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College coaches encourage student-athletes to take initiative in the recruiting process

While coaches can't see the athletes play right now, athletes are starting to send videos and highlights as well as connect with them online during the pandemic.

SACRAMENTO, Calif — Many high school student athletes and parents are wondering how the coronavirus pandemic will impact their chances of getting recruited to college teams.

Coaches in the Sacramento region and nationwide are going digital to make decisions about top talent. While in-person interactions are important, coaches say going virtual is the next best thing for student athletes and their parents during this unprecedented time.

But Sacramento State's longtime men's soccer coach Mike Linenberger stresses it's also up to the student-athlete to take initiative in the recruiting process.

"Recruiting is the lifeline to any athletic programs at the collegiate level," Linenberger said. "Just because we're in lock down, recruiting doesn't end. It doesn't stop. Sending e-mails and setting up potential zoom meetings and sending video... They need to do a lot of the research themselves. Start to put together a list of universities they think they're interested in and start contacting those coaches."

Monterey Trail High School junior softball pitcher Kennedy McIntrye says she's initiating contact with coaches and keeping up with daily workouts with her high school and travel teams.

"I've been emailing a lot of coaches just introducing myself and getting my name out to them," McIntyre said. "I've had video calls and I've had regular phone calls just to meet them and to get to know them and for them to get to know me."

Keeping up with academics while distance learning and staying in shape are crucial points of focus for student athletes, but UC Davis men's basketball coach Jim Les encourages potential recruits to also practice mindfulness as they wait to get back to action.

"I heard the quote 'win the wait,'" Les said. "We're all in this waiting period... How can we win it? This is another way to challenge them to do that."

Follow the conversation with Lina Washington on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. You can e-mail Lina at LWashington@abc10.com.

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