There are good and bad times to transfer. So, let’s put a bit of a time-frame around transferring. I’ll go over the best times, and the worst times to transfer, and how that works. So, I guess, let’s start off with a good time to transfer, or the best dates to transfer or at least begin the process.

Transferring – It’s similar to the initial stages of finding that first opportunity, the more time that you give yourself, and plan around moving on, the more options you will have. You also need to be mindful of when your athletic season is.

Typically, the right time to transfer or begin to start thinking about the transfer process, is right as your season comes to an end, if you haven’t already thought about it before that point. I’ll use soccer as an example. Obviously, I know that sport the best. But that comes with all fall sports, field hockey, cross country, volleyball, Gridiron…etc.

“if you haven’t already thought about it before”

No matter what sport that you play you’re going to have a season, or a time of the year, where your competitive season comes to an end. And the right time to really plan your transfer is at the end of that season, if you haven’t already thought about it before that. So, the academic year starts in September and typically fall sports will get there in August to start preseason training.

The competitive season will come to an end in November and if you going to the playoffs it could last all the way into early December. So, essentially, once the season comes to an end, every coach will sit down with each athlete individually. They’ll reflect on the season that they had, they’ll really look to plan for the future.

The coach wants to be able to plan for the future and whether you’re going to be a part of that team next year, so that they know going into their recruiting process of new athletes, “No, nope. We don’t need that because you’re going to stay.” Or if at that point, the decision is made by you or the coach, you may not be in the plans for next year. Or let’s say that you played a limited role that year, and the coach sees that you’re going to be playing another limited role, the next year, then-

“the coach completely changes your mind”

You may have transferring on your mind already before this meeting, and then have the meeting, and the coach completely changes your mind based on what they say and the feedback they’ve provided you. “I guess going into next season, you’re going to be used a lot more. I see you as a starter and making a real impact on the team next year.”

You get to the end of the season and you have your end of season meeting. And then the coach will talk about the plans for the future. They want to know whether you’re going to be a part of it or not. It’s at that point that if you’re going to stay, you let him know. “Yeah, as of now, everything looks good. I’m going to come back for a second year. Can’t wait.” And then you cruise into the off season knowing that you’re working to then come back.

If you make that decision and say, “No, look, It just wasn’t what I thought it was going to be and if my role doesn’t change or if things stay exactly the same, then I’m probably going to consider transferring.” Then that coach can say, “Okay. Can I help you with that process?” If you’re an NSR athlete, that’s when you would get in touch with us and say, “Hey, look, I had my end season meeting. I kind of told the coach I’m thinking about transferring. Can we look at options?” And then that’s when we start the process.

“that’s when you really start planning.”

Now, winter sports, very similar. If your season starts in October, November, then it’s going to go all the way until February maybe Into March. Then at that point you have that end of season meeting with your coach and you say, “Yep, I’m either going to stay and come back or I’m going to go.” And then that’s when you really start planning.

If you’re a spring sports, or your season starts in February, and goes until May sometimes early June if you make it all the way to playoffs, then are on a strict time frame, are you going to stay or are you going to go.

If you’re going to go, then you have to use those summer months; June July, August, to really get something situated for yourself to then be able to transfer and get to the new school by end of August or early September as the right time to begin the transfer process is straight after your athletic season for the following year.

If you want to transfer in the first semester at that school and you want to be somewhere else by January, you start in August, finish the semester in December, you want to be at a new school by January, that’s typically something you’re going to know earlier than the end of the season.

“I think I want to transfer somewhere else”

The reason for that is because you didn’t settle in well, you didn’t make friends well, you’re just not enjoying your time there, it’s not what you thought, and you want to go somewhere else. You’re going to know that within the first month.

So, by September, mid-September, you’re thinking about transferring somewhere for January, and then you use those months to do that. If you wait until December to say, “Oh, yeah. I think I want to transfer somewhere else in January …It’s not going to happen.

Colleges close mid-December nobody is going to process admissions, nobody is going to process anything at that stage. If you want to get transferred, then you need to stick out the second semester and then transfer for the following year, to give yourself that time.

