Recruiting – Truth vs. Fiction

The roller coaster of emotions that coaches, players, and fans go through the regular Football season, sometimes pails in comparison to the ups and down of recruiting season. With signing day just a few weeks away, the hearts of all those involved are bound to be broken more than once. A company called Recruiting Realities; aims to help college prospects decipher between the myths and actuality surrounding their recruitment.

Jack Renkens founded Recruiting Realities about six years ago. He travels the nation lecturing to thousands of athletic directors, parents, coaches and counselors. Unlike other seminars, Renkens doesn't seek to sell materials such as books or videos. In his lectures, he shares the wisdom he has gained through teacher, coach, and administrator at the high school, junior and senior college levels. During his educational career he was astonished to realize the vast number of fallacies regarding the athletic recruiting process.

"When I was recruiting for Assumption College, " says Renkens who won seven Coach of the Year honors; "I heard parents saying how convinced their son was going to such and such school just because they got a letter from them. When I start explaining to them the different scenarios that can happen, they are all in shock. When I would talk at banquets about recruiting, I was amazed at how many people were stunned by the information I gave them. So I decided to start my own business and educate people about the recruiting process, so they can get the full picture." Renkens promotes his business as a keynote speaker in various Athletic Directors Conferences, but word of mouth has also been proven as a valuable marketing tool.

The once NCAA Congressman encounters resistance from coaches who think they know all there is to know about recruiting. However, he does make a point to explain that his seminar covers much more than that. "My program isn't just about recruiting. It's about being a parent, criticism of high school coaches, being realistic about the opportunities that are available out there." During his presentation, Renkens, who has a 100 % college graduation rate, stresses issues such as academics in the recruiting process, untapped resources available to student-athletes, knowing the recruiting laws and regulations, and how to interpret written correspondence and phone contact.

A large number of college prospects have dreams of playing at a Division I school. Naturally, a very small number of all high school athletes actually fulfill that wish. "A lot of kids play what I call ‘the name game'. They say they want to go to this school and that school. It's OK for a blue chipper to say that. But that's only 1% of all athletes. I'm more concerned about the other 99%. If they get a letter from a few big time schools they automatically think they'll get to pick which school to go to, but they'll also get letters from small colleges. I really hit that ‘name game' hard. I tell them that sometimes that a small college may be the place for you. It's trying to tell them that this is about getting your education. This isn't about throwing or kicking a ball."

In this day of the information age, Renkens believes that Internet overall is a great tool for recruiting information. Nevertheless, he says that some services are more creditable and valuable than others. "There's a mixed bagged of goods. Some recruiting services that serve parents are good and legitimate, and they're tons a bad ones. There's a lot of money involved in that, and everybody is trying to find their niche. I always talk about having reservations and being cautious. I have my opinions of course, but when there's a company that has a 90-day money back guarantee that shows they're a legitimate service. So, the Internet services are a good option to help student athlete get recruited." Renkens believes that the selection of one or more recruiting services should be based on which service can maximize one's exposure effectively to prospective schools. Furthermore, he believes that one shouldn't rely on sources that won't have the resources to promote high school athletes. "Some parents think that the high school coach will do everything, but where will he get the time and money to help all his players? I was a high school coach, so I know about that."

With the recruiting season taking on a life of its own, Renkens weighs in with what the future holds for this emotionally draining process that student athletes go through across the nation." The biggest problem I see with the future of recruiting is misinformation. Parents and student athletes have these wild dreams that they'll play in such and such school, get drafted, and make millions of dollars. They just don't know how it really works. The more information people get, the more miscommunication there is. The media shows the wonderful stories that happen to these few individuals, and they right away assume that this will happen to them. That's not reality." If you would like to learn more about the realities of recruiting, please visit www.recruitingrealities.com

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