Recruiting at JO National Championships
Nor Cal United High Performance Director John Lucas and Sacramento area Head Coach Seth Nix traveled to Kissimmee Florida earlier this week to recruit more gymnasts for the Nor Cal United Team.
Other College coaches are also here nor Cal United is honored to be here with them scouting recruits. There are way more talented gymnasts in this sport at the high School level than the current college programs have spots for. We are very hopeful that we can develop a strong team to compete against the NCAA programs next year and in the years to come.
Because there are so many great gymnasts competing at this event (and there are many that just missed this event) it can be very difficult to be noticed by a school. I would like to give a little advice to gymnasts that want to compete in college about things they can do to help get on college coaches radar.
At Nor Cal United we look for gymnasts with solid basics and clean gymnastics. Our Coaches are most concerned with recruiting gymnasts that are capable of putting up a high execution score. We know that we can teach the big skills to a gymnast with good basics. It is much more challenging to fix bad habits on a gymnast’s big skills and basics than to teach them new skills. Obviously we would be most excited to get a gymnast with both big skills and good basics. It is probably safe to assume that most schools feel the same way.
We also look for gymnasts that are coachable, hardworking, consistent, and driven. We look for leadership, gymnasts that pursue excellence over glory, and gymnasts that are team players. It is not easy to ascertain these qualities at just one meet. That is why it is essential that gymnasts fill out our Recruiting Questionnaire so we can learn more information about what makes you a good recruit.
It is important that college coaches have a chance to see your gymnastics, and if you made nationals they likely will. If you made nationals or not make sure that you give several college coaches opportunities to notice you and become familiar with your gymnastics. You can do this through social media and YouTube videos (avoid videos over 5 min).
Coaches also want to learn what you are like in the gym. Most schools hold camps over the summer that are great ways for you to get the feel for the coaching staff and for them to get the feel for how you are at practice. If they really are considering you they may ask you on an unofficial or official visit to their school/program.
Remember that persistence on your part is important. Keep posting new video and checking in from time to time on your school(s) of choice by sending an E-mail with links to updated training posts to coaches. Also remember that college coaches are fairly limited on being able to communicate with you until your junior year. If you are younger than that still post video and attend camps, but do not be discouraged if the coaches are not contacting you, they could not if they wanted to.
Keep training hard and good luck in finals to all the level 10’s at JO Nationals!
Nor Cal United
High Performance Director