Mark Lewis: Parents Guide to Recruiting.

mslacat1Over the past 10 year or so I have been contacted by parents with questions about college recruiting. I have always done the best I could to answer those questions, but I have always felt at times a little uncomfortable  under the idea I know just enough about the subject to get someone in trouble.

Last year Mark Lewis of ESPN / Hoopgurlz did a series of articles on the recruiting process. It is a real good primer on the recruiting process that should be required reading for all parents who are taking their sons or daughters through this process. The series is written through the lens of a writer who has been involved with women’s basketball for more than 20 years, but it is relevant to all sports regardless of level and sex.

I contacted Mr. Lewis last week and asked him if I could reprint some of his articles and link to some others here and he agreed. He also pointed me to toward a column his Recruiting Checklist column that a lot of parents have found helpful.

I am reprinting that column below, and then providing links to other recruiting article by Mark Lewis. I hope to reprint a few others in the coming days/weeks that answer common questions that I have received over the past few years, but I will not reprint all of them. First though a little back ground On Mark Lewis

Mark Lewis is a columnist and national evaluator for ESPN HoopGurlz. Twice ranked as one of the top 25 assistant coaches in the game by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, he has more than 20 years of college coaching experience at Memphis State, Cincinnati, Arizona State, Western Kentucky and, most recently, Washington State. He can be reached at mark@hoopgurlz.com.

Lewis: A helpful recruiting checklist

By Mark Lewis
ESPN HoopGurlz
Originally Published: August 14, 2008

November is coming… decision time. The choice made will have implications for the next four years. It’s a long road and issues will be different for all the parties involved. Only this time there won’t be conventions or any Republicans and Democrats calling each other names. There still will be debates; you can count on that. But the decision we’re talking about is where to call home as a college athlete.

Each year high school seniors and junior-college players have to narrow their choices and find the scholarship opportunity that will best allow them to reach their goals athletically, academically and personally. That ultimate choice will be the result of a process that will have begun several years before. From the first questionnaires that came in the mail through the phone calls, letters, e-mails, faxes and ultimately to the home and campus visits, it’s an effort to find that right fit and the program best meets a recruit’s needs.

Across time we’ll talk more about the process and just what means what in recruiting. But with this year’s seniors right in the middle of their decision making, I wanted to take this opportunity to focus on what key factors might be important to different prospects and their families.

No two athletes have the same needs or want exactly the identical things in a program. However, for the most part, there will be a common set of questions for which most players will want the answers. Across my career, each of the staffs I have been part of have heard and responded to those questions because they were important enough to be asked. With that, I want to emphasize to you that there are no bad questions and, if it’s a concern of yours, you deserve an answer from the coaches recruiting you. This process is about the recruit and finding out what each school can do to meet their needs.

The checklist below includes some of the most common concerns and questions asked by recruits, their families and coaches. At all five of the schools I have worked, we have shared and added to this document in an effort help the athletes we were recruiting. Each of the areas, and the topics under them, have held different levels of importance for each individual. Our hope is that you might be able to use this as a kind of worksheet on the different schools that you might be considering.

I have no doubt that most of these issues have already crossed your mind, but if there’s even just one that hasn’t, then maybe we’ve been able to help. Feel free to print off a copy for each of the schools you’re considering and see where they stand against what’s important to you.

One last suggestion would be to compare each school to your needs rather than to each other. As I said earlier, every recruit is different and, then too, so is every school. The constant in the recruiting process are your needs. Keep them as your focus and get the answers that you need.

Click Here for ESPN HoopGurlz Recruiting Checklist

Here is a list of further columns Mr. Lewis has written that you might find interesting.

Image, court demeanor important to talent evaluators
Originally Published: June 25, 2008

Lewis: Players should be armed with knowledge during the recruiting process
Originally Published: July 9, 2008

Lewis: What a verbal commitment means
Originally Published: July 16, 2008

Lewis: How to choose a coach
Originally Published: July 23, 2008

Lewis: How to create interest
Originally Published: August 6, 2008

Assistants important, but should not be deciding factor
Originally Published: August 27, 2008

Looking at the flawed concepts and misperceptions of recruiting
Originally Published: September 3, 2008

It’s wise to take the recruiting process at your own pace
Originally Published: September 10, 2008

Unofficial visits a valuable resource
Originally Published: September 24, 2008

Where to go, who to see on unofficial visits
Originally Published: October 1, 2008

Recruits need to show class when turning down an offer
Originally Published: October 15, 2008

Beyond talent: Evaluation considerations
Originally Published: December 3, 2008

College coaches seek fundamental players
Originally Published: January 29, 2009


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