Which is a good idea for those spring sports. If you are looking to transfer, maybe go back for that sort of first semester, I guess the second academic calendar year in August, do that semester and then transfer.

“train, do whatever you need to do, and then you transfer out”

So, essentially, you spend three semesters at one … You spend your first year there, and let’s say your season ends in June, and you’re thinking about transferring. Well, there may be not enough time in the summer months to find a transfer for the next August. But, you certainly can be working on a transfer for the following January. So, you’d go back to your school just for that one semester, train, do whatever you need to do, and then you transfer out the following January. So, you want to leave yourself enough time. That’s the most important thing.

There are also bad times to transfer or I guess the wrong way to go about it! When is it a bad idea to transfer or put in a transfer request?

If you do it wrong, or you wait too late, you don’t give yourself time, then there’s always the chance that another opportunity doesn’t present itself, and you’re stuck going back to the school that you’re currently at or you make the decision to come home and I highly suggest, don’t do that don’t come home, stay there and stick it out.

Use the next semester to really plan the transfer and then transfer. It’s just one of those things that you have to go into consciously and understand the right and wrong way to do things.

“A College is not going to offer you a better contract to go and play for them”

One of the biggest misconceptions is that a student gets an opportunity to go to a university, a big four-year institution and you get there and then some other school comes along and recruits you to go and play for them. That actually doesn’t happen, because it’s illegal.

In college sports, which is amateur sport, one university cannot poach you from another university. They can’t see you play against them and say, “Hey, I’ll give you more money if you come here.” No. You can’t do that.

The college system is similar to a professional system in the sense that it’s a professional environment, facilities are professional, but rules and regulations are very much different to that of a professional system. A College is not going to offer you a better contract to go and play for them it doesn’t work like that.

So, when it comes to transferring…Let’s say you are at one university, and you want to then move to another university, then you must request to be released from your current university before you can even speak to another coach.

“Hey coach, I’m thinking about transferring next year, can you release me?”

A terrible time to request that transfer request is where it would be during the season, halfway through the season. Especially, if you’re a starter or you’re someone that competes regularly in tournaments and meets and competitions- Midway through your season, you say, “Hey coach, I’m thinking about transferring next year, can you release me?”

No matter how close you may think you are with the coach- it’s not a good idea. Essentially what you’re saying is that you’re not loyal to the program that you’re currently at. So, then the coach thinks, “Why should I keep playing you then?”

Get through to the end of the season, and then talk in a professional, a mature and a responsible way about the fact that you’re thinking about transferring. And, if you’re at that four year college, and you’re on scholarship or whatever, then you have to have that conversation with your coach, request that you be officially released before any other coach in the United States, at another four year institution or university can even speak to you.

“I can communicate about you to another coach while you’re currently playing for a school”

Now, that’s certainly the case if you’re doing it by yourself. With, I guess the luxury that an NSR athlete has is that; I can communicate about you to another coach while you’re currently playing for a school. So, I can share your information with other coaches, and you can tell me that, “Hey, I want to transfer or I’m thinking about transferring.” Before you’ve even told your coach that. And then we can start sassing out options for that transfer, if you’re transferring for a legitimate reason.

So again, that coach can’t speak to you. Let’s say that they do like your information, and they do like everything about you, they can’t speak to you until you’ve been officially released. So, that’s where we would communicate and say, “Hey, here’s an option here. Can’t speak with the coach until you’re released so, let’s go about getting that release at the end of the season, and then we’ll plug you in with that coach, right?” But again, if you’re doing it by yourself, then the hardest thing to grasp and understand is that, you can transfer … but you have to make the decision to transfer before you know where you’re actually going to be transferring to. Which is hard concept to grasp.

“find yourself another opportunity or you’ll find yourself back home.”

“What if I don’t have another opportunity?” Well, you better make sure that you give yourself enough time and put in the work, if you are doing it by yourself, to find yourself another opportunity or you’ll find yourself back home.

