For Most Student-Athletes, the Key to the Recruiting Process is Good Grades
January 9, 2016
Former Wall Street trader starts company to help athletes
November 30, 2015
By Andrea McCracken
THE DARIEN TIMES
Chris Buck spent 11 years in New York City on the American Stock Exchange, trading and brokering equity derivatives. He liked his job, but found that it didn’t give him a deeper sense of fulfillment at the end of the day. “I certainly wasn’t making a difference in the world,” Buck said.
Like many New Yorkers, the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001, caused Buck to enter an introspective period and he ultimately realized that he would like to leave finance to pursue something more personal. It took a few years, but he eventually moved to Arizona to earn a masters degree in exercise & sport psychology. He became a certified consultant and member of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology.
He officially became Coach Buck, and began working with professional and amateur athletes to implement mental conditioning programs in a variety of sports, including lacrosse, golf, tennis, soccer, basketball, track and field, crew, hockey, and baseball.
Coach Buck’s interest in mental conditioning also drew him to become certified in Fearless Golf, which was created by one of the country’s leading golf psychologist, Dr. Gio Valiante, to maximize the physiological effects of fear during competition. This particular expertise made Buck a consultant in demand with golfers on the Nationwide Tour, Canadian Tour, Gateway Tour and on the college circuit.
Early in 2009, Buck was eager to move closer to Wilton, his hometown, and he decided to take a job as a coach at a local high school. He was happy to have the opportunity to work with teenagers; however, he was surprised by the number of students he saw who were struggling academically and failing to realize their full potential in the college admissions process.
“Many kids are strong athletes but they’re not as strong academically,” Buck said. “What college coaches are really looking for are teenagers who are strong both on the field and in the classroom. As a result, if students can figure out how to improve their grades, they can dramatically increase their chances of getting into top colleges and universities.”
It was during his experience as a high school coach that he became clear about his career. “I wanted to help kids develop the problem-solving skills they need to make them successful in their studies, their sports and in their lives in general,” Buck said. “I knew that my experience in psychology and mental conditioning could be applied to their lives to teach them in the best position possible to achieve success in the future. I believe most kids can earn A’s – it’s just a matter of putting in the effort and remaining focused.”
With a fire in his belly, Buck established Get It Done Consulting in 2009. The Fairfield County company works exclusively with high school student-athletes, starting as early as freshman year. Although Buck’s clients are primarily based in this area, he has a number of clients from around the country. His company uses a mixture of academic and athletic coaching to build confidence and problem-solving skills. Through meetings twice a month, and as many phone calls, texts, and emails as are needed, Buck’s unique approach is creating a growing number of students with a “can-do” attitude who are finding themselves in high demand from college coaches around the country.
“Imagine that you could turn the tables on the college admissions process and college coaches and recruiters were coming to you, sometimes even with scholarships in hand,” Buck said. “It’s an enviable position to be in and it can happen if you stick to your goals.”
When working with his students, Buck teaches skills to increase concentration and self-awareness, while also driving home the value of old-fashioned hard work. He uses various mental conditioning practices often used in sports to achieve peak performance in school as well. Additionally, he uses methods to help shift teens away from focusing on outer accolades to emphasizing inner drive. He provides assistance through the college recruiting process, from the initial contact with coaches to the final commitments. And he continues to provide his students with guidance and mentoring even as they go through college and into the workforce.
Over the last three years, Buck has worked with over 40 high school students and boasts a success rate that’s over 90%. Caitlyn O’Brien met Coach Buck when she was a sophomore at Desert Mountain High School in Scottsdale, Ariz. “I thought it was fun,” she said. “I didn’t have any direction. I was clueless about the big picture and what I wanted in the future. But Coach Buck helped me get serious about lacrosse, school and he helped me think about college and beyond.”
Buck advised Caitlyn to join a traveling lacrosse team to get exposure to schools around the country. “Coach Buck talked to me and to my parents. It was a lot of money to join a traveling team – but we agreed to do it for one year and I’m so thankful,” she said.
“My students are unstoppable,” Buck said. “Every time I get a call or text from someone who’s excited about a test score or from someone who’s just been contacted by a great school, I know I’m right where I need to be and it just feels amazing.”
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!