A few weeks back, I put together an article that talked about ways to save money throughout the athletic recruiting process and even specifically for the football recruiting process. One of the ten that drew a lot of attention was related to this. Do not send out tape unless a coach requests it: It makes me sick when recruits tell me that they send out game tape and don’t get a response. The reason is because it is not a smart thing to do and it wastes time and money. College coaches have a hard enough time viewing all of the tape that they request. If you are sending tape without making prior contact, you might as well just get your tape, put it in a package, get postage for it, and then throw it away. That is likely what happens anyways when you do this.
I received some very interesting responses to this and some more questions. If I don’t send out the game tape, then how exactly are college coaches going to watch my highlight video? Let me tell you that sending out tape prior to hearing from the coaches will not get you a ton of interest. One athlete emailed me about doing this and you would be surprised about the lack of responses:
I will keep the name of the athlete out of the picture but what he said was very important to this article.
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“I’ve submitted film to over 40 schools over the summer, film from my 2009 season. I got letters back from about eight or nine saying that they would review it and then get in touch with me. I haven’t heard directly back from any of those schools that replied with letters.
Let me first state that what this athlete did is the exact same thing that a lot of athletes do. They think that the best way to draw interest from college coaches throughout the the country is by what I call “cold sending” a tape. What I mean by this is that it is when you have zero contact with the coaches at the school and think that if your highlight tape is good enough, they will start being interested and hopefully extend a scholarship offer your way.
You may have a highlight tape as good as Reggie Bush but in the majority of cases, if you cold send the video, the highest person on the coaching staff that may watch it is a graduate assistant. That is likely the very most. Outside of that, most tapes that are cold sent end up in the garbage and that means you wasted a great deal of your time and money.
What I need athletes out there to think about is I am sure most players would love to get a scholarship offer from the likes of LSU or USC. Lets say hypothetically that 1,000 kids in 25 different states have that same dream and try to send their highlight tapes to those schools. Each of these top tier programs would have at least 25,000 highlight tapes sent to them. Do you really think they have the time to spend watching each and every highlight video? Then ask yourself, why are you sending it out as well?
If you have a pipedream to play at one of those schools, instead of making a tape and sending it, why not email them and link them to your highlights online? If they hate it, all that it took you was the ten minutes or so tracking down their email address and then writing why you would love to play for the Trojans or the Tigers.
Tomorrow I plan to talk about what are the best steps to get your video footage in front of college coaches. I have said it before but it is not an easy process to do. You need to have a good football resume (aka your recruiting profile), be persistent, and hope that these two attributes are enough.
But again, before going out after the season and tossing 50 tapes in the mail, think about what the recruit above said about what happened to him. He sent out 40 tapes and let’s say nine schools contacted him back. That is a 22.5% chance of even hearing from the schools that you sent the tape to. These schools are likely the nicer ones with the time to actually consider reviewing them. Since then, 0% of the schools have contacted him directly about the tape afterwards. Is that really worth the time and effort to follow a similar path?
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