If you’re wanting to transfer, then everything that you’ve done at that school is what you use to help you transfer. So, the thing is though with that; let’s say that you’re transferring because you’re not getting playing time at one school, but you have an idea that you want to go to a stronger program.

What are you going to showcase about yourself at that school, that’s going to make the coach at a program that’s better than where you are at want you, if you’re not even contributing at that school? It doesn’t work like that.

You can’t just say, “Oh well, look, I’m not playing here so, I’m going to go to a better program.” No, your opinion of yourself, isn’t what matters.

“Why weren’t you playing and what are you going to bring to my team that I don’t already have, if you’re not playing there?”

The Coach is going to look at your decision to transfer, and if you’re transferring after a year because of no playing time, the question is going to be- “Why weren’t you playing?”

“Why weren’t you playing and what are you going to bring to my team that I don’t already have, if you’re not playing there?” Especially if you are trying to go up to a stronger program. “If you’re not contributing there, how do you think you are going to contribute here?”

“Plus, I don’t have any footage of you playing there. So, I can’t actually see how you play?” “So, I must go back to assessing your video footage from two years ago; before you even got to college, to try and figure are your worth scholarshipping to get you here or is it … Do I see enough in you to get you here?”

Just like to mention too! I big shout out to one of our athlete Gerald Hall – A great example of sticking it out and biting his time, training hard with the support of parent Beck Hall from WA.

Gerald, went to a two-year college, and for two years had limited playing time. But he rallied around the boys, he made good friends, he made the most of the experience- worked hard, and proved, regardless of the fact that he wasn’t getting much game time, he was still putting in the work in training and making the most of it.

“Not getting enough playing time is not really a reason or a good reason for transferring.” “stick it out, train hard, get your minutes.”

Instead of saying, “Yeah, I’m not getting game time, I need a transfer.” I need to go somewhere else.” he stuck it out, he did the right thing and then that’s paid off, tenfold, because now he’s transferred to a program that values who he is and what he’s become by being a part of the first program that he was at, and he’s getting tons of minutes. And he’s loving his college experience more than ever…

Not getting enough playing time is not really a reason or a good reason for transferring. We’ll always say, “stick it out, train hard, get your minutes.” Because if you do want a transfer because of that reason, then obviously you’ll need to transfer somewhere that’s more, I guess, suitable to your athletic abilities at this particular stage and there’s still not guarantee you’re going to get game time at another school – because you have to earn that.

Even if it is at a lesser standard, you still have to earn that position, nothing is guaranteed to you, if you’re not playing at one school, and you want to transfer because of that, then … Look, that’s completely fine, that is a good reason to transfer; to transfer somewhere to get more game time, but that’s never guaranteed to you. You have to get to the new place, prove yourself all over again, and earn those minutes and that competition time.

“They want to see you do well.”

There is a right and wrong way to do it and if your coach … Even coaches at four year schools, if you have a legitimate, mature conversation with them, and you feel that that school is no longer able to provide you with the experience that you want, or you feel that you genuinely want to go somewhere else, then nine times out of ten, your coach will actually help you with that. They want to see you do well. Especially, if you’re at a two-year school.

You don’t even need to do that at a two-year school, because that’s part of the process. Transferring is part of the process. Your coaches, they want to see you transfer on, because that’s what makes them look good and say, “Why would you come and play for us first?

Well, look, we helped this kid transfer here, and we helped him transfer here and that’s what it’s all about. It’s about getting in, getting settled into the system, getting some runs on the board, getting some time in games, developing that mature attitude, and progressing onto another opportunity.

It’s a lot harder to transfer from a four-year institution to another four-year institution as it’s a different process all together. But, at the same time, if you are doing it for the right reasons, your coach and the support stuff will a lot of times help with that. Don’t forget, no matter what school that you’re at, if you’re an NSR athlete, we’re here to help with a transfer, if it comes to it-

Whatever reason that you want to transfer. Again, if it’s something that we can’t work through or help you through, then by all mean, we’ll look at what options that you’ve got and help facilitate that process.

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