BYU Coaches Seek Talent Overseas
Athletic recruiting may happen outside the country but it is no foreign concept to coaches at BYU. Continue reading
Even though coaches aren’t necessarily getting “playing time,” they still have to lace up their recruiting shoes to compete for new talent. BYU coaches are turning to more sources now than ever to find the best athletes in the world.
Recruiting is becoming an international business where third party companies help athletes and coaches meet. Not only do they host tournaments that give athletes from around the world the opportunity to showcase their talent, this also gives coaches more recruiting options.
BYU Tennis coach Brad Pearce said, “it makes it very convenient as coaches when we travel around the world. Instead of just seeing one or two players we get to see dozens of players so it makes it very efficient with time and money.”
Four years ago, Brad Pearce traveled to Moscow where he met now senior captain and starter, Georgy Batrakov. Pearce said Batrakov has developed a strong game and is team’s number one player on the men’s tennis team. But when Pearce first arrived to the tournament, he noticed Batrakov had a unique backhand style.
Pearce decided to ask Batrakov to come to America and play for BYU. Coaches like Pearce say traveling the world is worth finding even just one talented athlete with a lot of potential.
Pearce says he’s very proud of the athlete Batrakov has worked hard to become. “Just this last match at Denver, Georgy was down twelve match points and came back and won. That’s incredible. I don’t think I’ll ever hear that if I were to coach another one hundred years,” Pearce said.
The men’s volleyball team has also seen success in international recruits. Puerto Rico is a particularly successful area where coaches have found talented volleyball players. Not only does internationally recruiting benefit BYU teams, it also benefits the individual athletes.
Outside hitter also recruited from Puerto Rico, Josue Rivera said he is proud of his decision to come to BYU. “[My coach] liked me so he offered me a recruiting trip. I took it. I don’t waste any opportunity on a university,” Rivera said.
Since America emphasizes education under the NCAA rules of academic eligibility for student athletes, moving to America also means obtaining a degree. Rivera said this changes his entire life. “This decision has a rippling effect on my life,” he said.
Both Rivera and Batrakov took English classes in high school, but have had to work hard on improving their language skills. In addition to the language and culture shock of America for the talented foreigners, both had to take several entrance exams in order to officially get accepted into BYU.
Batrakov agrees that being recruiting by BYU has given him more than just potential to go professional in his sport. BYU has also given him an education and more opportunities for his future. He plans to travel the world playing tennis and later come back to live in America the rest of his life doing something related to business.
Batrakov and Rivera are just two of the many examples of successful international recruiting trips BYU coaches took a chance on and won.