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Anonymous Post

Secret Identity
Feb 16, 2022
563
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Since my DD is starting this process, and since the information exchange seems pretty asymmetric with all the information tilted toward the programs I thought I would start this thread to see if others would want to compare notes, observations, experiences, and opinions. My DD is a freshman in high school, multiple-year L10. Some observations and opinions: (I will admit I am more focused on DI)
  • Several of her gym mates are 2024 graduates. It really surprised me how quickly the recruiting process comes up. For whatever reason, I was thinking the Junior year of high school is when you really need to focus on recruiting, but that seems to start at least a year earlier.
  • My observation is that the summer after the sophomore year of high school is when the official visit invites and scholarship offers go out, and its a trickle-down process. If you don't get an invite it doesn't mean you have no chance, it just means you have to manage your expectations and work the process more.
  • The 2024 girls that have gone on official visits imply that programs break recruits into 3 categories, the ones we want, the ones that are walk-ons or next up, and the ones to keep on the radar. And that is where the trickle-down occurs. All 3 categories seem to get official visits.
  • Many times programs offer official visits even though they do not have a scholarship offer to give. One of the 2024s lamented that she didn't ask prior to scheduling one of 5 allowed visits and now clearly asks programs that offer OVs if they have a scholarship available.
  • Not all programs have 12 scholarships to give, another eye-opener here just kinda assumed all DI schools had 12 scholarships but it is up to the athletic department to fund scholarships and not all departments have the money to put into olympic sports. And to clarify the NCAA limit is 12 scholarships across ALL 4 years of athletes so any given year programs generally have 3-4 scholarships to offer incoming freshman.
  • While colleges cannot directly contact DD, they have been indirectly contacting her through social media, its not just following her. While she has been followed prior to this year, they now interact with her on social media through likes and hearts, direct messaging, and private group invites.
  • The 2024s have stressed how important it is to be prepared with whatever decision criteria because it is a quick and stressful process. They have told stories of schools that have offered spots but wanted a response in 24 hours. Regardless they talk about how out of the blue they could get a call from a program expressing interest so it can be a very up-and-down ride (one moment no one loves you, the next the sky is the limit), but all the more important to have a good sense of where you want to go and what you are looking for.
  • The gym coach can play a very significant role in the process (I can see good and bad with this) but I have seen them serve as a conduit between the programs and the athlete, advisor, and one to schedule opportunities for programs to come into the gym and observe practices. So like it or not, if college is DD goal, better make sure they are in a gym where they and you have a good relationship with the coach.
  • My opinion is that NIL is going to open up more opportunities for walk-on spots at larger programs since it would provide access to scholarship-type funding.
Those are some of the things I can think of. Curious if others have different observations or experiences to share.
 
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Anonymous Post

Secret Identity
Feb 16, 2022
563
While colleges cannot directly contact DD, they have been indirectly contacting her through social media, its not just following her. While she has been followed prior to this year, they now interact with her on social media through likes and hearts, direct messaging, and private group invites.

I am pretty sure they should not be direct messaging before June 15 after sophomore year. Not sure about private group invites either.

 
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Anonymous Post

Secret Identity
Feb 16, 2022
563
I don't have any insight into the recruiting process yet. My daughter is also class of '26 and a level 10, but not being contacted in anyway by colleges yet. She's not really marketing herself either, but I don't think she's quite ready for all of that anyway. We've had 3 of our '24 girls commit so far and we have 7 or 8 more that are recruitable. I know some have gone on official visits, but I'm not really close to those parents so I'm not sure how it's all working out honestly. Our gym does a fantastic job arranging visits at the school and facilitating relationships with colleges from what I can tell. My daughter didn't participate this year (she'll probably start next year), but I think if I remember right there were around 20-25 schools (mostly D1, but a few D3) that came and watched practice this summer and early fall. Our coaches also help coach in college camps at our 2 local universities and they have a great relationship with both of them.

As a disclaimer.. our gym does produce many D1 scholarship gymnasts, but not really at top 10 type programs. Still really great schools, but not Florida, Oklahoma, Michigan type programs for the most part. But I will say that in recent years at least, all the gymnasts that have made and competed level 10 for several years, and want to compete in college, have done so. I'm not really privy to what kind of scholarships they were offered in all cases, but the gym does have a great track record. I'm not really sure my daughter wants to compete in college yet though, so that is definitely something she needs to figure out. lol.
 
