The USA TODAY High School Sports Recruiting Tips are provided by our recruiting partner, Playced.com.
The dictionary definition of proactive is “creating or controlling a situation by causing something to happen rather than responding to it after it has happened.” Being proactive in recruiting does not mean creating an online profile and waiting for the phone to ring. That won’t cut it. First things first. Get familiar with how recruiting really works. Do some research on how college coaches evaluate talent in your sport, learn the rules on communication with college coaches and understand how academics factor into the equation.
After that, if you aren’t being recruited, then to some extent your recruiting process is a numbers game. The more appropriate colleges you reach out to, the better your chances are to find a scholarship. You might find that perfect fit with your first email or showcase event, or it might not happen until you contact your twentieth college. There are many ways to be proactive in recruiting, but here are the most common (and effective) ways.
Showcases and Camps
College coaches don’t spend hours a day searching Google to find their athletes. Most of their signees (except for top-tier athletes) try to get themselves in front of coaches. Camps, showcases, and national tournaments are all good opportunities to get in front of college coaches. However, when coaches go to these events, they are typically looking to watch specific players. Getting noticed in these situations is typically a byproduct of playing in the same game as someone they are already looking at signing.
Reach out with an email
The best way to get noticed by college coaches is to get them to specifically come to see you compete. Contacting coaches through email is the best way to start the process with college coaches. In the email, include your stats, academic information, and a short highlight video to give coaches the most important information they need to determine whether they are interested.
When a college coach is interested you, they need to see you play. Once a coach responds to one of your emails, don’t hesitate! Answer them quickly and send them your schedule. This gives the coach the maximum amount of time to schedule a time to see you play. Coaches have to see recruits play to know for sure if they are truly interested.