Yet we must not be so quick to forget about the first word in the phrase “student-athlete”, the very reason the vast majority of these individuals are in college in the first place. These prospective athletes, especially during the recruiting process in high school, are still students -- their performance in the classroom and in their extracurriculars and endeavors off the field is very much as important as their athletic performance (if not more!). As we detailed in our blog about “Giving Yourself the Opportunity to be an Academic All-Star” you cannot rely on stellar athletic performance to carry you through the recruiting process. It is not enough to simply dedicate all your energy towards your athletic career without focusing on your work in the classroom.
Nowhere is this more evident than in a significant, though often-forgotten part of the recruiting process, the pre-read.
The pre-read is a task performed by a member of the admissions department who serves as a liaison between the admissions and athletics departments. When a student-athlete is being recruited, this individual will conduct the pre-read. Usually occurring in the summer before senior year, the pre-read involves the liaison reviewing the then up-to-date transcript of a prospective recruit, including the candidate’s grades, classes, planned senior year classes, and applicable standardized test scores. The liaison will examine this transcript as a means of evaluating how the recruiting candidate would compare to the rest of the school’s applicant pool if they were to apply. The liaison will attempt to determine whether the candidate would indeed be a “competitive” applicant amongst the school’s predicted applicant pool. This helps coaches evaluate the type of candidate a potential recruit is, and whether or not the candidate is worth recruiting given their talents and performance across the board, not just in athletics. (Will the student fit into our community and culture academically? Will there be challenges?) If the liaison does not view your transcript in your pre-read as being competitive with a traditional applicant pool at a particular school, it may hinder or altogether terminate your recruitment interactions with that school. However, if your pre-read is judged favorably, you may very well be on the right track towards a potential collegiate athletic career with that school.
Accordingly, the pre-read is a critical part of the recruiting process. A prospective recruit’s evaluation in a pre-read can very well determine whether a school (or schools) chooses to actively recruit – or continue recruiting - the candidate. Perhaps more importantly, the pre-read dispels the all-too-common notion that a potential college athlete can cruise through high school with a lackluster academic record provided what athlete has accomplished on the stat sheet.
There is a reason that the word “student” is the first word in the phrase “student-athlete.” As a potential college athlete, you must value your academic performance as much as your athletic performance. Remember; in the world of recruiting and college applications, you are always trying to put your best self forward for admissions directors – think of this as an exercise in personal marketing and branding. The stronger your record is both on and off the field, the better chance you have of taking your athletic career to the collegiate level!
Can LAC help you make sense of the athletic recruiting pre-read? Looking for guidance on the entire college process? Do not hesitate to get in touch with us!