Student Athlete Prep: Junior Day Notes
Heading to a college football Junior Day? Do you know what to expect?
More and more schools are using these JDs as a recruiting tactic — not only for the sport itself, but so that the school can show off their campus, facilities, and attention to academics. With that, part of your program will discuss the academic expectations of the players, as well as the academic aide available — tutors, study halls, etc.
Junior Days are becoming less of a ‘open call’ and more of a true recruiting experience. Years back, 100s of recruits may have been invited to a JD. Now the day looks to be more selective with the incoming players, and thus the program is more meaningful. To the group, the staff will talk football, player requirements and expectations, and overall give a feel for the team, the program, and what it is to be an athlete at their school. You’ll have the chance to see the locker room, fitness center, and field as well.
Of course, each school’s JD will vary from the others, but know that for each of them the program may not be a very personal experience — meaning you may not have a one-to-one discussion with a coach or recruiting coordinator. Our advice? Don’t expect it, but certainly be ready to shine if and when that opportunity presents itself.
Oftentimes, the JD will coincide with the team’s spring game. There is a buzz of excitement around this initial game, which is great for prospects to see, but remember to pay close attention — how do the players handle themselves? How does the coaching staff operate? How do the on-field aspects of the team compare to what you are used to?
A popular question is, can an offer be made at a JD? The answer is yes, it is a possibility (especially at smaller, more selective events). Don’t expect it, but be grateful if it does.
Overall, a JD is a great opportunity! While making this unofficial visit to campus, you have the chance to visit with the coaches to learn more in depth about who they are looking to recruit, and the players that fit their team’s character. On the flip side, they get to see you in person, to learn if you have the right attitude, are truly the height and weight your stats say you are, and simply showing up takes an additional step at demonstrating your interest in the school and program. You and your family could also potentially meet with your regional admissions advisor. As a whole, take this time to develop meaningful relationships with the school and everyone you come into contact with who represents it.
When the day is done, be sure to send the coaching staff — specifically the coach recruiting you — an email afterwards to thank him for the opportunity, and telling him that you look forward to keeping in touch!
For guidance on how to approach Junior Days, or for other recruiting questions, do not hesitate to reach out to us by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Originally published at www.leonardandrew.com.