a big school feel that can immediately become more small school-like within the individual colleges. Finally, the food on campus is ranked in the top 10 out of all colleges in the country...which I confirmed on my official visit.

Why I Chose Cornell: Sarah Roffman

I chose Cornell University as it met all the criteria for what I was looking for in a college demographically, academically and athletically. Cornell’s rural yet slightly urban feel was extremely appealing to me, as I did not feel overwhelmed by a large city but also did not feel isolated. With the town of Ithaca nearby, I knew I could find more opportunities beyond the boundaries of Cornell University alone. The size of Cornell is ideal. I wanted to have access to a larger community, but also to be able to build relationships with my classmates (something that seemed more difficult with larger class sizes). Academically, Cornell caters well to an undecided high school student like myself. Cornell’s College of Arts and Science was attractive, as it will allow me to explore my interests in a variety of fields, and eventually help me to narrow in on a major. Finally, Coach Artie Smith and the girls on the team made me even more excited about the prospect of attending Cornell. Everyone on the cross country and track and field teams was extremely welcoming and had genuine friendships with one another. I feel that Coach Artie will be great in helping my transition to college running by emphasizing consistency and patience while I work to improve and grow as a runner. The team’s previous success, with high achieving individuals and teams, was also something I felt eager to be a part of. I did not want to sacrifice strong athletics for academics and vice versa, and with Cornell, I get the best of both worlds.   





Three Things Track and Field Athletes Should Understand About College Track and Field Recruiting

The NCAA currently reports that over 1.5 million boys and girls participate in high school track & field and cross country. Of those 1.5 million participants, only 85,000-90,000 will compete in college, or approximately 4-7% depending upon event and gender. A large majority of that 4-7% will be asked to walk-on and not receive any athletic money. As a result, it is imperative that you devise a plan of action early on in your high school career. You have worked too hard and sacrificed far too much to idly wait for the process to begin. Take control of your destiny in the same way you have your academic and athletic endeavors. The recruiting process will require the same such commitment from you. Below are three factors to considering when searching for the college of your dreams. DETERMINE THE BEST FIT FOR YOU During your freshmen and sophomore years create an expansive list of schools/programs that meet your specific needs and desires. Among factors to consider are affiliation level (NCAA I, II, III, NAIA, and JUCO), the competitiveness of the program, cost of attendance, quality of education, geographical location, intended academic major, enrollment size, public vs private, and other factors that matter to YOU. Do not be mesmerized by the name of a school. See beyond the prowess of their football and basketball programs or their academic reputation. Make sure the school you choose meets your needs for reasons beyond it simply being cool to tell the world you will be running or studying at a particular school. Remember, you have to live, study, train and compete there every day for four years. Many brilliant scholars and successful professionals have attended state schools with less than brilliant academic reputations. Plain and simple, choose a school that you would be happy at without track and field - just in case your athletic career does not go as planned. TAKE CHARGE Do not be passive. At the conclusion of your freshman year and throughout your sophomore year, start reaching out to college coaches from the schools on your list. In my personal dealings with high school student-athletes, I often heard prospects state that the schools on their list were comprised solely of programs that contacted them. If a program you’re interested in does not reach out to you, reach out to them! You will be surprised at how effective personally reaching out will enhance your recruiting experience. There could be many factors why a school has not reached out to you – one being as simple as you not receiving the letter that was sent to your HS coach or guidance college – this happens more than imagined. During the summer after your sophomore year and throughout the course of your junior year, take as many unofficial visits as possible. This will give you an opportunity to meet the coach in person, tour the college, check out the athletic facilities, and possibly meet current team members. There is no limit on the number of unofficial visits that you can take – so take many! During your junior and senior year schedule and take all five allowable official visits. Your decision is far too important and impactful not to explore all possibilities. If the majority of your visits require extensive travel speak to the coaches about combining two visits into one trip to cut down on flights across the country, particularly if in-season. COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY Over the span of my thirty-year coaching career, I learned that communication is the most important element in reaching your goals. It is imperative that you learn to communicate openly and effectively with your parents, high school coach, and college coaches. Ask your parents to help you create a series of questions to ask college coaches, begin to narrow your list of potential schools, and arrange the logistical aspects of visit coordination. However, you should be the primary voice writing the emails, taking the phone calls, and asking questions. Clearly articulate your specific running goals to your high school coach. Ask them to create a sound developmental training plan that will allow you to fully actualize your athletic potential over the span of your high school career. Seek their advice on potential options for you to continue your athletic career based on their past experiences and ask them to email college coaches on your behalf. This is your journey. Take control of the process and map out your best possible future.

