How To Properly Market Yourself To College Coaches
When I was in high school, I spent thousands of dollars on paper, ink, envelopes, stamps, and hundreds of hours spent looking up any potential college that I may have been able to play for.
I was just doing what I thought was best, but it mostly ended up being a waste of time when I could have been promoting myself to college coaches so much more effectively.
Here is my best recommendation of what aspiring college recruits should do:
-Create a highlight film. If highlight films are applicable to your sport, college coaches are going to want to watch them. I guarantee it. You should put together a film of your games or competitions and a separate film of you practicing. Even though game film is more important, they are not usually of great quality, and practice film can be very helpful as well. Game film shows how you perform when the pressure is on, and the practice film can give a coach an idea of how technically sound and consistent you are.
-Put this highlight film on Hudl/YouTube. Coaches can access your highlights instantly and you won’t risk having a DVD be lost or in the wrong format, etc.
-Create a profile sheet with all of your stats. Make sure to write your height, weight, speed, stats, and anything else that may be applicable to your sport as well. But do not lie about anything. If you say that you are 6’5”, you better be 6’5”. If a coach meets you and finds out that you are only 5’10” for example, that coach is not going to be happy with you and will probably stop recruiting you. By lying you aren’t fooling anyone, only wasting everyone’s time.
-After creating your recruiting packet do not start just sending them out to random schools.
-Do your research. If you are interested in a particular school, go to its athletics website and look at the team’s roster. If a team has a lot of older players at your position, then maybe they are looking to recruit someone from your class. But if a team has multiple young players at your position, chances are the school is not looking to recruit you. As you research the team roster, try to get a feel for whether or not you are a “fit”. Are there other players from your geographic area? Are any of the current players studying the same academic field you are interested in studying?
-When you find a few schools that may be looking for a player at your position, call them. Talk to the coach and see what he or she is going to be looking for in your recruiting class. Tell the coach that you are interested in their program and ask if you can send a recruiting packet.
-If they request a packet, ask if they would like it through electronically or as a hard copy. In today’s world, people are accustomed to doing things electronically. Many coaches may just have you attach your stat sheet to an e-mail with a link to your highlight film’s URL on Hudl/YouTube. How simple would this be? You now don’t have to worry about printing out paper, burning a DVD, sending it to them, and hoping it gets there. Even if it did get there, you would no longer be fresh on the coach’s mind. By sending the e-mail, the coach can see your stats and highlight film instantly.
-If the coach requests a hard copy, send it as soon as possible so that you are still relatively fresh on the coach’s mind when they receive it.
-A week or so after making contact or sending the packet, call the coach again or send a follow-up e-mail to make sure that they received it. If they have, ask what they think about your ability. Also ask for details and advice about how you can improve. Not only will this show that you are open to criticism, but you are constantly trying to perfect your craft.
The Importance Of Calling Coaches
When I sent recruiting packages to all those schools, I sat around waiting for months to see who wrote me back. It was agonizing and I kept on dreaming about who might call one day. But instead of making the same mistake I did, wasting all that time and energy, you need to do one thing. If you want to know immediately whether or not a college is going to recruit a player at your position, you need to CALL THE COACH!
Here is why:
-If you call a coach, you can find out in about 30 seconds if they are planning to recruit a player like you.
-You earn the coaches respect, because most recruits out there are too afraid to call them.
-You start to develop a relationship with the coach. If you are able to converse and catch the coach’s attention, they might start recruiting you.
-The coach won’t bite! Every coach I know is nice and would love to talk to a potential recruit. They are professional recruiters!
You may be asking, “What is the best way to initiate contact with a college coach? Should I call first or send an e-mail?” You can do either one in my opinion, but I surely believe in going with the phone route.
I suggest going with a phone call because it will give you immediate feedback and it will set up your relationship with that coach. If that coach likes you and asks you to send your packet, they will be expecting it and will actually give it a good look. As a recruit you want the college coaches to give your profile a considerable look, do you not?
I want you to understand that your first phone contact with a coach will not be this high-pressure, job interview-style conversation where you will have to do a long sales pitch or anything. Just introduce yourself and say that you are interested in their program. After that you can simply ask if that coach is looking to recruit a player at your position for your recruiting class. If so, ask if you can send a recruiting packet. The phone call can end there. If you end up talking longer than that, great! But do not feel like you only have this one chance to sell yourself. Your film and stats should do the talking.
In comparison, if you send a blind email do you really think a coach will pay much attention, if they even look at it at all? Nope. They probably receive dozens, if not hundreds of unsolicited emails a day from recruits. If you call to follow up after you send an email, do you think they will remember who you are? Even if a coach took the time to look at your email and happened to like what they saw, they see way too many to remember every single recruit and probably won’t recognize your name when you call. They will then probably ask you to resend your packet anyways, making your first email contact irrelevant. Sending an email first only leads to confusion and miscommunication in my opinion.
I believe that calling first, and sending a packet if it is requested is a much more logical and smart approach that yet again will differentiate you from the pack.
If you are not brave enough to call a coach, you are not ready to play college athletics.
I apologize if that sounds mean or insensitive, but it is the truth.
I can tell you from experience that if you want a college scholarship you have to take it! The worst thing that can happen is that the coach will tell you that they aren’t recruiting a player at your position. If that happens, great! One more school you don’t have to waste time dreaming about.
To learn more about college athletic recruiting, visit us at signingdayscience.com.
Your friend in the college athletics recruiting process,
Signing Day Science