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Anonymous Post

Secret Identity
Feb 16, 2022
563
I am pretty sure they should not be direct messaging before June 15 after sophomore year. Not sure about private group invites either.

The direct messages have not been direct personal communication. If you read what you posted, notice the subtle use of wording. So the direct messages have been non-personal communication about the university happenings that month or in some cases just a note from the university about the inability to personally communicate with the athlete. I believe its a signaling action that is still within the rules, as it says, they can do this anytime. The fact that they take the time to direct message an athlete has got to mean something, right? Or maybe not lol. The same with the private groups, its just a private group that posts feeds about the program but is not public and only has a small number of followers.
 

gymgal

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Proud Parent
Aug 22, 2008
4,659
My dd is a D3 college senior. I don't have much to add as most will want D1 information but if anyone has questions, feel free to post or DM me

Also, periodically, this topic comes up on CB so there are quite a bit of posts requarding this. I recommend doing some searches as well since there is a wealth of information. Just remember that recruiting rules changed a few years ago
 

Anonymous Post

Secret Identity
Feb 16, 2022
563
The direct messages have not been direct personal communication. If you read what you posted, notice the subtle use of wording. So the direct messages have been non-personal communication about the university happenings that month or in some cases just a note from the university about the inability to personally communicate with the athlete. I believe its a signaling action that is still within the rules, as it says, they can do this anytime. The fact that they take the time to direct message an athlete has got to mean something, right? Or maybe not lol. The same with the private groups, its just a private group that posts feeds about the program but is not public and only has a small number of followers.
OK. that wasn't clear in the original post. I guess mass direct messaging would be different. I think it still skirts a line, but might be within the spirit of the rule.
 

Anonymous Post

Secret Identity
Feb 16, 2022
563
OK. that wasn't clear in the original post. I guess mass direct messaging would be different. I think it still skirts a line, but might be within the spirit of the rule.

I thought it was very clear in the original post but perhaps that is because I am familiar with strategies coaches use to make athletes aware that there is some level of interest well before junior year...this happens not just with gymnastics but other sports too.
 

Anonymous Post

Secret Identity
Feb 16, 2022
563
Thank you for posting this. I did not know that schools offer official visits even when they don't have spots available. I would not have thought that, so good information to have!

I was curious about the "indicting interest" thing. My '25 dd has had a small handful of these encounters -- for example, a coach who emailing back to say "thanks for reaching out! We can't talk to you yet but here is some information..." She's gotten one or two messages through insta that are not personal, but are messages nonetheless. One said "please fill out this short questionnaire" (to supplement a standard recruiting questionnaire). I don't know if anything should be read into these things, or if they send them to most gymnasts who follow/email them.

I've noticed that some coaches seems to follow and like A LOT of gymnasts, and there are others who seem much more selective (there is one school my dd is quite interested in and the coach does not follow her, but follows other gymnasts, so the lack of a follow feels intentional.)

Ah, the intrigue!
 

JBS

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Haven't had time to read this entire post... but I have to say... GREAT TOPIC! An image has been added and the post has been featured.
 
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Anonymous Post

Secret Identity
Feb 16, 2022
563
One of our 2024s just came back from an official visit and was offered a scholarship, but it was limited? Like either a half scholarship or only 2 years? Still trying to find out more (translation from little one is not always clear) I was under the impression that unlike baseball, gymnastics was an all or nothing scholarship. I know in baseball they can give out fractional scholarships. I also thought I read somewhere that after sophomore year school is obligated for the other two years?
 

skschlag

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Jul 19, 2011
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Region 9
Yes, women's D1 gymnastics is a "head count" sport, which means each scholarship is a full. So everyone is either on a full scholarship, or receiving no athletic money. They can still receive academic money.
 

gymgal

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Aug 22, 2008
4,659
Gymnastics is a head count sport but there are a few schools that are allowed to offer just partial scholarships. They have changed over the years and I don't know which ones they are now but I believe Rutgers and William & Mary were 2 in the past. These are programs where the sport is not fully funded so rather than offer fewer scholarships, they are allowed to offer partials to more gymnasts. Also, D2 schools mostly offer offer partial scholarships.
 
