BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The Highlander Booster Club hosted a College Recruiting Seminar for student athletes and their families at Governor Livingston High School on Tuesday night.
Moderator Ann Clifton, director of Athletics at Governor Livingston and a former Division I coach, introduced the panel, which consisted of experts who have experienced the collegiate athletic recruitment process and or played a role in the process in a different capacity. Brian Herr, Lafayette College's women's soccer coach and a former Division I athlete, represented the NCAA Division I recruitment process. He was joined by Rocco Constantino, Bloomfield College's softball coach and Division II representative. Division III institutions were represented by Drexel University women's soccer coach Christa Racine.
Recruitment is a process that involves many other individuals aside from the athlete and the college coach. To ensure the most beneficial experience the collegiate coaches were joined by Jim Davidson, Summit High School Lacrosse coach who has coached over 35 collegiate Lacrosse players. Director of Guidance and former Division I athlete Ashley Janosko provided her expertise on the role of the guidance department. Finally, Erica Borgo, former Division I student athlete at Yale, and her father, Dan Borgo, discussed their family's experience of the recruitment process.
Each of the college coaches highlighted the importance of showing interest in the school and showing that the athlete has done their research on the institution when they contact the recruiters. Coach Brian Herr emphasized the necessity of clear and constant communication in order to stand out and catch the coach's eye.
"You need to be proactive,” Herr said, “Make sure you are in constant communication and show clear interest in the institution."
During initial contact Coach Constantino stressed the importance of keeping communication simple and basic. Constantino recommended that athletes keep everything to one page with the athlete's basic information, such as graduation year and GPA because the recruiters’ time is limited.
The panel highlighted the roles of those involved in the recruitment process. First, Ashley Janosko explained the role of the guidance counselor as that of assuring athletes meet the NCAA requirements. The counselor can help the athlete get on an academically rigorous course to ensure eligibility.
High school coach Jim Davidson spoke on the importance of involving your coaches in the recruitment process.
“High school coaches serve as a liaison between the athlete and the college coaches," Davidson said. Athletes are encouraged to exhibit a good work ethic, as that is what coaches communicate to recruiters.
Recruitment is a process that involves and affects the whole family.That being said Dan Borgo reiterated the fact that coaches want to hear from athletes, not parents. Borgo emphasized the parental role as that of guidance and support of your child in this decision process.
Erica Borgo underwent the recruitment process within the last decade and touched on the extensive role of the athlete. She advised athletes to be educated on the process, stressing the importance of being aware of the manner and time that coaches can legally communicate with them. She stressed the importance of being driven and motivated throughout this whole process and even into your college career.
Recruitment is a long and often stressful process, however performed properly it can yield immeasurable benefits. Coach Christa Racine concisely summarized the entire process.
"Ideally this experience will shape you into a productive member of society and you will be successful moving forward,” Racine said.
Editor's note: Karly Deland is a senior at Gov. Livingston High School participating in the student intern program with TAP into Berkeley Heights. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information regarding this student opportunity.