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“Chris Lincoln has done an exceptional job of explaining a recruiting process that will surprise lots of folks who think they know all about the Ivy League.” X’s and O’s.”

—Bill Littlefield, host of NPR’s Only A Game

“Part explainer, part expose and part polemic, PLAYING THE GAME fills a huge gap in our knowledge of how college sports work.”

—Alexander Wolff, Sports Illustrated senior writer

“If your son or daughter is interested in becoming a student-athlete at one of America’s top colleges, their pathway should start with a conversation with Chris Lincoln. Nobody knows more about how top high school athletes are recruited into the elite schools than Chris does.”

—Rick Wolff, host of The Sports Edge on WCBS radio

“Having worked both in Ivy League athletic administration and as a sportswriter, I’ve come to know a lot of coaches and administrators around the Ivy League. When my daughter was looking at the possibility of attending and competing at a NESCAC or Ivy League school, I spoke to a number of insiders who offered useful advice. But no one was more helpful than Chris Lincoln. As a NESCAC graduate, the father of accomplished student-athletes and the author of a groundbreaking book on the subject, Chris is a wonderfully qualified guide to the X’s and O’s of how athletes are admitted to highly selective colleges and universities.”

—Bruce Wood, author of the Ivy League chapter in the  ESPN College Football Encyclopedia

“My daughter decided to attend Dartmouth College after turning down an athletic scholarship from Stanford University. Chris Lincoln’s guidance was invaluable in her gaining admission to both of these schools. It is daunting for a 17 year old to negotiate the landscape of experienced coaches from the country’s top colleges and universities. Chris helped my daughter even the playing field, showing her how to manage the process to her own advantage. I highly recommend Chris’s service.”

—Parent of Dartmouth rower

“The college athletic recruitment process is confusing, time-consuming, and frustrating. Dealing with this unaided for our first son left us looking for help with our second son, and luckily we came across PLAYING THE GAME, by Chris Lincoln, an inside look at athletic recruiting practices in the Ivy League and NESCAC schools. While this book provided a useful guide to the ins and outs of athletic recruiting at high-academic colleges, as our son’s individual recruiting process unfolded, Chris provided insightful advice specific to his situation that helped us avoid the pitfalls we fell into our first time through the process. This resulted in our son’s placement at a NESCAC school where he achieved academic and athletic success.

Chris’s own experience as a college athlete at Middlebury, combined with his own sons’ recruiting experiences, gives a personal flavor to his presentation as well as a keen understanding of the parents’ perspective and concerns as their student athlete undertakes the college placement process. Don’t walk into this jungle without a guide! Chris Lincoln’s knowledge, experience, and contacts will help make the college recruiting safari seem like a walk in the park!”

—Parent of Trinity baseball player

“Chris is an excellent resource for navigating one’s way through the challenges of ‘getting a game’ at the college level. Having coached soccer for many years at the club and high school level, I was familiar with the approach needed to help our son find a good fit for his goal of playing soccer at a top academic college. But consulting with Chris gave us that much more confidence in developing a plan and a sound approach to navigate the process. Chris’s knowledge of the elite college sports world and how recruiting works is very insightful and helpful.”

—Parent of Middlebury men’s soccer player

“Chris is extremely knowledgeable, thoughtful, creative, responsive and proactive. My son, wife and I all enjoyed working with him. His guidance was worth its weight in gold.”

—Parent of Middlebury football player

“Chris and his book, PLAYING THE GAME, were both very useful resources in helping my son and I understand the process of college recruiting, financial aid and scholarship granting. His help in navigating the complexities unique to schools and conferences as well as to managing our expectations was extremely valuable.”

—Parent of Hobart men’s golfer

“Chris was a huge help to our family as we tried to ‘re-invent the wheel’. He already knew the ins and outs and nuances of a recruiting process that we had only one chance to get right. Living in expectations and dealing with schools on the other side of the country, we found Chris’s guidance was a must have!”

—Parent of Williams volleyball player, San Diego, CA

“After committing to play lacrosse at Dartmouth in August and telling all other coaches that his decision was made, my son was shocked to learn in December that he was not admitted. It was a terrible injustice, as he turned down other recruiting offers in the meantime. That’s when I called Chris Lincoln. Following Chris’s advice, my son was able to re-enter the recruiting game armed with the knowledge he needed to eventually receive a “Likely Letter” from Yale. I had read Chris’s book, but never imagined the problems he described could happen to us. If you want to navigate the Ivy system without being blindsided, I recommend you work with Chris Lincoln from the start.”

—Parent of Yale men’s lacrosse player

“Chris was a huge help to our family as our two children went through the college search and athletic recruiting process. While Chris is an excellent resource on how to prepare for the college search process and how to present yourself to (and be found by) prospective college coaches, there are two things Chris brought to the table that we never thought we needed until we were in the middle of the action.

First, Chris has a complete ‘inside the ropes’ understanding of how the recruiting process works, what elite schools can and cannot do based on one’s academic record, and what flexibilities coaches have within the college application process.

And second, once discussions begin with a coach, Chris’s background allows him to ‘read between the lines’, translating the words the coaches use into what the coach is truly saying.

Needless to say, we can’t thank Chris enough for his guidance and counsel as we worked our way through the whole process. Our children ended up at great schools (one Ivy League and the other NESCAC) and enjoyed successful varsity athletic careers and more importantly challenging yet fulfilling academic careers.”

—Parent of Dartmouth men’s golfer and Wesleyan women’s hockey player

“During his junior year of high school, my son, Sam, announced his intent to go to a good college and play soccer. Wow! We needed guidance and turned to Chris. Chris and my son immediately connected. Sam and I knew we were working with a caring adult with genuine knowledge of college recruiting, soccer and teenage young men. Chris provided us with a comprehensive plan, including a prep school PG year. The clear timeline Chris outlined motivated my son to jump into the process. He took charge and became a proactive communicator and acted on the plan, step by step. Chris’s ability to meld the credentials and factors of my 16 year-old son’s life as a student athlete into a realistic plan to become a student athlete at the college level is a gift for which I will forever be grateful.

Sam has realized his goal, starting as a center back at a good” college, and was named to the NESCAC all-conference team last fall. Not only does he love his team and coach and the beautiful game, he loves college. Chris has been a mentor, not simply a consultant.”

—Mother of Tufts men’s soccer player