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lastplanet

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Anyone have recruiting online 'platforms' they recommend?
« on: January 10, 2017, 10:09:13 PM »

I've only checked out one.  And it seemed like it could be useful.   I would assume that doing it all on your own is ideal, but my HS son is really not going to manage that.  But I think he could manage to use one of these websites that guides you through some (admittedly formulaic) recruiting steps.  Anyone have experience with these and know whether and how coaches use them?  Are any better than others or "the one" that coaches use?   BTW, DS's target is more DIII level schools.

The one I looked at, just because it was used by a showcase, is CaptainU.  Basic cost is $20 a month (free to try for 2 weeks) and it goes up from there to get more features and human ("recruiting expert") advice and reviews.

CaptainU allows a player to build a profile (stats, teams, coaches), upload videos.  The main feature is guiding the player through some recruiting steps.  You select some colleges and then you can see basic info plus the coach info.  Then it prompts the player to email the coach and provides a script to do so.  You email through CapitanU and it seems fairly simple.

The steps it guides the player through are:
 Learn about XYZ College Men's Soccer and take notes
Send an intro email and your profile
Send an email to follow up with Coach Joe Blow
Get your first reply
Fill out the team's recruiting questionnaire
Add a video to your profile and email Coach Joe Blow
Get the coach to see you play
Find out what the coach thinks after seeing you play
Schedule a campus visit
Visit campus
Ask Coach Joe Blow where you stand
Find out if a scholarship is available
Review the pros and cons for this college

Pretty formulaic but better than nothing and at least it's organized.  For more per month, you can get personalized help.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2017, 10:27:27 PM by lastplanet »
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Squash

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Re: Anyone have recruiting online 'platforms' they recommend?
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2017, 05:27:40 AM »

Sounds interesting....... I've honestly never looked but hopefully someone else has another site to share.  :laugh:

I did see these ones after doing a google search, no clue if it's good or bad ......
https://new.berecruited.com
http://www.ncsasports.org


Link to the one you mentioned as well
https://www.captainu.com/

lastplanet

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Re: Anyone have recruiting online 'platforms' they recommend?
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2017, 08:48:34 AM »

One more thing about CaptainU that seems nice is the 'communication dashboard'.  The player emails through the app and it has templates for various letters the player might write.   All the coach info is there along to links to the school and team website so they player can do the background research without having to search for all that stuff.

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English1

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Re: Anyone have recruiting online 'platforms' they recommend?
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2017, 09:16:13 AM »

I like Captainu, I use it for both of my HS kid's.  Typically what has happened is that they start the conversation with Captainu and then they move to their personal email and phone numbers. 
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ForTheKids

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Re: Anyone have recruiting online 'platforms' they recommend?
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2017, 10:24:42 AM »

It depends what DD/DS is looking for.

CaptainU is widely used by colleges wishing to extend their reach without traveling. Many community colleges and lower level colleges actively use it. Which is fine. It really depends on the customer. I do have some serious concerns about parts of it though. For instance, my DD got 'communications' from Anson D at UNC and the head coach at Notre Dame expressing interest in her but wanting her to sign up for their camp. C'mon.  Not honest whatsoever and I'm sure there was a business deal behind the scenes on those email blasts. So, take it for what its worth.

NCSA.  Ok.  A fair chunk of change.  Not really that impressive. If you are willing to take anything that comes along, its a good venue for that sort of situation since many coaches will not actively engage here. Money would be better spent working with one of the local firms that specialize in this sort of stuff and have a personal relationship with the athlete.  Way better than working with someone on the other side of the country that cannot get to know your DD/DS. 

In the end, with the exception of a few athletes, the process is all about relationships .... how to establish them and grow them and do it on a timeline that works for DD/DS as well as the colleges in which they are interested. 

Showcases.  BTW, I think showcases can be great PROVIDED the athlete has established a communications relationship (single direction or bi-direction depending up on the age of the athlete) with the prospective coaches preferably well in advance of an event.  If that happens, many of the coaches will add the athlete to their list to have a look at. However, showcases can be hit or miss in terms of how many touches a player gets when a coach decides to show up.

