Are you attending showcase tournaments, maybe even this weekend?
Your club coaches have stressed for you the importance attending a showcase tournament (or several), or maybe you have already attended one or more. It is different than a tournament. At these events, you have probably heard from your coaches that you are showcasing your skills. Teams like to win, but this is the one event in which winning is a secondary goal. The primary goal is for college coaches to see high school athletes and if they like what they see, to contact them.
The showcase tournament from the college coach’s view
I want you to step outside your experiences with showcases. Consider the weekend from their perspective. College coaches will often go to showcase tournaments several weekends in a row. They will spend a couple nights in a hotel. They will spend 8-10 hours out on the field or court watching game after game. The event will usually have a coach’s tent full of food and drinks to keep the coaches happy. Still they are in for a long weekend, preceded by last weekend and with next weekend to look forward to, and lists of athletes to watch.
Showcase tournaments are a numbers game
The college coach is there because there are thousands of players to look at in the same place. They did not come just to see you play. They came to see you and a hundred other players like you as quickly as they can. You may not notice, but coaches are not even watching full games. They are watching your team play for 20 minutes or half a game and then they move on because they have a lot of players to see. Efficiency is the name of the game.
What you need to do after attending a showcase tournament
After the event the college coach will begin contacting players they are interested in. They have watched dozens of teams and hundreds of players. Don’t be discouraged if the coach doesn’t know exactly who you are or which game you played in. They probably saw you, made a few notes and moved on to one of the other 100 plus players that they will contact in the ensuing days. While a few players will stick out in their mind, many just become a number until the player shows interest in the school and athletic program. From hundreds of contacts, they will determine who is interested and continue to recruit a smaller number of players. A coach cannot rely on picking ten athletes and expecting that they will all come play in their program.
A Good First Question for the Coach
Always ask a coach, when they first contact you, where they saw you play and make sure to ask what they liked about you and what position you were playing when they saw you. This will help weed out some of the coaches who have no idea who you are and are willing to lie to you from the first conversation. Others wouldn’t lie to you, they just may not remember you. Working from their notes they should be able to tell you how you would fit in with their program.
What Coaches are Looking For
Coaches are not looking for only the very best 10 players at a showcase tournament. The best programs have already found and are courting those ten best players. Most coaches are looking for players who will help the team, but will also realistically consider their program. Coaches are sifting through all of the other players who may still be available. They are looking for starters and bench players. (A bench player in a great program could have been a super-star at another school. Remember this as you choose your college!)
Here are three tips you can do to make the most of a showcase tournament:
- Contact coaches of schools you are interested in at least one week before the showcase. Let them know you are interested in their program. If you go to the event website, they will have a list of which college coaches will be there. Give them your uniform number, colors you will be wearing, and game times.
- Your skills obviously matter, but so does your work ethic and your attitude. You never know when you are being watched. Carry yourself as though you are auditioning for a part in a play or interviewing for a job.
- After the showcase tournament, follow up with those schools you are interested in. By email or text, ask if they had a chance to see you play and what impressions they had of you. Remind them you are very interested in their school and ask what you can do next.
If you follow these tips, you will set yourself apart from most of the other players. The recruiting process is about standing out and getting noticed. It is about communication. It is about marketing yourself.
And don’t forget to enjoy the games! That is, after all, why you play.
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 feel like you have been stumbling along or have not even started the recruiting process, it is time to take action. There are a lot of other articles and interviews here at therecruitingcode.com to help you.
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How to Get Recruited Guide: Got Talent. Get a Plan. Get Recruited
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