Track and Field Recruiting Timeline

Track and Field Recruiting Tip of the Week - Identify Viable Options

Track Recruiting

COLLEGE TRACK AND FIELD RECRUITING

Do your research and have an idea what schools and programs are truly viable options for you based on your current and projected athletic and academic achievements. Track and Field is unique in that a tangible comparison if often possible. Do your research and see how your PR’s compare to the previous year’s recruits at the schools you are most interested in. A quick perusal of the school’s track and field website and Milesplit will allow you to gain an honest perspective of how you stack up. Look further into how your GPA and test scores measure up to the profile of the incoming class. However, if you are being recruited by a particular school, you should realize that most coaches have quite a bit of leeway with the Office of Admissions – so don’t be scared away if the numbers seem daunting.

Realistically assess your academic and athletic numbers and start form there. For example, a high school girl who has run 13.00 for 100m or a young man who has run 2:03 for 800m cannot expect to compete in the SEC. Along the same line, a student with a 21 on the ACT should not expect to be admitted to NYU or Harvard regardless of a coach’s support.

It is important to identify the schools and programs that are the best fit for you. And, although it is imperative to dream big and shoot for the stars, it is also important to be realistic about your current athletic and academic abilities to find the vey best fit for you!

Track and Field Recruiting Tip Of The Week

Track Recruiting

TRACK & FIELD RECRUITING TIP OF THE WEEK

TIP #1 – FINDING THE BEST FIT FOR YOU

To get started, determine the most important factors in choosing a school. Consider quality of education, cost, team environment, program success, level of competition, coaching style/philosophy, location, major and such. Obviously, you should prioritize these factors to ensure you are finding the very best fit for you.

For example, the cost of attendance will be very important for many families and will therefore drive the recruiting process. For another family, the academic reputation of the university or college may be the most important factor in determining which schools to pursue. Obviously, as a track and field recruit the college coach and the team environment will be important factors in your decision.

My suggestion to you is create a list identifying your most important factors in rank order. For all families, there will be more than one factor impacting the decision. Identify the factors that are important for you and let that list guide you through the recruiting process.

EXAMPLE GIVEN:

1600m / 3200m Boy with PR’s of 4:22 and 9:30 as a junior. He has SAT scores of 1210 and wants to attend a NCAA D1 school with a solid academic reputation in the Midwest that the family can afford.

Schools to consider:

Bradley University Butler University Drake University Xavier University

Do's and Don’ts of Track and Field Recruiting

Track Recruiting

Here are a few useful tips from Coach Willy Wood that will help you navigate the recruiting process successfully.

DO keep detailed notes throughout the entire recruiting process as you will forget certain aspects of schools/programs. It was not uncommon for recruits of mine to videotape and take photos of our facilities and campus to help them remember their visit.

DO NOT close your initial email to a coach with, "I am confident that I can contribute greatly to your program" if you are not yet performing at a level close to the team's current athletes. I recall reading that type of closing comment and thinking to myself, "how?" It led me to believe that the prospect did not really understand much about our program. Instead say "With hard work and your coaching, I am confident that I can develop into a runner capable of helping your program over the span of my college career." The latter statement shows them that you understand how much work will be required to succeed at the collegiate level and will convey your confidence in the coach's ability to help you.

DO carefully proofread every email before hitting send. I cannot tell you how many emails I received from recruits specifically addressed to a rival coach expressing their interest in a rival school. A great deal of communication in the early phases of the recruiting process is going to be cut and paste on both sides, however, making a simple mistake can dehumanize the process and render the remainder of your communication less credible. It may also be helpful to send a couple of test emails to yourself first to ensure that the font or text sizes have not changed where you have cut and pasted new names.

