USA TODAY High School Sports has a weekly column on the recruiting process. This isn’t about where just the top five-star athletes are headed but rather a guide to the process and the pitfalls for student-athletes nationwide from Fred Bastie, the owner and founder of Playced.com. Playced.com is an industry leader in college recruiting. Their technology-based recruiting software identifies the right colleges for potential recruits to pursue and their recruiting advisers provide a recruiting experience that is trusted by college coaches and backed by a money-back guarantee.
The college recruiting process doesn’t have to be the complicated, time-consuming, expensive process many people and companies want you to believe it is. In fact, a successful recruiting strategy is simple:
- Identify colleges that match your academic and athletic abilities,
- Contact the coaches at those schools, and
- Provide them with the right information to evaluate your abilities.
In order to effectively implement this strategy, you need some ammunition to accomplish step #3. Take the time to pull together the following three items and your chances of landing a college scholarship will increase dramatically.
1. A video highlighting your skills and abilities
There are two absolute facts about the role video plays in the college recruiting process:
- Video doesn’t lie
- Video does not have an opinion.
It is undeniable how important a skills video and game film have become in the ever-competitive world of college recruiting. While video alone may not land you a scholarship at your dream school, it can certainly serve as a virtual handshake to any college coaching staff in the country. What could be a better introduction to a college coach than an honest, unbiased evaluation of your abilities?
A recruiting video is going to give you a competitive advantage against every college recruit that doesn’t have one. There is no quicker way to have a college coach see you compete. Invest the time and energy into creating a video of your skills that you can be proud of. It can connect you with a college coach in Binghamton, N.Y. even if you live in Albuquerque, N.M. without the time and expense of a recruiting trip!
Make sure you are proud of your recruiting video and share it with the coaches at all the colleges that you are interested in and match your abilities. That said, don’t think you can sit back and wait for college coaches to magically notice you. That couldn’t be further from the truth! It’s your responsibility to get your recruiting video in the hands of the programs you want to be a part of.
2. An athletic/academic resume
Every college recruit who hasn’t been noticed (yet) by a college coach should approach the recruiting process as if he or she is looking for a job. Realistically, the process is the same. You are looking to play in college and college coaches are looking for players. Once there’s a match, it’s just a matter of negotiating the details and deciding on the best situation for you.
So, if you were looking for a job what would be the first thing you would do? Well, one of the first things would be to prepare an appropriate resume detailing your qualifications for the specific position you are pursuing. You should take the same approach with college recruiting and prepare an athletic resume detailing your qualifications for a spot on a college roster.
Your resume should include all the academic and athletic facts a college coach needs to easily determine whether or not he or she is interested in finding out more about you. There are many ways to organize your profile/resume, but it should at least include the following:
- Your personal information (name, contact information, hometown, etc.),
- Your academic accomplishments (GPA, test scores, academic honors),
- Your athletic statistics and honors (height, weight, position, relevant stats, link to video)
- The contact information for your current coaches.
You have to make it easy for a coach to quickly decide if they have an interest in you, or your resume won’t even be considered. There’s a fine line between too much information and not enough information. A one-page resume would be preferable if that leaves you enough room to include all your important information.
3. A reference from your coach
What would your coach have to say about you to a college coach who is recruiting you? Do you know? Would he/she sing your praises and take the opportunity to “sell” you to a college program? Would they say that you’re a good teammate, a leader and someone that deserves to play at the next level? Do you believe your current coach will be a great reference for you to use during your college recruiting experience?
I hope you can answer yes to those questions, because one of the few guarantees that you can count on while you’re being recruited is that your coach’s opinion matters. In fact, it may be one of the only opinions a college coach considers when they’re evaluating you.
Listen, I’m not saying you need to be “coach’s favorite” but, you need to understand that the relationship you have with your current coach is a great indicator of what your relationship will be with a college coach. Quite simply, your history as a teammate and player predicts your future for both. College coaches know this, and they make it a part of their evaluation process. Bottom line, any college coach recruiting you is going to talk to your current coach and that conversation will absolutely have an impact on the offers you receive, or don’t receive.
Here’s the deal
The path to a college scholarship isn’t as complicated as you might think. If you are persistent and have the above three items, your chances for landing on a college roster are great!