Athletic Recruiting

Times Change: Understanding the Importance of Technology in Recruiting

game tape

You have to make it easy for college coaches to recruit you.

In 2017, technology impacts the entire recruiting journey, and having an online profile to showcase the athletic, academic and character strengths of your student-athlete is crucial.

When I worked with families to help connect their athletes to college coaches and scholarships, we would send out paper resumes and follow up with VHS tapes. That seems like the Jurassic era compared to the technology savvy systems now in place.

Coaches do their initial evaluation of recruits online

College Coaches love being able to do an initial evaluation of a prospect online. Obviously, a lot more will go into the recruiting process. They will need to see the recruit in person, get them in for visits, and much more, but the online profile is an effective way to open the door in recruiting. And I have seen plenty of examples of this.

I was speaking to Mishawaka High School Principal Jerome Calderone. He talked about how an online profile “got his son out there” in recruiting.

I spoke on recruiting at the New Balance Track and Field Nationals. While there, a Pac 12 Head Coach came over and said “one-stop shopping” was what he preferred in recruiting. He wanted the ability to see verified academic information, athletic resume, and some video all in one place. Why? Because coaches don’t have to travel all over the country to see a recruit play anymore. It is a luxury college coaches didn’t use to have. It makes it easier on them and their families. This trend is getting stronger every year.

One-stop shopping in college recruiting

I received insight into where technology is heading, in general, in high school sports. While speaking at Indianapolis Cathedral High School, a coach there told me how they were now exchanging game video with other teams online. He shook his head as he talked about the adjustment, but then mentioned it was a good thing.

Times change. Roy Williams, 2-time National Champion coach of North Carolina, used to have a job as a Carolina assistant where he would literally drive big tapes of “The Dean Smith Show” all across North Carolina to TV stations. The show would be taped on the weekend, and young Roy would then load up the tapes and make sure they got to the TV stations before they were to air on Sunday.

Nowadays, “The Roy Williams Show” is sent via satellite to all the stations that carry it. No reason to drive it. Times change.

I was in the office of a D1 Top 25 ranked men’s tennis program. The head coach said they only had one DVD sent in recently. Everything else was online. He brought me over to show some of the emails. They were links to You Tube videos.

“This player has gone way too long on his forehand video,” said the Coach.


He didn’t have the time to wait for the video to get to the backhand. He deleted the crappy ones left and right. Zap. Zap. Zap. Off they went into internet oblivion.

He showed me some good ones, and more bad ones, but the point was just about everything was online.

Jimmy Gonzalez was involved in recruiting at such schools as Notre Dame and Oklahoma State. While talking to him, he recounted in the old days of having to reach here for the kid’s DVD, there for the transcripts, and over there for other information. He marvels at how it can all be put together in an online profile today. It makes it easier for everyone. The coach, the athlete, the family.

Get online or get in line

You have one shot in the recruiting process. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression on college coaches. As competitive as it is for those scholarships out there, I have heard it put bluntly: Either get online or in line behind the families that are going all-out to get their athletes scholarships.

To learn more about how long your video should be and what should be in your online profile, click here to set up an evaluation with a college scout.

Former sports anchor Charlie Adams writes weekly on recruiting and motivation for NCSA

Charlie Adams was a sports anchor for 23 years in markets such as New Orleans and South Bend where he saw many families struggle with the recruiting process because of a lack of education on the subject. Charlie is a supporter of NCSA’s message of Athleadership and often speaks on the recruiting process. His son was a college athlete, his oldest daughter will be a freshman college swimmer starting this fall, and his youngest daughter is very involved in AAU travel team basketball as a 6th grader. Since 2005 Charlie has been a motivational speaker with his keynotes and seminars often being based on sports-related themes. Corporate leaders that bring him in as a speaker often tell him that they seek to hire former college athletes because those athletes bring the ability to manage time, lead, compete, set and reach goals, and work as team players because of their college athletics background. For more information you can reach him at or go to

About the author
Charlie Adams