DO NOT tell coaches "you are among my top choices". Everyone knows that both athletes and coaches have many options -- there is no need to state it. Simply say, "I am extremely interested in your program." It is far more personal and establishes a more positive relationship. Make every effort possible to prevent this process from becoming generic - subtle word changes can make the entire process seem more personal to the coach. This is important as they will be deciding how much money to offer you or if they will give you an admission's spot.

DO your homework! Never be surprised by your visit. Have a keen understanding of the unique strengths of each school. It will go along way with the coaching staff if it appears you know a great deal about their specific school and program. Have a solid understanding of where they rank athletically and academically, what their unique strengths are and how they compare to the other schools you are considering. On occasion, I would literally have prospects in my office tell me that they were really interested in State U or Academic U but they knew they could not get into that school or run for their team. It would dumbfound me as we had a lower acceptance rate and were significantly better athletically. Know who and where you are visiting.

DO NOT ask a coach if they plan on staying. It is a question that is so often asked and has no real purpose. Every coach will say yes, they have to. Coaching is a profession and coaches will make decisions based on what is best for their families and themselves. It is imperative to choose a school where you will be happy outside of track and field/cross country.

DO track program trajectory - not every program is up and coming though many claims to be. Determine if athletes in a particular program are improving over the course of four years. Specifically, look for when an individual's PR's were set. Peruse program websites to determine how many juniors and seniors are still on the roster to discern if team members are quitting. If there are a disproportionate number of FR and SO on the roster, find out why to determine if there is high-level program dissatisfaction or an alarming injury rate. DO NOT embarrass yourself on social media. This topic has been beaten to death and hopefully does not require elaboration. Plain and simple, do not give coaches a reason to question your character or lifestyle.

DO be easily found on social media. Many coaches use your personal pages as a means of reaching out initially. Remember, most coaches are a step or two behind you and your friends in terms of being social media savvy, so leave a trail for them. Beyond Instagram and Twitter consider keeping your Facebook account -- coaches tend to look there first.

DO NOT approach this process passively. Be aggressive in your outreach and email every program that you are interested in, regardless of the perceived reach. It is up to you to not only create a compelling story but also be able to tell it. Be your own greatest advocate and take charge of your future. Consider this one of the most important competitions of your high school career and prepare accordingly! The recruiting process can be daunting. There are so many unknowns, however, if you get started early, put in the work, and take an active role you will find the right fit.

Track & Field Recruiting – What Should I Be Doing This Summer?

Track Recruiting

Track and Field Recruiting

The NCAA currently reports that over 1.5 million boys and girls participate in high school track & field and cross country. Of those 1.5 million participants, only 85,000-90,000 will compete in college, or approximately 4-7% depending upon event and gender

As a result, it is imperative that you devise a plan of action early on in your high school career. You have worked too hard and sacrificed far too much to idly wait for the process to begin. Take control of your destiny in the same manner you have your academic and athletic endeavors. The recruiting process will require the same such commitment from you.

Below are factors to considering when searching for the college of your dreams.

Going To Be A Sophomore

With the new NCAA Recruiting Rules your recruiting process will begin in less than a year. As a result, it is imperative that you devise a plan of action now. Below are three suggestions for you to consider during your sophomore year of high school to optimize your college recruitment experience:

  1. Create a list of schools
  2. Send an introductory email
  3. Communicate effectively

For more information click here - SOPH YEAR

Going To Be A Junior

Your junior year is quickly approaching and it is time to start seriously considering where you want to continue your academic and athletic pursuits. Do not be passive -- start reaching out to college coaches now. Be proactive in your outreach and email every program that you are interested in, regardless of the perceived reach. Be your own greatest advocate and take charge of your future.

  1. Cast A Wide Net
  2. Fill Out Online Recruiting Questionnaires
  3. Contact College Coaches
  4. Take The ACT / SAT
  5. Utilize Unofficial Visits

For more informaiton click here - Jr Year

Going To Be A Senior

If you are not being recruited at all yet or not hearing from the programs you are most interested in is time to reevaluate your college search process. There is still time plenty of time to devise a new strategy and create a new outreach plan.

