Do you wonder how college coaches find players? How do they decide which games to watch? How do they know your phone number? How do they even know you’re alive? The answers to these questions are not top secret. In over 100 interviews on the Recruiting Code, coaches have told you again and again how they find players. In this post I compiled their answers to provide you with eight ways coaches find and decide to recruit players.
Coaches do not discover players by luck or chance. Because it is not by luck, you have control over whether or not college coaches find and recruit you. Once you know how coaches find players, you can take the necessary steps so that they find you. Put yourself in the path of college coaches and they will recruit you. Implement as many of the 8 strategies as you can.
“Contact, contact, contact! Being from a JUCO, we normally don’t have great recruiting budgets to either fly to locations or to fly in recruits. Our best form of getting guys on a radar is by either developing relationships with high school coaches, subscribing to recruiting services or athletes actually doing their own homework on contacting us as individuals.” Coach Jeff Brabant, Baseball Miles Community College
“There are several ways to get on our radar. Be proactive and reach out to us. The pool of athletes we have to recruit from is very large. If you can make yourself standout, you will definitely catch our attention.” Coach Rick Parlow, Women’s Soccer Converse College
College Coaches Find Players Through Questionnaires
Many college athletic websites have a questionnaire for interested prospects. Always fill those out.
“The two ways to get on my radar are to fill out our online questionnaire and to follow up with an email. When a high school athlete takes the time to send an email with their contact information, personal best marks, and academic information etc. it means they are serious about considering Duke as a potential university.” Coach Rhonda Riley, Women’s Cross Country Duke University
College Coaches Find Players Through Emails
Write a personal email to a coach at each college you are considering.
“The best way for a recruit to garner some interest is to contact our staff. Email is generally best. Write a short email and a short highlight video showing what they can do.
A group email sent to a number of coaches is not the way to go. Send a personal email to the head coach or an assistant that is specific to that school. It also works to have your coach send that email on your behalf. It may be best to send it to an assistant coach on staff as you may increase your chances of getting a response.” Bob Walsh, former Men’s Basketball Coach University of Maine
College Coaches Find Players Through Phone Calls
Don’t be afraid to personally call coaches. Make sure you consult NCAA and NAIA recruiting regulations as each division has its own rules. You can call at any time, but depending upon the division and your year in high school, coaches may not be able to respond. If a coach doesn’t respond you may have called before they can respond directly. However, you are still getting on their radar screen. This gives them a chance to put you in their data base. Make sure the phone call is in conjunction with emails and filling out their questionnaire and you will generate interest from them, even if you are not hearing from them.
“A phone call also goes a long way. It is an intimidating process, but a young athlete being able to pick up the phone and carry on a good conversation with a coach is a quality that will in the least pique our interest.” Coach Shayne Lotito, Softball Bryant University
College Coaches Find Players Through Camps at the College
College coaches love to recruit players who have participated in ID or skill camps. The coaches already know those athletes’ talent, work ethic, and how well they get along with those athletes. You will pay for the camps, but you will quickly see the pay-off.
“The best way to stand out and make an impression, is to attend one of our camps or clinics. Over 90% of our current players attended a soccer camp or clinic at Converse in the past. This gives the PSA an opportunity to showcase their talents over several days, instead of the 15-20 minutes we will get to see you play at a showcase. It also gives them in depth look at not only our soccer program, but the campus as well.” Coach Rick Parlow, Women’s Soccer Converse College
“Our best way to recruit is for players to attend the Prospect ID camps that we run each year. We generally run three a year and this is the most controlled environment to assess not only the player’s ability but attitude and overall interest in us.” Coach Andrew Wagstaff, Men’s Soccer Saginaw Valley State University
College Coaches Find Players Through Showcases
Where are college coaches lined up to watch players? Showcase events. I’ve written a lot about how to stand out at showcases. It’s a great place to have a lot of coaches stop by and see you play.
“High school athletes need to attend showcase events where college coaches go to look at potential players. Emailing coaches at schools they are interested in, and attaching a profile also helps put an athlete on the coach’s radar. Let the coach know what events they will be playing in will help so the coach can watch them when they go out to these showcase events.” Coach Chris McNaughton, Women’s Soccer Missouri Southern State University
College Coaches Find Players Through Game and Highlight Film
Your film is not meant to highlight how cute you are or your taste in music. Highlight your skills so college coaches want to watch.
“There are two basic kinds of video, the highlight video and the game film.
Highlight videos are a short compilation of clips that aim to capture the attention of a coach.
A game film is a more in depth opportunity for a coach to see a players overall impact on a game.
Coaches have preferences. Some like highlight videos, some like to see a full game and some do not bother at all with film so my advice would be ask a coach what their preference is before you send over any type of game film.” Coach Sarah Brady, Women’s Soccer Iona University
College Coaches Find Players Through Contact with High School or Club Coaches
Your current coach is more than just a reference. Your current coach can help you get recruited.
“A student athlete that has interest in a particular school should have his or her coach contact that school.” Coach Gary Pepin, Track and Field University of Nebraska
“We have a limited budget for recruiting, so we have to use a lot of our discretionary resources. I network and talk with club directors, junior college coaches and general emails. I have actually been referred to some PSA’s (Potential Student Athlete) by a Facebook group I help run.” Coach Sean Manzi, Men’s Volleyball Belmont Abbey
College Coaches Find Players Through Recruiting services
If you feel like you need help getting recruited, recruiting services have a lot of experience and can be a good option.
“Mostly from local coaches, recruiting services such as, College Golf Resumes, BeRecrutied, NCSA, Prodream USA, and CPOA (College Prospects of America) and NSR Prospects.” Coach Ed Bethea, Women’s Golf Dodge City Community College
“I find many of our team members on web based recruiting sites, such as berecruited.com, CaptainU, NCSA, etc. The challenge with swimming and diving is we do not have “showcases” like some other sports. So when we go to a meet, we do not receive information on academics, etc. This makes it more challenging to identify student-athletes that are a good fit for our program. Of course, we have the most success with students that contact us and express interest in Mount Holyoke.” Coach Dave Allen, Swimming and Diving Mount Holyoke College
International Student Tip – Recruiting services
The recruitment of international athletes is in many respects the same, but there are challenges U.S. students don’t have. Country boundaries and oceans can make it difficult for college coaches to find athletes. International students are also dealing with an unfamiliar college system. Recruiting services can fill the gap and help you navigate the confusing international recruiting process.
“I believe that the recruiting services are extremely valuable. I have dealt with a lot of the major companies and they do an incredible job helping not only market these young players to the Universities they are interested in, but also help navigate the cumbersome process of the NCAA along with the University admissions process. Of course each player is different but generally speaking I think the majority of these companies do a great service for these players and their families.” Coach Matt Hill Men’s Tennis Arizona State University
8 strategies to get coaches recruiting you
The more of these strategies you implement, the more likely it is that college coaches will find you. It is no accident that some athletes are recruited and others are not. The athletes who get “found” are the ones putting themselves in the path of and on the radar screens of college coaches.
College coaches want to recruit student athletes who are interested in their school and program. They want to recruit student athletes who show initiative and are willing to build a relationship with them. Work as hard at the recruiting game as you do to become a better athlete and doors will open.
If you want to be a college athlete…
If you are frustrated because coaches are not calling you…
Then the How to Get Recruited Guide will give you a step-by-step plan to turn your talent into offers. There’s a lot to learn about the recruiting process. How to Get Recruited condenses mountains of advice, and converts it to simple action steps that will get college coaches calling.
How to Get Recruited: Got Talent. Get a Plan. Get Recruited.
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