Finding Wisdom in Knowledge

W.I.N. for Athletic Recruits

W.I.N. is a simple but powerful acronym that comes from the famous Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz. It stands for ‘What’s Important Now?’ As student-athletes roll into summer, the checklist for W.I.N. items is simple, but equally meaningful and important.

We already know that the “secret” to recruiting is NOT to keep “it” a secret. So W.I.N. is sharing information with coaches and continuing to establish and maintain relationships with colleges/universities of interest. Keeping in mind the various NCAA rules, getting and keeping in contact with coaches in a meaningful manner assures that information can and will be shared.

Part I – Essential W.I.N. Items to Share

  • Academic Profile – Grades, test scores and upcoming dates, class schedule
  • Athletic Schedule – Summer clinics, camps and tournaments/events
  • Visit Plan – When you will visit with admission for a tour/info session
  • Meeting – Your intent/desire to meet with coach on campus during visit or other time

Part II – W.I.N. to Know From Coaches

In order to know where a student-athlete is on the recruiting lists of coaches, the summer, if not sooner, is a great time to ask questions in order to make wise decisions moving forward. To start with, consider what you actually need to know (don’t be shy!) and build a list of questions to ask coaches. I have what I call an algorithm of questions that help my student-athletes consider what they need to know and when. The list is extensive but helps drive the process of distilling exactly where the student stands as a potential candidate for each college/university.

Sample Questions for Coaches:

  • Did you get a chance to see my video and take a look at my grades?
  • Do I potentially fit into your plans as a recruit or possibly as a walk-on?
  • How many (position, i.e. midfielders) are you looking to recruit?
  • Do you see me as potentially becoming a part of your recruiting class?

Finally, the relationship between the student-athlete and coach is W.I.N. Student-athlete asking the right questions at the right time will help map the recruiting plan moving forward. Each student-athlete’s journey is specialized based on sport, timing and college competition level. What do you need to know to make a wise decision?

About The Author

Chair, Innovation

As Chair of Innovation at McMillan Education, Kim embodies the firm’s commitment to both anticipating and contributing to changes in the field that prioritize a strong student-centered experience and impact how our counselors best serve students and their families in the college and school planning processes. Kim works closely with...