  1. Try, try again – and, then move on. Re-contact everyone.
  2. Reach out to all the schools that have reached out to you
  3. Expand your search
  4. Try different means of outreach
  5. Enlist the Help of your High School Coach
  6. Enlist the help of a third-party

For more information click here - Sr Year

If you are not getting your desired results and need help - enlist the services of Fast Track Recruiting. We have produced the desired results for numerous families.

Best NCAA Division I Colleges - Fast Track Recruiting 2019 Cross Country Power Rankings

Fast Track Recruiting Cross Country Power Rankings looked at over 300 NCAA Division 1 College Cross Country programs. Our best program list is based on the school’s academic rankings and Regional and National Cross Country Rankings.

Here are the programs that are representing the best results in and out of the classroom using our criteria.

Best NCAA Division 1 Colleges

2019 Men’s XC Power Rankings: 

1.     Stanford

2.     Princeton

3.     Notre Dame

4.     Michigan

5.     UCLA

6.     Wisconsin

7.     UVA

8.     Washington

9.     BYU

10. Purdue          

Honorable Mention:

Texas, Georgetown, Penn, Army, Dartmouth, Brown, Penn State

Best NCAA Division 1 Colleges

2019 Women’s XC Power Rankings:

1.     Stanford

2.     Princeton

3.     Columbia

4.     Michigan

5.     Notre Dame

6.     Dartmouth

7.     Villanova

8.     Wisconsin

9.     Georgia Tech

10. Washington    

Honorable Mention:

BYU, Penn State, Yale, Duke, Wake Forest, Penn, Illinois, Northwestern, Cornell

UVA Track and Field Recruiting Standards

Fast Track Recruiting

Want to run for UVA? And, by run I mean run, jump, hurdle or throw. It will be no easy task. Their academic standards are stringent. In addition, as a member of the 16 team ACC conference points are hard to come by. UVA prefers a smaller roster made up of athletes capable of scoring at the ACC and NCAA meet. Their scholarship standards are based on how many points you will score for them at those two meets. Although, they do not post specific qualifying standards the performance listed below will give you an idea of what performance marks you will need:

UVA TRACK AND FIELD MEN’S RECRUITING STANDARDS

EVENT           SCHOLARSHIP          WALK-ON

100m              10.50                          10.70

200m              21.00                          21.50

400m              47.50                          48.50

800m             1:51.00                       1:54.00

1600m           4:06.00                       4:13.00

3200m           9:00.00                       9:15.00

110HH           13.80                          14.10

300IH             36.50                          37.50

400IH             51.50                          53.50

LJ                   24 ‘ 6”                        23 ‘

TJ                    51’                            47’ 6”

HJ                   6’11                           6’8”

PV                    17’                            16’

SP                    64’                           57’6”

Discus            190’                          170’

Javelin            215’                           190’

Hammer         225’                            200’

 

UVA TRACK AND FIELD WOMEN’S RECRUITING STANDARDS 

EVENT           SCHOLARSHIP          WALK-ON

100m              11.60                          11.90

200m              23.80                          24.90

400m              54.00                          56.50

800m              2:10.00                       2:14.00

1600m           4:50.00                       5:00.00

3200m           10:40.00                    11:00.00

100H              13.80                          14.40

300IH             42.50                          44.50

400IH             59.50                         62.50

LJ                   19 ‘ 6”                       18 ‘ 6”

TJ                   41’                             38’

HJ                   5’11                            5’7”

PV                  13’                              12’

SP                  50’                             47’

Discus           160’                            145’

Javelin           155’                            130’

Hammer         175’                           160’

UVA TRACK AND FIELD QUESTIONNAIRE

Fast Track Recruiting

UNC Track and Field Recruiting Standards

Curious how fast you need to be to run for the UNC? Below we have listed their walk-on and scholarship standards.

Fast Track Recruiting

UNC Track and Field Questionnaire

UNC Summer Camp Information

FAST TRACK RECRUITING FIVE STAR COACHES:

ANDREA GROVE-MCDONOUGH

BOBBY LOCKHART

ABIGI ID-DE

UNC Track and Field Recruiting Standards

UNC%2BTrack%2BStandards