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Time to think about college-- so many questions!

kimute

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My daughter is a second year level 9, 9th grader. She is working some level 10 skills and her coach has suggested I create a YouTube channel or website to start posting videos for college coaches. Some questions:
1) What is standard to share videos? Should we join any of the college promotional websites? Just do a stand alone YouTube channel? A website? My daughter can do any of these just curious what is recommended?
2) Can she/her coaches reach out to colleges yet? I can't remember the changing rules? Even if they can, would it be better to wait until level 10?
3) Are D1 schools still filling up their rosters four years out? In other words, does my daughter have options at D1 schools when she won't be Level 10 until at least 10th grade?
4) Is the process different for Ivy's, considering they don't offer scholarships?

Thank you!!
 

txgymfan

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How exciting!

I don’t have any pratical advice other than when you consider a team talk to alumni and their parents, the team gives rah rah answers.

Bookworm has given some excellent advice over the years. One may be a pinned post. I’ll try to find it, but do a search for bookworm and college. There is a wealth of information available.
 
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skschlag

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I have a boy so the process may be a tad different, although the rules are the same.

He has a YouTube and InstaGram. You can share these with coaches, but they should not be contacting your daughter until June 15 between her sophomore and junior year. This is the rule. Because of this, girls should be signing later, but I think many are going through the coaches.

I tihnk there are always some options still available.
 
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GymParent

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Follow Jill Hicks Consulting on FaceBook. She has some great info and has FB Lives on Wednesdays (2:00 CST). You could probably go back and look at past ones. She also has a paid consulting service but the FB information is free and a great place to start.

Instagram seems to be the place to be for gymnastics recruiting. There are a lot of gymnasts with recruiting IG accounts that you might be able to find just through college commit announcements.
 
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flippin out

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1) What is standard to share videos? Should we join any of the college promotional websites? Just do a stand alone YouTube channel? A website? My daughter can do any of these just curious what is recommended?
2) Can she/her coaches reach out to colleges yet? I can't remember the changing rules? Even if they can, would it be better to wait until level 10?
3) Are D1 schools still filling up their rosters four years out? In other words, does my daughter have options at D1 schools when she won't be Level 10 until at least 10th grade?
4) Is the process different for Ivy's, considering they don't offer scholarships?
mind you things have changed in the last couple of years, since my dd was recruited (contact rules and such and now covid complications), but here is my $.02.

1) a] make a youtube account and an IG account just for her gymnastics. Make sure the name of the accounts reflects who she is (ex SusieSmith2022, not some cutesy name that is meaningful to her but will make no sense in searching for her, ex. PeaceLoveandTumble.
b] Websites are nice as long as you can afford it. They keep all information in one place and make it easy for coaches to look up everything they want to know. You can link all relevant info (scores, videos, youtube and IG accounts).....but they are not mandatory and should not be seen as such.
c] just to add, there are recruiting headhunters, but I don't believe they are beneficial really. I know a lot of people live and die by hiring a recruiting consultant, but I didn't find them necessary at all. Do the research yourslef and see what teams have open spots and what each program she's interested in normally looks for in recruits. It may take a little bit of effort, but it's not that hard. Unless coaches have changed drastically from when my dd recruited just a couple of years ago, coaches do not want to hear from some 3rd party. They always wanted to hear from the gymnast themselves (no mom/dad, no headhunter consultant). It is actually way more beneficial to have a coach that has a personal connection (has sent kids from their program on to D1 teams and have a good relationship with the college coaches...and in the covid era of no visits, are willing to have open workouts viewable livestream where they invite colleges to join in to watch...so the athletes can showcase themselves) than some consultant. Even if you had a coach with great relationships, it's still the kid who needs to sell themselves and prove why they would be an excellent addition to their program.

2) a] yes, she can reach out to colleges. Send an introduction email, let them know who you are as person and how you can contribute to their team. Make it personal, let them know why you are interested in their program and university. Covid has changed in-person recruiting so email and phone calls are the way to go. That being said, b] I would wait to do so until she had solid level 10 skills and videos to show them (others may differ on that opinion). Send them updates frequently, but not so frequently that you have nothing new to share.

3) a] at this point there are those that were kinda grandfathered in (they verballed before the new rule changes) but otherwise most for her year are just beginning to get offers starting this past June. Because of Covid halting end of season last year and now restricting in-person visits, a lot of universities have held off on offering spots for her year......hoping they can get the kids to campuses, but some have decided that this may go on for way to long (or the kids they were planning to offer have already been on campus earlier at other points of time) and so they are offering and not waiting. It's kinda a case by case basis with each university and potential recruit..where they are and where the kid is in the process. ----All that to say, yes, there are lots of open spots on D1 teams. Seasons will be "unique" at best this year. So if she doesn't have a season, she needs to be showing that she is a stellar L9 and working some great L10 skills this year and will be ready to rock L10 the next. Don't count any opportunity out just bc she won't be L10 til next year.

