Being professional on all fronts throughout the athletic recruiting process

As the old saying goes, “you only one chance to make a first impression.”  There is no doubt that rings true in every aspect of life but it must be stressed as well during the athletic recruiting process.  Being professional on all fronts throughout the courting process by college coaches will not guarantee a scholarship offer.  As I have said before, you could follow every word of advice on this site but if you can’t play, the college won’t be paying for your education.  The same is true about your professionalism.

But in my opinion, following the advice of this site and putting together a professional front during the recruiting process is a great way to stand out when compared to other recruits.  It helps put you in the best position to be evaluated.  Some college coaches will also notice the effort that you are making in trying to put the best foot forward in their eyes as well.

The reason that I started thinking about this subject is something very minor.  It is something I can assume must people don’t likely think about on a daily basis.  It is your voice mail message.  If you are a junior football recruit during the month of May and a college coach calls your phone and leaves a message, what are they going to think?  Again, this really is not something that will cost you a scholarship.  But considering all of the “interesting” messages that I have heard, it could be something minor to think about.

I have compared the recruiting process to trying to find a job.  When looking for a job, it is important to wear a suit, have a neat resume, and show off your professional side.  This can be compared to an athlete’s recruiting profile, voice mail, appearance, and everyday demeanor.  The education and work history of a job seeker can be compared to your ability on the football field, basketball court, or whatever sport you play.  In order to get the job/scholarship, your background and abilities must match what the employer/college is looking for.

There are some situations where companies just are not hiring.  Considering the struggles that our country is going through economically, that should not be much of a surprise.  In the field of athletics, your dream school may not be taking any player at your position in this current recruiting class.  The key is finding the right college at the right time.  You may have been perfect the year before but not right now.

Getting back to the point of the article, take a look at your athletic recruiting profile (hopefully this is something you have already made but if not click here now).  Try to look at it from the eyes of a college coach.  It may also be worth having some friends and your high school coach look at it.  What does it really say about you?  Was it sloppily done while you were in a hurry one night?

If you have made a recruiting highlight video, what do you feel that says about you and your abilities?  Are there random clips included throughout the whole video with extra time that the coaches will get annoyed by?  Putting your most professional foot forward makes you really think about this stuff.

And last, what about your emails to college coaches?  Are you using the same boring template to each coach when marketing yourself?  Why not take fifteen minutes for each school that you are sending your information off to and do some quick research.  I can promise you that if you use that time wisely, you can learn some interesting things about the program.  And if you do that, make sure to include in each email you are sending out to college coaches.  This shows that you are serious about their school and professional about the process.

Like I have said before, the key to getting a college scholarship is having the ability to play your chosen sport.  But you can help improve your stock by marketing yourself, showcasing your skills to be evaluated, and putting a professional foot forward the entire time.


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