Keith Edmonds is a 32-year veteran of teaching and school administration from Fort Wayne. He coached boys high school basketball as an assistant at Snider High School, North Side High School and was the head boys basketball coach at Elmhurst High School for 12 years, advancing to the Class 3A State championship in 2003.

The Key to being recruited properly may lie in your…

“Circle of Trust”

To a high school student-athlete, having the opportunity to go and continue playing their sport at the collegiate level is exciting, invigorating and, at the same time, nerve-wracking. There are so many things to consider before you sign that LOI (Letter of Intent) to attend a particular college that shows an interest in you either through a phone call, letter, email or just saying hello to you at an event, that it’s hard process for young people. 

 Coaches should try to assist their student-athletes during this process in whatever manner a family asks of them to alleviate the pressures that come with trying to make what is literally a $100,000 decision (Estimated: 4 years of paid college costs).

This life changing decision is one that should be thought out with the pros and cons being considered on many different levels. Colleges can start showing interest in players as early as middle school, so by the time high school arrives, those particular players may have received over 100 forms of correspondence even before they’ve reached their sophomore year.

Having the opportunity to play collegiate athletics is an honor and players should look at it as such. Colleges and universities scour the country looking for players and if they stop to take an interest in a particular player, they should feel honored but humbled at the same time. Too many players look at it as their right to be recruited instead of having a clear understanding that as quickly as an offer can be made by a school, it can be rescinded just as quickly due to “other factors” that can be a detriment to a players overall recruitment.

Players must understand that their off court persona is just as – or even more important – than their on court talents. Their choices of friends and their “circle of trust” (those people that will form their support system) and the making of their choice of school cannot be underestimated. As students, they need to understand how to choose the correct courses in high school that will allow them to be evaluated and determine their eligibility to compete at the next level. If I had to put together what I feel would be a team to assist student-athletes in their college decision making process, it would be as follows. 

  1. High school counselor that has a clear understanding of the NCAA eligibility process.
  2. Parents or guardians who will help field phone calls, emails or any literature coming from colleges because that can be overwhelming.
  3. High school coach who has worked with this athlete for four years and understand their strengths and weaknesses when considering where to play in college.
  4. Trusted friend or teammate; preferably someone that has gone through this process who can assist with the tough questions that need to be asked during the recruiting process.
  5. AAU coach that can add input in the decision-making process.

This briefly describes what would be my team or “Circle of Trust” if you will, as you move through the process of being a recognized, recruitable student-athlete. You have four years to make a decision, so don’t put any more undue pressure on yourselves to sign early unless you’re ready. Enjoy the process and remember to stay humble throughout as it can be a precarious ride.

Courtside with Coach Edmonds will appear every Monday at Outside the Huddle. These opinions represent those of the writer. No opinions expressed on Outside the Huddle represent those of any of our advertisers. 

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