IMO the best money spent is to identify the handful of schools that are within the realistic target of the DD/DS (based upon level of athlete as well as the sense the athlete gets from the coach during communications) ... then get on campus.  Whether it be campus visit or ID camp or whatever. The problem with most coaches is they don't have the time to view all candidates. Those that take the time and money to show up on campus set themselves apart and gives them perhaps anywhere from an hour to a full day of interacting with the coaches in a comfortable setting for the coach.  That gives the greatest chance for DD/DS. 

Get on campus. Meet the coach.  Do their ID camps.  Show interest.

The rest of  the stuff ... recruiting platforms ... are more or less lead generation, nothing more.
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2Shortie

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Re: Anyone have recruiting online 'platforms' they recommend?
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2017, 10:48:43 AM »

We ended up with a subscription to CaptainU through a tournament my highschooler attended.  You do get spammed with a lot of emails like "You appeared in a search" which sounds pretty general to me but I'm not sure.  The NAIA schools do not have the same contact restrictions that DI and DII schools have so you are likely to see personalized emails and invites from them to come visit their campus- for example, mine was offered a weekend trip out to an NAIA school last fall all expenses paid including a hotel room for a parent. 

As far as usefulness, I think it just really depends on what your son or daughter is looking for.  If they are hoping to play at UCLA or Stanford or a big DI school like that, I don't know how effective any of the recruiting websites really are for them.  Many of those schools don't have to search too hard for players so it seems like maybe they wouldn't utilize these platforms as much but, again, I am just conjecturing.

However there are several DI colleges that have "added" my player to their database (whatever that really means) and that has kind of encouraged a broader perspective on possibly attending colleges farther out.  It certainly can't hurt to give it a try just to test the water and see what you think. 
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lastplanet

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Re: Anyone have recruiting online 'platforms' they recommend?
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2017, 11:08:56 AM »

As far as usefulness, I think it just really depends on what your son or daughter is looking for.  If they are hoping to play at UCLA or Stanford or a big DI school like that, I don't know how effective any of the recruiting websites really are for them.  Many of those schools don't have to search too hard for players so it seems like maybe they wouldn't utilize these platforms as much but, again, I am just conjecturing.

Definitely not the big DI level.  More Whitman/Occidental/Santa Clara sort of level.  Money side would come from a) getting in the school and b) getting financial aid that come with that.  But I think it's really more about having the varsity team experience.  I did that in college is it was a blast.

The thing that seemed good about CaptainU is that it made the steps and communication just a bit easier and makes it seem more "doable".  Right now I think my DS feels a bit like, 'I don't even know where to start with contacting coaches.' though he's attended a few college recruiting info sessions. 

I looked a little at NCSA, but I don't think that a good option for my DS.  He's not looking to go anywhere just to play soccer, but rather finding schools (with the help of his parents and school college counselor) that are a good fit academically, socially, financially etc and then figuring out if playing soccer there would be an option and a place he'd like to play.   And if getting recruited can tip the scales for getting admitted, that'd be great.

Any others platforms you know out there like CaptainU?  That's the only one I've seen so I don't have much basis for comparison.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2017, 11:29:12 AM by lastplanet »
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ForTheKids

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Re: Anyone have recruiting online 'platforms' they recommend?
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2017, 12:14:39 PM »


Any others platforms you know out there like CaptainU?  That's the only one I've seen so I don't have much basis for comparison.

berecruited.com
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BothellSoccerDad

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Re: Anyone have recruiting online 'platforms' they recommend?
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2017, 08:03:58 PM »

I have not used it but I have heard good things about collegefitfinder.com
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eastofthe206

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Re: Anyone have recruiting online 'platforms' they recommend?
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2017, 11:12:03 PM »

so far I think FTK has it dialed down best. there are so many ways to approach this.

What we did, using the NAIA and NCAA websites: (fyi did not use any of the recruiting sites)

first figured out what DK would, or would not, be interested in. He needed/wanted to go to a college/university larger than his H.S. so that eliminated pretty much all NAIA and D3 opportunities.

Next, figured out what places he was interested in, and was not. East Coast: yes. West Coast : yes. Gulf of Mexico: maybe but not likely. Midwest/Plains states/SE: NO. Exception to the rule: Chicago METRO area.