4) Ivy's are a whole different game. Can't tell you how they work exactly. Just know that if you have the money to send her there then the process is a little slower with them. Grades are of the utmost importance and a recruit needs to be accepted academically (a rigorous standard) and Once they decide on a recruit it sounds like you as a family must go through a whole vetting process to make sure you can afford to go there.

In addition (you didn't ask but I'm gonna say anyway lol). Once this covid **** is done controlling all the population and the universities can get back to normal things ---- pick a few college camps this summer to attend. I know that for my dd's team, the last several recruits they verballed (before covid) were girls that came to their summer camp and purported themselves well (both in skill and personality). Pick the camps wisely. Don't go to UCLA camp unless you believe there to be solid interest. Pick camps to universities that she is genuinely interested in (academically and athletically) and that she has been in contact with and that show solid interest in her. If she is not interested in the academics or doesn't have a reasonable chance at making team at a particular place then don't go...that's just wasting resources IMO.
 

FlippinLilysMom

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Your daughter can reach out to coaches but they cannot respond until June 15th of her sophomore year (so 2022 if she is a freshman now). I post all of my daughter's routines from meets to her youtube channel and to Instagram. I post the entire routine, the good and the bad (some will edit videos with falls). I think the coaches want to see everything, including how they recover from a fall or a bad routine.
 

FlippinLilysMom

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mind you things have changed in the last couple of years, since my dd was recruited (contact rules and such and now covid complications), but here is my $.02.

1) a] make a youtube account and an IG account just for her gymnastics. Make sure the name of the accounts reflects who she is (ex SusieSmith2022, not some cutesy name that is meaningful to her but will make no sense in searching for her, ex. PeaceLoveandTumble.
b] Websites are nice as long as you can afford it. They keep all information in one place and make it easy for coaches to look up everything they want to know. You can link all relevant info (scores, videos, youtube and IG accounts).....but they are not mandatory and should not be seen as such.
c] just to add, there are recruiting headhunters, but I don't believe they are beneficial really. I know a lot of people live and die by hiring a recruiting consultant, but I didn't find them necessary at all. Do the research yourslef and see what teams have open spots and what each program she's interested in normally looks for in recruits. It may take a little bit of effort, but it's not that hard. Unless coaches have changed drastically from when my dd recruited just a couple of years ago, coaches do not want to hear from some 3rd party. They always wanted to hear from the gymnast themselves (no mom/dad, no headhunter consultant). It is actually way more beneficial to have a coach that has a personal connection (has sent kids from their program on to D1 teams and have a good relationship with the college coaches...and in the covid era of no visits, are willing to have open workouts viewable livestream where they invite colleges to join in to watch...so the athletes can showcase themselves) than some consultant. Even if you had a coach with great relationships, it's still the kid who needs to sell themselves and prove why they would be an excellent addition to their program.

2) a] yes, she can reach out to colleges. Send an introduction email, let them know who you are as person and how you can contribute to their team. Make it personal, let them know why you are interested in their program and university. Covid has changed in-person recruiting so email and phone calls are the way to go. That being said, b] I would wait to do so until she had solid level 10 skills and videos to show them (others may differ on that opinion). Send them updates frequently, but not so frequently that you have nothing new to share.

3) a] at this point there are those that were kinda grandfathered in (they verballed before the new rule changes) but otherwise most for her year are just beginning to get offers starting this past June. Because of Covid halting end of season last year and now restricting in-person visits, a lot of universities have held off on offering spots for her year......hoping they can get the kids to campuses, but some have decided that this may go on for way to long (or the kids they were planning to offer have already been on campus earlier at other points of time) and so they are offering and not waiting. It's kinda a case by case basis with each university and potential recruit..where they are and where the kid is in the process. ----All that to say, yes, there are lots of open spots on D1 teams. Seasons will be "unique" at best this year. So if she doesn't have a season, she needs to be showing that she is a stellar L9 and working some great L10 skills this year and will be ready to rock L10 the next. Don't count any opportunity out just bc she won't be L10 til next year.

4) Ivy's are a whole different game. Can't tell you how they work exactly. Just know that if you have the money to send her there then the process is a little slower with them. Grades are of the utmost importance and a recruit needs to be accepted academically (a rigorous standard) and Once they decide on a recruit it sounds like you as a family must go through a whole vetting process to make sure you can afford to go there.

