Recruiting Realities invades Kaw Valley League
According to most recruiting experts, only 1 percent of high school athletes are Division I material.
That fact and the misconceptions that go along with it, are the primary reasons for Jack Renkens' visit to Basehor-Linwood High School Monday, Aug. 26.
In a Kaw Valley League-sponsored seminar at BLHS, Renkens will talk to representatives from each of the KVL's 10 schools. All students, parents and coaches are invited to attend, and BLHS athletic director Joe Keeler said it will be a great evening.
"He is probably the top expert in the country when it comes to the college recruiting process and the ins and outs of it," Keeler said. "We really think it will be something that will benefit our coaches, athletes and parents."
Renkens has been a coach, an athlete and a parent. He said his experiences as each are why he is well informed about the recruiting process.
When Renkens first developed his recruiting service, known as Recruiting Realities, he did so with the intent of providing parents and athletes with factual information.
As he traveled across the country with his daughter Brooke during her softball days, Renkens said he became aware that several parents had unrealistic ideas about their childrens' futures.
"My program is designed to get parents to be realistic," Renkens said. "It includes a little humor and it also tells about the great opportunities that are out there for their kids. This is not a boring speech where people sit and listen to me talk. It's very interactive, and I try to make it fun and informative."
Renkens sent a six-minute preview tape of his speech to each of the KVL athletic directors. Bonner Springs athletic director Garold Baker said after watching the tape, he's encouraging everyone to go.
"It's going to be awesome," Baker said. "I'm really excited about it. Honestly, it's something that every parent ought to see."
Both Baker and Keeler expect the seminar to benefit parents, but they both are encouraging as many student-athletes and coaches from their schools to attend.
Renkens plans to conduct a 90-minute interactive seminar that will cover the following topics: the value of academics in the recruiting process; unheard of opportunities available to student-athletes; the importance of the NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA recruiting standards; how to interpret written correspondence and telephone contact; the four-year high school step-by-step reality process; the 10 golden rules for establishing rapport with your student-athlete; and the role of the high school counselor and coach.
Renkens said the No. 1 misconception that student-athletes have with recruiting is thinking they get to choose which school they want to attend.
He calls it "playing the name game," where student-athletes only fill out and return the questionnaires to the big-name schools, often passing on schools with lesser names, but better opportunities.
Renkens hopes to eliminate those misconceptions through his seminar.
"There are so many good options out there," Renkens said. " I just try to make sure the kids know how to get their names in the right hands."
Renkens' presentation will begin at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 26.