Recruit Yourself

by HSSC | Posted on Friday, May 9th, 2014

hannibal art

For a high school athlete, it can be very stressful to have to choose a college.  In fact for most of you it can seem overwhelming at times.  You have to concentrate on getting better in your sport and getting good grades so you can get into the college of your choice.  What happens if no colleges are looking at you?  What can you do to make yourself more noticeable and attractive to college coaches?  The following are some tips designed to help that process along and to help the coaches get to know you better.

 Contacting Coaches – Remember, coaches receive hundreds of letters from potential student athletes. It’s always important to address the coach and university by name. It is recommended that you begin to contact coaches in your sophomore or junior seasons. Express an interest for playing for them and attending the university. Be proactive in your search. Tell the coach about yourself. Ask for more information about the school. Also keep in mind that you are able to contact top assistant coaches at the universities as well.

 Communicate Effectively – Always have someone proof read your letter. Try to establish a report with a coach. Remember to thank them for their time and consideration. Grammar and politeness can go a long way. An initial good impression can always open up opportunities and a well-written letter and/or resume reflects your ability in the classroom.

Resume – Your resume is a chance to “brag” about yourself but try not to sound cocky. Include your high school’s information (address and telephone number) and any awards or recognitions that you may have earned on the field or in the classroom. List how many years you have played at your current level (Varsity / Junior Varsity).  Make sure to list your anticipated field of study. It’s also important to provide ACT or SAT scores. Coaches will invest in student athletes. Make sure to be honest in everything that you include. Coaches who are looking into you will find ways to spot an inconsistency in your resume.

 Things to Offer – Make sure that you include your own coach’s information so that they can be contacted. It’s also important to offer to provide things like game film, statistics, and a schedule of your future games or meets. Give the coach every opportunity to learn more about you. The earlier you send in your information, the better chance a coach is able to start a file on you and watch you compete. Make sure any tape you compile showcases your skills and talents, not just a tape of game footage.  College coaches want to be able to see your numbers for themselves: 40 sprint times, bench presses, squats, home to first times, or other skills relevant to your sport.

 Visit the college.  The last thing you should do during your senior year is to go visit the college that you would like to attend.  Try to make sure the coach will be there to talk with you on your visit but don’t give up if you haven’t heard back from a coach or university. Some of the best college athletes were never even recruited.  DON’T GET DISCOURAGED!  Many players were not offered scholarships to their first choice of college and still went on to play at a high level at the college ranks and even professionally. If you are an under the radar athlete, make sure to explore every option on getting your name out there. Ask your high school coach for assistance. They love to see you succeed.

If you are sending an email, be sure to save all your information. There is nothing wrong with sending it again. Also keep in mind that technical problems sometimes occur with email. Mailing a letter is always an option for you to use. Be sure to inquire on university websites on what is the best possible method to contact a coach.

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