Updated: Aug 15
Unless you are in the top one or two percent of players in your sport of choice you cannot expect or assume that college coaches know who you are or will find you and offer you a scholarship to play for their program. What do you do then, if you are not a four or five star rated player and your long-term goal is to continue to play in college? How do you achieve your dream of receiving a scholarship? Truth is you are going to need to be proactive and take charge of the recruiting process. And to do that you are going to need a plan. Whether you are a freshman or a rising senior here are six steps that you can take in order to jump start your dream of a college athletic scholarship.
1) Research schools and programs. Start by defining your needs and requirements for a school and for a program. You will need this list to rate each school and program when conducting your research. Things you can consider when looking at a school include academics, majors, location, student population, etc. When looking at the program you should consider the offensive and defensive scheme, history of success, coaching staff, coaching style, current roster, number of projected positions available, etc. Take this research and build your own recruiting board. The schools that best match your requirements should be your priority targets.
2) Build list of coaches contact information. Once you have your initial target list built you need to add the coaching contact information. For each school you need to have the contact information for at least three coaches- Offensive or Defensive Coordinator, Position Coach and Recruiting Coordinator. In some cases it may be appropriate to also have the contact information for the coach responsible for recruiting your territory. At the minimum you will want to have the coach’s name, email and phone number. Additional contact information you may want includes their Twitter username, Facebook ID and IG account.
3) Create a recruiting profile. It’s time to build your resume. In recruiting this is commonly known as a recruiting profile. You can do this by building a personal website using a free service such as Weebly or you can take advantage of one of the many free recruiting profile services. Your profile should present your measurables, basic contact information, stats, awards, GPA, ACT/SAT scores, picture and highlight video. Additional information you might consider adding includes your school or club schedule, references, calendar of camps or events you are attending and your intended area of study/major.
4) Create your highlight video. There are a few key points to remember when producing your highlight video. Make sure it is a quality video that clearly highlights where you are on the field and all of your skills. You have a very limited amount of time to catch the attention of a coach, so you need to have your ten best plays right up front at the start of the video. Finally, your video should be limited to around five minutes. Coaches do not have the time to watch a feature movie, especially when conducting their initial evaluation.
5) Post your highlight video online. Successful recruiting starts with greater exposure. Once you are happy with your highlight video get it posted online. Post your video on your profile page, on YouTube, on Facebook, Tweet it and post clips on IG. Share it on a regular basis.
6) Send introductory email to the coaches you identified. Coaches do not have a lot of time to read long emails, so your initial email should be a short introduction addressed to the coach (e.g., Dear Coach Smith,) identifying who you are, what position you play, your measurables (height, weight, speed), important stats, and any honors or awards you have received. Express your interest in playing for their program and include a link to your Player Profile and Video Highlights. Create a short and concise email subject line that looks something like Class of 20xx, Running Back, Height/Weight, High School. Close out the email with a signature that includes your contact information below your name. Be sure to have somebody proof read your email before you send it.
There are a number of other steps and goals to set for any long-term recruiting plan. By starting with a set of short-term steps you can get your recruiting efforts off to a great start. The recruiting process can be intimidating and it can require a lot of work. But, if your dream is to play at the next level, than the effort you are required to invest in the process will pay off in the end.Unless you are in the top one or two percent of players in your sport of choice you cannot expect or assume that college coaches know who you are or will find you and offer you a scholarship to play for their program. What do you do then, if you are not a four or five star rated player and your long-term goal is to continue to play in college? How do you achieve your dream of receiving a scholarship? Truth is you are going to need to be proactive and take charge of the recruiting process. And to do that you are going to need a plan.