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Anonymous Post

Secret Identity
Feb 16, 2022
563
With regard to partials vs. full, it's my understanding that even if a college is required to only offer fulls, that doesn't mean four years. For example, they can offer for just one year (renewable), and that still falls within the "headcount sport" rules, correct?
 

Anonymous Post

Secret Identity
Feb 16, 2022
563
With regard to partials vs. full, it's my understanding that even if a college is required to only offer fulls, that doesn't mean four years. For example, they can offer for just one year (renewable), and that still falls within the "headcount sport" rules, correct?
I thought the new rule was that scholarships had to be for 4 years. They can, however, force a medical retirement or make the environment so uncomfortable an athlete quits. Can someone clarify this rule?
 

gymgal

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Aug 22, 2008
4,659
With regard to partials vs. full, it's my understanding that even if a college is required to only offer fulls, that doesn't mean four years. For example, they can offer for just one year (renewable), and that still falls within the "headcount sport" rules, correct?
I believe this is still correct. I seem to recall a couple of years ago that there are a couple of conferences that decided to make full 4 yr awards the standard but I don't think that has carried across all conferences. And as posted above, some programs still can/will "force" athletes out by other means to avoid having to maintain the 4 yr award if they are no longer contributing to the team
 

Anonymous Post

Secret Identity
Feb 16, 2022
563
Thank you for posting this. I did not know that schools offer official visits even when they don't have spots available. I would not have thought that, so good information to have!

I was curious about the "indicting interest" thing. My '25 dd has had a small handful of these encounters -- for example, a coach who emailing back to say "thanks for reaching out! We can't talk to you yet but here is some information..." She's gotten one or two messages through insta that are not personal, but are messages nonetheless. One said "please fill out this short questionnaire" (to supplement a standard recruiting questionnaire). I don't know if anything should be read into these things, or if they send them to most gymnasts who follow/email them.

I've noticed that some coaches seems to follow and like A LOT of gymnasts, and there are others who seem much more selective (there is one school my dd is quite interested in and the coach does not follow her, but follows other gymnasts, so the lack of a follow feels intentional.)

Ah, the intrigue!
We too have received several of the "indicating interest", I wasn't sure whether to think of it as interest or if they take the time to do that for all? I mean i guess we will pretend they are! ha ha! The proof will be when the time comes i guess! Fingers crossed!
 

JPC13

Proud Parent
Mar 25, 2022
328
Gymnastics is a head count sport but there are a few schools that are allowed to offer just partial scholarships. They have changed over the years and I don't know which ones they are now but I believe Rutgers and William & Mary were 2 in the past. These are programs where the sport is not fully funded so rather than offer fewer scholarships, they are allowed to offer partials to more gymnasts. Also, D2 schools mostly offer offer partial scholarships.
I’d be shocked if that’s still the case with Rutgers, given that they have profit sharing from the B10 TV deal.
 