By the time you go through this kind of rubric the number of opportunities really narrows down. That was what we did...you can change it all around but, first and foremost, seemed to me focusing in on where my DK would want to go to school was the first part.

Once you do all this filtering, and everyone has a different set of filters, the NAIA and NCAA sites will leave you a finite set of schools to approach. THEN you start the dance of coach contacts, communication about tournament play, attendance at the college sponsored "camps", etc.

Guess what I would say is the online sites can help you on the last 3rd of the process, but you gotta' go your own process upfront. Narrow your focus, help your DK market the **** out of her/himself thereafter.
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soccerfan22

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Re: Anyone have recruiting online 'platforms' they recommend?
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2017, 09:44:06 AM »

Limited experience with College Fit Finder has been good. Another option, and the one that is being force fed to ECNL Players is Total Global Sports. Again, limited experience but if you are an ECNL player, one feature that is nice is the automatic integration of the players ECNL Schedule into their profile but not sure that alone makes it worth utilizing.
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lastplanet

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Re: Anyone have recruiting online 'platforms' they recommend?
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2017, 11:50:20 AM »

Thanks for the comments re other platforms: College Fit Finder, Total Global Sports and berecruited.  I'll check those out.  One of the team parents is using NCSA so I know a little about that.

@eastofthe206 @ForTheKids I'm looking for options for the final 1/3 after a list of colleges is made (using the things listed in your posts).  I went through the college search process last year with DK#1 so I'm familiar with that dance.  Keeping track of all the the deadlines, applications, schol apps, fin aid apps (ug, torture) and tests was a ton of organization.  Adding the recruiting communication organization on top of that for DK#2 makes me feel like 'shoot me.  now.'  I absolutely want to hand this over to DS, but I know he'll need help and guidance.  One of these online platforms seems like it'll make it a whole lot easier for DS to take charge (and me to watch to see how it's going).

Also I'm one of the team managers and with the team starting to go to showcases, I like the feature that the coach and manager can use CaptainU to help advise or monitor players' recruiting communication progress.

Update:
BeRecruited wants $15 from me to try out their deluxe level which includes the communication dashboard.  I'm cheap so I'm not sure it offers enough over CaptainU to get me to pay that.  However the layout is definitely slicker than CaptainU.  Also adding colleges to 'follow' was way easier than CaptainU.  Though not sure what the use of 'following' a college on berecruited would be.

College Fit Finder looks promising.  I'm one of the team managers and this has lots of team features that could help me over the next year or two with showcases.   Team cost is $1200 a year, which we could roll into team fees I guess.  They want $100 from me to get a month of the 'team' level or $30 for a month of the individual level.  This one looks interesting enough that I've contacted them to try to get a 1 or 2 week free demo.  btw, yearly team cost for CaptainU is $1000 but it doesn't have team brochures.

Total Global Sports seems different than what I'm looking for.  Has a lot of club management features.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2017, 12:43:02 PM by lastplanet »
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lastplanet

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Re: Anyone have recruiting online 'platforms' they recommend?
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2017, 07:37:29 PM »

Update: College Fit Finder got back to me right away with an offer of a month trial.  So if you want to try yourself, just ask them.  I'm not sure how CaptainU works re the trial.  I just got the link through a showcase registration and it came with an automatic 2-week trial.

Another update: I stumbled across this free e-book that CaptainU provides.  It's actually one of the more useful write-ups that I have seen on the soccer recruiting process and geared for all levels.  I haven't gotten through all of it yet. 
http://s3.amazonaws.com/images.captainu.com/assets/241/Make_the_Team_eBook.pdf

Another update: So, Berecruited is affiliated with NCSA (I saw that in the fine print).  When I signed up for the free level of berecruited.com to check it out, they sent my info to NCSA.  I immediately saw emails from NCSA welcoming me to the "NCSA Athletic Recruiting Network" and letting me know that a scout would be contacting me.  The parent who had told me about NCSA before had warned me that they do a 'hard' sell and that you have to endure a phone 'evaluation' (aka sales job) to get access.  I hadn't looked into them since I wasn't in the mood for that.  But I unwisely put in my cell number (why did I do that??).  Now I'm getting calls, though have ignored them so far.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2017, 03:14:43 PM by lastplanet »
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FutbolPapa

