College Recruiting Process is Different for 98% of the Student-Athletes
A recent article in USA Today High School Sports written by Fred Bastie had this to say about the college recruiting process, “The college recruiting process for high school athletes is fairly logical and pretty much the same regardless of your sport. Whether you’re a power forward or a pitcher, a running back or a goalkeeper, if you aren’t a 5-Star recruit then your recruiting process is going to take a little work and you have to realize that is the norm. College rosters are built with a few top recruits and completed with quality athletes who have some potential and the right attitude. The recruiting process is easy for the top recruits (2% of athletes), but by my math, that leaves 98% of high school athletes to fend for themselves.”
If you’re a member of the 98% club (and 98% of you are), you have to commit to this simple, logical, three-step process:
- Identify the right colleges to pursue
- Connect with the coaches at those schools
- Get your current and past coaches involved to reach out and vouch for you
With most high school and junior athletes about to start playing for their summer teams and attending showcase camps, now is a good time to discuss how the college recruiting process really works and get some tips from actual college coaches.
The College Recruiting Process: Tips and Secrets from the Experts
When going about the college recruitment process, there are many things you need to take into account but one of the most important things is awareness. It is important to create a brand for yourself and market that brand out to the coaches and recruiters you have identified under step number one: Identify the right colleges to pursue.
There are numerous ways in which you can begin creating awareness about yourself, and your strengths, skills, character traits and leadership style.
It is important for you to start actively making moves to create an image for yourself in the college athletics world, here are a few things you can utilize in order to do so:
College Recruiting Tip #1 –
Create and complete Free Student-Athlete Profile at www.elitejrprofiles.com. Having a really well thought out and complete profile about yourself is really important. Here’s why: You need to put something in front of the coaches and recruiters for the colleges you have identified. What are you going to send them that makes you different than all the rest of the prospects that email these coaches every day? Better than a free profile is the DISC Enhanced Profile™ from Elite Junior Profiles which includes a robust DISC report and Scouting report about your key character traits and strengths, communication style you prefer according to your personality and behavioral styles and most importantly, your UNIQUE VALUE that you bring to the Team/Organization.
College Recruiting Tip #2 –
College Recruiting Tip #3 –
Use the phone. Phone calls separate you from others, as it is a more personal form of communication. The concept is simple: the more you talk and communicate with these coaches, the more likely they will remember you. If you really are passionate about a particular college, you can even ask your current coach to make some calls for you to act as a reference and continue to market you in a positive manner. Don’t just pick up the phone and call out of the blue though, use Tips #1 and #2 FIRST before you surprise the coach with a phone call. Awareness is a progression and if you follow the progression outlined by Elite Junior Profiles, you will have MUCH better success!
College Recruiting Tip #4 –
Attending Camps. Many colleges host camps and clinics, which are a great asset to utilize and attend. You can meet players and coaches through them and really generate face-to-face awareness. In addition, make sure you do research ahead of time in order to really gauge the importance and value of each camp. Again, use the progression strategy, especially before you attend a camp. You don’t just want to show up at a camp without anyone expecting you. Send an email or two, try to schedule a phone call, get your DISC Enhanced Profile™ in front of the coach before you attend camp and work to have a short discussion at the camp with one or more members of the coaching staff. Use your profile as the talking points.
College Recruiting Tip #5 –
Campus Visits. Another way to gain key face-to-face communications is visiting college campuses. While you are there make sure you go out of your way to talk to coaches and other team staff or faculty in order to get your name and face out there early on. Take some time to do a little research on the coach to learn their interests. Review their LinkedIn profile, Facebook, and Instagram pages to allow you to focus your discussion on things related to their interests. Use the Elite Junior Profiles communication strategy of proper progression in the communications leading up to your campus visit!
College Recruiting Tip #6 –
Use Social Media/YouTube/Hudl. Social media as a whole is extremely prominent in today’s society and when utilized correctly can be very helpful in creating a positive image and heightened awareness about you. If you are only relying on coaches and recruiters to find you, it is a lot more difficult to get yourself noticed (see the 2% – 98% rule from above), but once you have a stand-out profile on elitejrprofiles.com, your profile and social media presence can be shared and can really say a lot about you. Highlight videos on YouTube and Hudl of your best plays is also a key way to get you and your skills noticed. You can directly link your social profiles and make them more easily accessible through your profile on EliteJuniorProfiles.com in order to ensure all your most desirable information is in ONE easily accessible location for coaches to find and look through. “Current members of Elite Junior Profiles have experienced tremendous success using their unique profile link/URL and sending that to prospective coaches and scouts and getting a positive response in return,” said Paul Pechmann, founder of Elite Junior Profiles.
College Recruiting Tip #7 –
College Showcases/ Combines. This is a fantastic way for you to be able to show off your skills, to create awareness around yourself, but it is not nearly as personal as many of the active options, because you are participating with numerous other people there attempting to do the same thing. Keep in mind this can be a risky tactic though, you can either perform very well, or poorly, and that is how you will be remembered. When you attend a showcase or combine, be sure to contact coaches for the schools you want to attend ahead of time (think progression!) and let them know you will be there. See if you can set up a few minutes to meet with them to allow you to discuss what it is they are looking for at the combine and in a student-athlete. Show up with your game face on!
College Recruiting Tip #8 –
News, Media & Press Coverage. Being featured in newspapers or on high-authority media websites is a great way to get yourself out there, ideally when a coach searches your name that will be one of the first things they find. If you want to take an active approach to this, and take it one step forward you could also find a way to ensure the article gets into the hands of the coaches. You can utilize your profile on Elite Junior Profiles by putting links or information about your mentions in the news so that when a coach comes across your profile, all your accomplishments are there for them to view with ease. Even better, Elite Junior Profiles offer a media and press service! They will do a feature write-up and story about you as a person, student, and athlete with mentions of your previous accomplishments, academic achievements, character strengths and the unique value proposition you offer to a prospective team or organization. This story is then distributed nationally to ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX and Radio stations. Elite Junior Profiles guarantees media pickups and coverage with this service.
College Recruiting Tip #9 –
Prospect Databases. These are sites where coaches can look up prospective athletes, like www.EliteJrProfiles.com. Although, coaches are not going to spend their time shuffling through tons of names to look for people but rather will utilize these sites to learn more about the players who have already made themselves known through the other progressive communication tactics mentioned above. As a result, you should definitely make a profile, but do not rely solely on this, it will enhance your awareness but you need to be known first for it to be effective.
Utilizing some or all of these methods will truly help bring awareness to coaches and recruiters that you are passionate and trying to get involved in the sports world. So be proactive and get your name and your face out into the college athletics world as soon as possible.
About Elite Junior Profiles
Founded by Paul Pechmann, Head Coach for Elon University Hockey and former Junior Hockey coach, Elite Junior Profiles (EJP) assists high-achieving student-athletes and their parents build, grow, enhance and showcase the student-athlete’s profile online with their social media info and resume including accomplishments, abilities, awards and future goals to prospective scouts, colleges, coaches, committees and organizations. EJP also provides Student-Athlete public relations consulting along with parent/player advisory and mentoring services for those families looking for expert assistance navigating the youth to high school to college process for their student-athlete. EJP Student-Athlete Advisory services are for families who want to avoid the common pitfalls involved in amateur sports and highly competitive endeavors and for those who would like an objective, experienced advisor alongside the family and student-athlete in their development, performance and need to achieve and maintain a healthy school, sport and life balance.