How the Corona Virus is Affecting College Recruiting

 From the large corporations to small businesses, political campaigns to society’s well being, the corona virus is affecting all aspects of everyday life. Not only is it bringing detrimental problems to our economy as a whole, but it is leaving individuals with their own potholes to stumble over. As the second semester is beginning, college recruiters are looking for prospects to build their 2020, 2021, and 2022 teams. Typically, recruiters travel to numerous tournaments and games across the country, looking for athletes who best fit their program. Soon after, the coach will reach out by email or phone call, often inviting these students to tour their campus or spend a day with their sports team. This process has been disrupted by the sudden lockdown of our country. As sport seasons are cancelled and athletes are forced off of fields and courts, the journey to recruitment has become much more difficult.

    So, what does this mean for student athletes? Luckily, our generation has access to various forms of technology to communicate, as well as create videos to demonstrate their abilities. “It is important to keep the coaches updated on everything,” said Abby Chen (11), an Oakton varsity volleyball starter since her freshman year. “You want to make sure they remember you and know you as best as possible.” Because recruiters have prospects all over the country to scout, it is extremely important to reach out persistently. Many student athletes have mentioned that some of the colleges they have emailed invited them to an online Zoom meeting to introduce the coaching staff, as well as the players, to upcoming athletes.

However, these virtual meetings and highlight videos can only tell a coach so much about their prospects. Gametime dynamic, energy, and response to adversity are immensely important attributes to consider when recruiting an athlete. In April and May, the end of club volleyball season, “qualifier” tournaments, as well as regionals, are held for the most competitive teams to earn their chance at a bid to nationals. Chen is especially dismayed at the cancellation of these events because of the numerous college coaches that typically attend them. Particularly for her, a junior who is interested in higher academic schools, losing these opportunities makes college recruiting and applications exceptionally stressful.

“Now is a perfect time to create highlight videos, Instagram recruiting pages, and more sources to get your name out there,” said Marisa Temoshok (10), a varsity volleyball captain at Wakefield High School who is adapting to the virtual recruiting process. “Even though highlight realms cannot show everything needed to recruit a player, it’s the best we have right now.” She explains the importance of not only including your biggest plays, for example, in volleyball when you pass a hard hit, but also demonstrating your flexibility and potential to adapt. Temoshok demonstrated her ability to play as an outside hitter, as well as a defensive specialist. She also incorporated videos of her saving balls that were not part of the ideal play, such as diving for balls that hit off the block, or running into the crowds to bring a mishit ball back into play. “All athletes are not in this process alone, so it is best to look at the bright side of it,” Temoshok said.

Courtesy of Marisa Temoshok

Luckily, for the players who have already committed, the corona virus does not appear to be affecting their offer. Lindsey Hardesty (11), a varsity volleyball captain at Trinity High School who committed to Liberty University as a D1, says “so far nothing has changed with [her] offer and [she] has not heard anything will be affected.”

The pandemic is shutting down countries all over the world, and athletes are eager to get back to their sport. As the recruiting continues virtually, coaches and prospects are adapting to the process.