I first published this article about three years ago. It has been shared tens of thousands of times and generated a lot of spirited discussion from coaches and parents about if and why college coaches aren’t coming to high school games. Over this time, I have interviewed and spoken with a lot of college coaches. While there are exceptions, the fact is…
Truth: College Coaches Are Not Coming To Your High School Games
Are you placing your hopes on a college coach seeing you at a high school game and pulling out a scholarship offer? Unless you are a star football player, think again.
Most college coaches don’t spend much time watching high school games unless they are going to see a specific player they already know about. This is increasingly true across sports that have a competitive environment outside of the high schools. These would include showcase events, legion baseball, AAU basketball, and tennis open tournaments.
Why Aren’t College Coaches Coming to high school games?
1. When watching a high school game, the college coach has to wade through many talent levels and ages. There are only two teams playing.
As a college coach, I went to a couple days of the state playoffs every year. That was it, no regular season games.
I only went to the two largest classifications in the state. The smaller schools were a waste of time. The best players from small schools would be on a club team and I could see them in that venue. Often, I was the only college coach who attended playoffs, even of the biggest and best schools.
2. High school coaches are notoriously hard to contact. They are teachers who coach on the side. When dealing with clubs, coaches are easily accessible and are in the business of helping players get into a college program. It is hard for college coaches to obtain rosters from high school coaches, and even harder to get them to hand over contact information.
I was a glutton for wasting time. I would spend hours trying to contact the high school coaches beforehand. Over the years, I got to know many of the high school coaches, but high school coaching turnover is high. I would find them on high school websites and contact an administrator who would give me contact information or promise to pass my name along.
I then contacted the coach and asked who to watch, graduation years, who wanted to play in college, and who had already decided where to go. As often as not, they would not give me the contact information for the player. They had to check with the parents and have a parent contact me. I would watch the games, and try again to contact the coaches and get contact information. My success rate for navigating all the layers and talking to a player was low. Extremely low.
Talent Is Swimming In Abundance Outside of High School Games
Contrast the experience above with a club team. A showcase tournament provides college coaches with a list of all the teams, coaches, rosters, and real contact information from the players. I can contact players before or after the weekend showcase. At the event, parent managers walk around and give information to college coaches, helping their kids get noticed. I can call or email a club coach, or the director of the club, at any time and they get back to me to talk about their players. They are literally in the business of getting athletes opportunities to play in college.
As a general rule, it is more efficient for a college coach to spend time watching players in the club environment. That is why you won’t see college coaches in the stands at your high school games.
How Do You Get College Coaches to Notice You?
Being on a club team does not guarantee college coaches will be knocking down your door. If it were only as easy as joining a club team and going to showcase events, but it is not. There is more talent available than roster spots. Unless you are a top tier athlete, college coaches will not know you are alive…until you tell them.
If you’re tired of wasting hundreds or even thousands of dollars on recruiting services…
If you’re terrified that you’re going to ruin any chances your teenager has of being recruited by a great athletic program…
If you want to do everything you can to give your high school athlete the best chance at an amazing sports career that will fuel their self-identity for decades to come…
Then this may be the most important book you can get your hands on:
How to Get Recruited: Got Talent. Get a Plan. Get Recruited.
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P.S. Come join our Facebook group, The Recruiting Code. This is the place to be for parents and coaches to talk about college recruiting. Come learn from each other, share stories and get information that will help your child become a college athlete.