In addition (you didn't ask but I'm gonna say anyway lol). Once this covid **** is done controlling all the population and the universities can get back to normal things ---- pick a few college camps this summer to attend. I know that for my dd's team, the last several recruits they verballed (before covid) were girls that came to their summer camp and purported themselves well (both in skill and personality). Pick the camps wisely. Don't go to UCLA camp unless you believe there to be solid interest. Pick camps to universities that she is genuinely interested in (academically and athletically) and that she has been in contact with and that show solid interest in her. If she is not interested in the academics or doesn't have a reasonable chance at making team at a particular place then don't go...that's just wasting resources IMO.
No 2024s have offers.
 

flippin out

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@FlippinLilysMom is correct. June 2022. For some reason I had it in my head that I was dealing with a graduate of 2022....and once in my head I was off lol. So take my post and read it with that in mind. Adjust timelines where needed
 

gymgal

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Flipping out gave some great info. Just to add -

- Now is the time for her to really think about what colleges she is interested in that are realistic for her given her skill set, how much she can contribute, etc. That can be really hard to figure out as a freshman but she can start watching videos of gymnasts from various colleges when they were in high school to get a sense. It is important that she is realistic as she will have a better shot if she is reaching out to the right teams.

- just as important - have her consider the whole college. She will be there for four years and while gymnastics will continue to take up a big chunk of time, she has to feel comfortable at the college itself. weather, location, how far from home, size, demographics, majors, etc. I think that a lot of athletes think they will have a ready made group of friends through their team and while that can be true for some, it's not often the case so the student will want to make sure they feel comfortable branching out in other areas for a peer group.

- She had plenty of time if she is not thinking of the top 20 teams. Even with those, she has time. There are parents of gymnasts on here who earned scholarships to top 10 schools in their junior year (this was when they were offering scholarships to 8th graders). All those spots are not given away right away. Many teams hold a spot just in case or a recruit has to retire, etc.

- I would start uploading videos now of her full routines as they become consistent, even though she is not L10 yet. If she has L10 skills, then upload those as well either in isolation or in mini sets so the coaches can see. Most D1 schools won't show interest until L10 but if she has a stellar event where she is already L10 ready, then they might.

- Ivies can't/won't make decisions until Senior year but that doesn't mean they are not searching out gymnasts prior to that. If she wants to go this route, she has to reach out at the same time as the other school.

- Don't discount D2/3 schools. It is not for all gymnasts but it offers an opportunity to continue gymnastics at a much lower stress level than the D1s. Many of the D3s are small private schools with excellent academic reputations that also offer a lot of academic and financial aid, though no athletic aid. Not saying the D1 are not good academically A lot of them are excellent. Just saying that if a smaller college experience and gymnastics is desirable, the D3 are a great fit.
 

kimute

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Flipping out gave some great info. Just to add -

- Now is the time for her to really think about what colleges she is interested in that are realistic for her given her skill set, how much she can contribute, etc. That can be really hard to figure out as a freshman but she can start watching videos of gymnasts from various colleges when they were in high school to get a sense. It is important that she is realistic as she will have a better shot if she is reaching out to the right teams.

- just as important - have her consider the whole college. She will be there for four years and while gymnastics will continue to take up a big chunk of time, she has to feel comfortable at the college itself. weather, location, how far from home, size, demographics, majors, etc. I think that a lot of athletes think they will have a ready made group of friends through their team and while that can be true for some, it's not often the case so the student will want to make sure they feel comfortable branching out in other areas for a peer group.

- She had plenty of time if she is not thinking of the top 20 teams. Even with those, she has time. There are parents of gymnasts on here who earned scholarships to top 10 schools in their junior year (this was when they were offering scholarships to 8th graders). All those spots are not given away right away. Many teams hold a spot just in case or a recruit has to retire, etc.

- I would start uploading videos now of her full routines as they become consistent, even though she is not L10 yet. If she has L10 skills, then upload those as well either in isolation or in mini sets so the coaches can see. Most D1 schools won't show interest until L10 but if she has a stellar event where she is already L10 ready, then they might.

- Ivies can't/won't make decisions until Senior year but that doesn't mean they are not searching out gymnasts prior to that. If she wants to go this route, she has to reach out at the same time as the other school.

- Don't discount D2/3 schools. It is not for all gymnasts but it offers an opportunity to continue gymnastics at a much lower stress level than the D1s. Many of the D3s are small private schools with excellent academic reputations that also offer a lot of academic and financial aid, though no athletic aid. Not saying the D1 are not good academically A lot of them are excellent. Just saying that if a smaller college experience and gymnastics is desirable, the D3 are a great fit.
Thank you everyone for the wonderful advice! We are just looking through the list of colleges with gymnastics programs. My daughter is an excellent student so we'd like to start with the schools that would be a good fit academically as a few have mentioned above. I could go look them all up, but wondering if anyone knows which of these schools, including the DII and DIII schools, are academically competitive. I know the UCs, Stanford, Ivys, Georgetown, Michigan are, but so many I haven't heard of might be great and the process to figure this out is proving very time consuming! My daughter is a bit of a STEM kid if relevant.
 
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mom2newgymnast

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NC State has a D1 program and is a great STEM school.
NC State is one of our local schools, and many of our gymnasts have gone on to compete there. In fact 2 of our seniors just signed letters of intent for NC State. We love to attend the meets there as it's a fun atmosphere and lots of local support. :)
 
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