Reality check: most high school athletes are not blue chip or five-star recruits. So coaches probably won’t be kicking down your door or blowing up your cell every day, like they do for the top 100. This doesn’t mean, however, that you don’t have what it takes to play at the next level. You just need to put in some extra effort to get noticed.
There are several keys to marketing yourself so that college coaches know about you and your ability. Apply them properly, and you’ll up your chances of inking your John Hancock on a school’s dotted line.
Here are some tips for getting your name known throughout the coaching fraternity.
During your junior year, make a list of target schools that interest you, and research them for their head coaches’ contact information. Then, send letters to the coaches indicating your interest. Enclose your athletic profile and a schedule of your games.
Tips for your letter of interest:
• Make sure it is typed or neatly handwritten; don’t send a photocopy
• Proof the entire letter to make sure there are no misspellings or grammatical errors
• Include something specific about the school’s program, maybe about their facilities, record or top rival
• Make each letter original from beginning to end
• Explain your interest in the school’s academic program and the major you want to pursue
• Mention your education and career goals, leadership ability, personal values and athletic accomplishments
• Request additional information on the school and its athletic program, and say that you’d like to visit for a home game
• Make it no longer than one page
• Set this up as a one-page resume
• Include jobs, interests, volunteer and community work, and athletic accomplishments
• List academic information like ACT and SAT scores, GPA, class rank and any honors courses you’ve taken
Once you send coaches your packet, keep in touch [via phone or email] periodically to let them know that your interest is sincere.
Highlight Videos and Camps
A highlight video is a great way to show off your finely tuned athletic skills to an extremely busy college coach; attending a showcase camp, where coaches from the region evaluate athletes’ skills, is another. Here are a few tips on creating a highlight reel and conducting yourself right at camps.
• Keep it professional looking
• Create an introductory slide listing your full name, address, high school, year of graduation, height and weight, sport(s), positions you play, coaches’ names and contact info, major you want to pursue, SAT/ ACT scores and GPA
• Use a combination of practice and game footage
• Wear a full uniform with a visible number if applicable
• Show action only; delete dead time
• Include footage where you make great plays and some when you’re not in the middle of the action
• Show plays from different angles
• Make it no longer than five minutes
• Label the tape with your name, graduation year, position, jersey number, address and phone number
• Contact coaches on your target list to let them know you’ll be at camp
• Arrive on time
• If a uniform isn’t provided, wear a jersey with your name on the back
• Don’t wear any jewelry
• Hustle at all times
• Encourage other athletes during the camp; cheer when someone makes a big play
• Display a positive attitude
• Be evaluated at multiple positions
Controlling Your Recruiting Opportunities
Receiving Financial Aid
Division & Sport Breakdown
Academic Eligibility Requirements
Communicating with a College Coach
Gauging a Coach’s Interest