Athletic Recruiting Misconception: I just sent out my highlight tape and expect to hear from all of those coaches soon

Just to let readers know, I will be putting together a series of articles based on common misconceptions with the athletic recruiting process.  This includes why the misconception is a problem and what should be done instead.  In the majority of cases, these misconceptions do not work so it is important to avoid if you want to have success in the athletic recruiting process.

Our first look at an athletic recruiting misconception is something I head often from athletes.  When asking them about the schools that are recruiting them, they usually backtrack and talk about how they just sent tapes out to a number of schools.  The problem is that their highlight video is going to get thrown away without prior contact to the coaches at that school.

I will repeat this as I do many times throughout the site.  There is no doubt in my mind that cold sending your highlight video is a great way to NOT have it be watched by the coaches.  Think about how many recruits who would love to get a scholarship from State University.  Then imagine that 50% are taking the steps needed to make a highlight tape and will be sending it to the coaches.  That ends up being tens of thousands of athletes who randomly send video to schools.  Do you really think that is the way to go about getting your video watched?

Just a quick story to talk about before mentioning what you should do.  A few years back, there was a college basketball prospect from a school in the Midwest.  This athlete was too small to get a scholarship but that didn’t stop him from sending tape all over the country.  I spoke with a college college on the east coast who told me that this athlete had send them his tape.  If they received, how many colleges do you think total ended up with his highlight video?  Think about the time and money that went into his cold sending of these videos.  In the end, I believe he ended up at the Division I level like I had originally assumed.

Why is this misconception a problem?
College coaches have too much on their plate to be watching videos that have been cold sent by recruits that they likely have never heard of before.  A graduate assistant or a student manager may end up watching your tape if the school has a detailed process of what is done when highlight videos are sent in.  But in order to get the tape in front of an assistant coach, cold sending your highlight video is definitely not the way to go.

What should be done?
First off, save your time and money by not randomly sending out tape.  Chances of this ending up good are very, very, very small.  What you should do is before even sending the tape is to market yourself to the colleges that you are interested (see The Five Steps to a Scholarship Offer).  You will want to put together a recruiting profile, find schools that match you, and then market yourself to the schools you are interested in.  I always seem to have to say this but make sure you are not sending your profile just to the Division I schools.  Broaden your search and look into your future major.

After that, track the contact with the coaches.  If they are interested and have shown interest back (which they should in 75% of the emails), ask them if they are interested in evaluating your highlight video.  You can send them a hard copy or make it easier for them by putting the highlights online.  I have heard from a Division I coach that it is much easier to click a link for video of an athlete and then can watch it on their computer with ease.

Getting evaluated and your highlight video watched is not an easy process.  But don’t waste the time in cold sending your video in hopes of a scholarship offer and a massive amount of recruiting attention to suddenly come your way.  It just doesn’t work that way.

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