Are You Part of the 99%?
While some athletes don’t struggle with gaining exposure to college coaches, the numbers tell us that most will. The percentage is about 1% vs. 99%. For those falling into the latter 99%, a lot of work has to be done to become a legitimate college prospect. Although there isn’t an exact formula for success there are many steps athletes and their families can take to become more successful during the recruiting process. Here are some to think about.
It seems self-explanatory but starting early can be one of the biggest boosts one receives to their recruiting process. Scholarships many times are awarded because of relationships more than skill sets. Relationships take time to build so starting early creates a competitive advantage for those participating.
Seek to be Sought
This isn’t the time to sit around and hope that by playing the game of your life, a scholarship will magically appear. Most of the student athletes, the 99%, have to work to get recognized. This means going out and making yourself available to a coach. As a student-athlete, it’s your responsibility to figure out which schools to contact, know why you want to contact them, and CONTACT THEM. You must do serious research into what a particular school can offer you beyond a scholarship opportunity, academics, location, and opportunity.
Coaches host camps on their campuses to lure possible recruits for in-person evaluations. Some of you might receive camp invites while others will choose to attend camps for any number of reasons, both skill and recruiting oriented. Don’t be the athlete who thinks that by going to a camp you will be discovered. Although a slight possibility if you are an amazing athlete, this is highly unlikely. Instead, practice due diligence contacting the coaching staff before arriving on camps. Present the coach(es) with your playing resume and recruiting video, attempt to create a relationship, make them want to invite you to the camp or let them know you are attending, and ASK FOR AN EVALUATION.
When applicable, showcases are a great area for student-athletes to compete against other potential college athletes. Adhering to my advice surrounding camps, you should never go to a showcase “undiscovered” or uneducated. Make sure you do adequate research into the history of the showcase, possible former and returning participants, and attending coaches. If you’re in contact with a coach be sure to invite them to come to the showcase and evaluate you.
Use Recruiting Websites
Whether you post a recruiting profile on a number of free recruiting websites, create your own recruiting webpage, or hire a recruiting service to aid you in your recruiting efforts, it’s a smart idea to have some sort of online presence beyond Facebook or Twitter. A recruiting profile is secondary information to that on your resume and should be included as a link in the original resume you send to a coach. You should use a website to host your recruiting video; the days of sending CD’s are long past. Consider using YouTube or Hudl for video hosting.
Play for a Club
Coaches lean toward recruits playing for competitive clubs in sports where clubs are offered. Similar to a showcase environment, coaches prefer club teams because often club teams contain a more talented offering than high-school programs. Talented athletes competing against other talented athletes gives college coaches great insight to a potential recruit’s college future. College coaches also prefer the idea that student-athletes are playing their sport year-round constantly fine tuning and developing their skill sets.
Overall, no matter which formula you choose, your success as a recruit is going to depend on your ability to be persistent and dedicated throughout the duration of your high school career. Understand it’s likely no one is going to hand you anything and that, as with most things in life, you will have to work hard for what you want. In the end if your goal is to earn a scholarship opportunity then go out and show a coach why you, over everyone else, deserves one.