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Re: Anyone have recruiting online 'platforms' they recommend?
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2017, 08:00:34 AM »

I would concur on College Fit Finder (CFF). A number of local clubs (PacNW, Surf, Rush) have adopted it for their clubs. I have been the college coordinator for my DD's team the past year and many of the college showcases want you to use their selected tool (CaptainU is pretty popular). It is not as polished as CFF (ease of team profile handout creation is a huge one for CFF). Another is the coaches (club coordinators) can follow and prompt on emails for the players which isn't bad when trying to motivate teens to do something! Finally, there is also a reasonable college search tool (DI, DII, DIII, locations, strength of program, etc.) with contact info for the coaches. Combining this with the Big Future product from College Board gets you a long ways towards narrowing down your 'college targets'  (https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/).

The one concern with all of these products though is balancing your DK's privacy (and safety) against having a public recruiting profile which will include the high school, age, picture, phone numbers (maybe), etc. I know a number of clubs are working with CFF to figure out a better way to limit access to player profiles. Of course the other side of the coin is DD's club has a number of college coaches and they are all impressed with the 'one-stop shop' of being able to get player information including upcoming games, tournament results, academics (#1 for many of them), and basic stats including shuttle times and other metrics. Now if only you can get the club to adopt the product the per player cost is easy for a team to justify.

Best of luck finding what works best for you...
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lastplanet

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Re: Anyone have recruiting online 'platforms' they recommend?
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2017, 02:17:01 PM »

Thanks @FutbolPapa !  I had some time today to explore the CCF platform more.  It is definitely slick and makes a nice player profile.  I'm not sure how many of the players would do much more than the minimum though.  I could probably mock up a team brochure in the time needed to hound them to enter info.

The college search tool on CCF is definitely nice.  So easy to sort by level (DI, DII, DIII, NAIA), by average GPA, average test schools, public/private, team strength. 

Quote
Another is the coaches (club coordinators) can follow and prompt on emails for the players

I think you were referring to CCF. But I could not find a feature on CCF where you can see if players have contacted coaches.  I think I can see that in CaptainU and prompt players to do so.  The CaptainU communication dashboard is the part I like: guides players though the initial coach contacts and gives them scripts. 

I guess what I'd like is both.  CCF for searching and making brochures. CaptainU for the communication dashboard.  Alas CCF is $1200 for a year for a team and CaptainU is $1000. 
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ForTheKids

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Re: Anyone have recruiting online 'platforms' they recommend?
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2017, 04:32:48 PM »

Tools are good.  Getting on campus and in front of the coaching staff is best!

Coach time is a highly rationed resource so when DK gets in front of them one-on-one (or first via an ID event on their campus followed by one-on-one on campus)

If it is deemed too expensive an investment to get on campus ... usually between $200 and $1,000, then that's probably not a school that is highly desired by DK ... in which case these tools may be best way to go.

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English1

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Re: Anyone have recruiting online 'platforms' they recommend?
« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2017, 10:54:41 AM »

TGS is new and I like that Coaches have the ability to swipe from the sideline and build their watch list.  The down side is that to get the enhanced profile it costs over $200. I also think that like everything its going to take a while for College Coaches to get on board with it. The most important things to do are to send schedules, take brochures and keep in constant contact with Coaches.
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tiekesccr

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Re: Anyone have recruiting online 'platforms' they recommend?
« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2017, 11:50:44 AM »

FTK is right figure out what schools interest your kid and pursue them. Get out to the school, talk with the coaches. Both my kids went threw the recruiting process. We used CaptainU and got a few looks from smaller Div 2 and 3 schools. But it was both of them going to a school for unofficial visits, meeting coaches that helped them. One thing listen to what the coaches say. If they say we don't recruit kids less than 5'10" in our def and your kid is 5'6" and a defender, you may want to move on. My daughters team has two walk-ons that play significant time on her Div 1 team last year. So you know you have to work at and it is not easy.
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