FlippinLilysMom

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Jun 7, 2016
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Region 4
  • Several of her gym mates are 2024 graduates. It really surprised me how quickly the recruiting process comes up. For whatever reason, I was thinking the Junior year of high school is when you really need to focus on recruiting, but that seems to start at least a year earlier. - 9th grade or level 9 is what I've always been told (as far as when you should start the recruiting process such as posting videos, reaching out to coaches, etc..). June 15th after their sophomore year is when phone/email/zoom contact can begin between recruit and coaches. August 1st is when face to face communication can begin (including official and unofficial visits).
  • My observation is that the summer after the sophomore year of high school is when the official visit invites and scholarship offers go out, and its a trickle-down process. If you don't get an invite it doesn't mean you have no chance, it just means you have to manage your expectations and work the process more. - Yes, many of the top recruits received offers on June 15th, though many chose not to accept until after their official visits. Those that didn't receive offers on June 15th were told that they would be extending them an invitation for an official visit.
  • The 2024 girls that have gone on official visits imply that programs break recruits into 3 categories, the ones we want, the ones that are walk-ons or next up, and the ones to keep on the radar. And that is where the trickle-down occurs. All 3 categories seem to get official visits. - I think each school runs their official visits differently. Some schools only invite the girls that they plan to extend an offer to (or have already extended an offer to), while other schools will extend an official visit invitation to 10+. I used to think that if you were given an official visit that meant that you were top on their list, but that is not always the case. Obviously, if they are spending their time and money to bring you out then you are definitely in their top tier but it doesn't mean an offer is definitely coming.
  • Many times programs offer official visits even though they do not have a scholarship offer to give. One of the 2024s lamented that she didn't ask prior to scheduling one of 5 allowed visits and now clearly asks programs that offer OVs if they have a scholarship available. - It's definitely a guessing game. Unless the coach is 100% upfront with the recruits, you don't know who has been extended an offer and who hasn't. And with the 5th years still being in play you don't know how many spots are actually available, not to mention with 2024 being an Olympic year there are bound to be deferrements which can also impact scholarship count/availability.
  • Not all programs have 12 scholarships to give, another eye-opener here just kinda assumed all DI schools had 12 scholarships but it is up to the athletic department to fund scholarships and not all departments have the money to put into olympic sports. And to clarify the NCAA limit is 12 scholarships across ALL 4 years of athletes so any given year programs generally have 3-4 scholarships to offer incoming freshman. - Yes, some schools will have 1 or 2 scholarships to offer while others will have all 4 available. Again, it all depends on how open the coach is with the recruit. I've heard some are much more open and upfront with what's available than others.
  • While colleges cannot directly contact DD, they have been indirectly contacting her through social media, its not just following her. While she has been followed prior to this year, they now interact with her on social media through likes and hearts, direct messaging, and private group invites. - Here's our experience, if a coach or school is following your DD on social media that is a good sign. If the coach reacts to their posts (they aren't allowed to contact, they can react with a like or heart, etc..) that is another good sign. My DD got mail almost every single day, most of it was very, very basic stuff (like someone had just grabbed a pamphlet from the admissions office and threw it in an envelope). I think it was there way of saying "we're still here and still interested". She also got the emails and PMs with info about camps or links to fill out their recruiting questionaires.
  • The 2024s have stressed how important it is to be prepared with whatever decision criteria because it is a quick and stressful process. They have told stories of schools that have offered spots but wanted a response in 24 hours. Regardless they talk about how out of the blue they could get a call from a program expressing interest so it can be a very up-and-down ride (one moment no one loves you, the next the sky is the limit), but all the more important to have a good sense of where you want to go and what you are looking for. - We were very surprised when June 15th rolled around. She heard from schools that had never shown any interest in her and didn't hear from schools that had been very much watching her for years. It was very odd.
  • The gym coach can play a very significant role in the process (I can see good and bad with this) but I have seen them serve as a conduit between the programs and the athlete, advisor, and one to schedule opportunities for programs to come into the gym and observe practices. So like it or not, if college is DD goal, better make sure they are in a gym where they and you have a good relationship with the coach. - Yes!! If you have a coach that is well versed on the recruiting process and has good contacts with the college coaches, you will already be one step ahead. The college coaches can't talk to the recruit before June 15th but they can and do talk with the coaches before that.
  • My opinion is that NIL is going to open up more opportunities for walk-on spots at larger programs since it would provide access to scholarship-type funding. - NIL is still a big question mark for most schools,. Some are very much embracing it while others don't seem to be a big fan. The next few years will definitely shed more light on how this will all play out.
 

JBS

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Sep 3, 2005
7,317
Wisconsin
The gym coach can play a very significant role in the process (I can see good and bad with this) but I have seen them serve as a conduit between the programs and the athlete, advisor, and one to schedule opportunities for programs to come into the gym and observe practices. So like it or not, if college is DD goal, better make sure they are in a gym where they and you have a good relationship with the coach.

Yes!! If you have a coach that is well versed on the recruiting process and has good contacts with the college coaches, you will already be one step ahead. The college coaches can't talk to the recruit before June 15th but they can and do talk with the coaches before that.

Fully agree here. Most coaches that have been coaching upper level gymnastics for long enough have connections.
 
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