Recruiting Declassified

Recruiting Declassified: Recruiting Dead Period and Coach Visits

We’ve reached December! It’s just a couple weeks before my level 10 season starts and for recruits, it’s also the start of the dead period. The dead period is a period of time where coaches are not allowed any in-person contact with recruits and/or their parents. While dates vary by year, they are typically from June 1 to June 15 and December 1 to December 30.

Nevertheless, digital communication provides a whirlwind of opportunities for athletes and coaches who want to show interest or keep in touch during this time. Think of it as a break for the athletes and coaches alike to prepare for the upcoming season. As a turning point in the recruiting process, the dead period marks the last few weeks before the start of the college and level 10 seasons, as well as being one month closer to June. 

For gymnasts who haven’t reached June 15 after their sophomore year yet, like myself, contact really is “dead.” Because of this, coaches will try to squeeze in a gym visit on November 30 or right when the dead period ends in January, almost like a Christmas gift. The main reason for coaches coming to your gym is to show interest and to introduce themselves. They wouldn’t be coming if they didn’t already know what you can do, so watching your gymnastics is a plus but what they really want to see is your attitude, work ethic and coachability. Each of these things will show a coach how easily they can mold you into the perfect fit for their own team.

I’ve had a total of seven colleges come to my gym: Alabama (twice), Florida, Illinois, UCLA, Missouri, Clemson and Georgia. Each has a different style to their visit and each always walks in with full gear and cool backpacks with eight pockets. They wave with a big grin and go on to take their phone out to record your every move—or sometimes just a few skills. It’s difficult not to walk right up to them and start asking questions. I’ll have one of the best bar coaches in the country in my gym and I’m not allowed to talk to them!

Luckily, my coach takes on that role and relays what they say back to me at the end of practice. Asking questions like, “what time do your practices start,” “what days do you practice” and “what events do you need for my class year” help me get insight on how their program runs. Like me, my coach is easily swayed, so he’s always telling me, “This coach/college is my new favorite!” after every visit.

For now, these visits will stop, and preparation for the upcoming season will be in full swing. Whatever the recruiting process throws at me, you’ll have a first look. 

It’s Recruiting Declassified.

Have a question for Sydney about the recruiting process? Email [email protected] with the subject line “Recruiting Declassified,” and you might see it answered in a future article!

READ THIS NEXT: Recruiting Declassified: An Introduction to Sydney Seabrooks and NCAA Recruiting Rules

Article by Sydney Seabrooks

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