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Although the media often portrays that talented high school student-athletes will automatically just have college coach knocking on their door, it simply isn’t the truth for about 95% of those who want to get recruited to play their sport in college. It is imperative for any student-athlete who wants to compete at the next level to market themselves to universities they have interest in possibly attending. College coaches are extremely busy with their current team, traveling, fundraising, NCAA compliance, leadership development programs, and meeting with their coaching staff so you want to make the process as easy as possible for them to evaluate you as a potential recruit.
In the research for my upcoming book Looking For A FULL RIDE?: An Insider’s Recruiting Guide, I interviewed 35 college coaches to gain further insight beyond my 14 years as a college soccer coach. We gathered information from coaches at NCAA Division I, II, III, NAIA, and JUCO. They all agreed that student-athletes need to be proactive in marketing themselves to the college coaches very early in their high school career in these ways:
1) Email the coaches & fill out their recruiting questionnaires during your freshman or sophomore year. Do not wait until your senior year as many roster spots and athletic scholarships opportunities will be filled by that time! Although NCAA rules may restrict the coach in terms of what type of email replies they can provide, it is crucial that you start this process early in your high school career so the coach knows of your interest. We have created a FREE SPECIAL REPORT: STRATEGIES TO EMAILING A COLLEGE COACH that will educate you on what to say in your initial emails to a college coach.
2) Create a video link to include in your emails. Most coaches will still want to see you compete in person, but creating an 8-10 minute video with clips of some of your recent competitions is key to the start of the initial recruiting process. You don’t need to spend lots of money on creating a video. Have a friend or parent record it clips on Ipad. You can even upload it on to youtube and send the links to the coach. Make sure you create a password to protect you as well as you need to include your name, graduation year, email, and high school/club team name. You would also
be surprised how often student-athletes forget to provide their jersey number, team color, and position, so make sure this vital information is included!
3) Understand what college coaches are looking for Beyond The X’s & O’s. College coaches want to see more than just talented athletes in their programs. They are looking for students that are committed to their academics, continuous improvement, character development, and leading others. Every part of your character will be analyzed as a prospective student. Your character and integrity matter to these coaches. Many coaches we interviewed described how they often speak to the custodians and secretaries when they are in a high school to find out what type of kid you are outside of athletics. Almost all of the recruiters also actively research social media accounts to see if you are bashing your teammates and/or coaches versus finding ways to serve your community. Make sure you are creating situations that demonstrate why they should recruit you versus providing them with reasons to cross you off the list!
Looking for help with this process? We provide weekly blogs on the college recruiting process here. If you are the parent of a high school athlete who wants to play in college and would like some additional support, we have created a FREE Facebook group for parents that you may join here.