If you have a high school or club coach that is willing to help you through the recruiting process, consider yourself lucky.
Many coaches don’t want to, or don’t know how to, help their athletes get noticed by college coaches. Some reasons they don’t want to? It takes too much time, and doesn’t directly effect their team’s performance. Therefore, there isn’t a direct benefit to them other than seeing one of their athletes go on and play at the next level. They may also not know how to help you get to the next level: They aren’t familiar with the recruiting rules, ways to expose their top athletes to coaches who are searching for prospects, or what caliber of athlete would qualify at what college division level.
For the lucky few that have smart, proactive coaches in their corner, the benefits are huge: You have someone who can be a good source of contact with college coaches, who often respect the evaluation of a respected high school or club coach and will put their recommended athletes at the top of their recruiting lists.
That can make a big difference when it comes to separating yourself from the crowded list of potential college prospects fighting for the attention of a college program. In the end, I’ve seen the actions of a savvy high school coach make big differences in how their prospects are treated by college coaches who are out searching for talent.
If you want your high school or club coach to help you get recruited, there are a couple of things I strongly recommend you do to help your chances of playing at the next level. Print these tips out or forward them to your coach, and get them on board in helping you reach the next level:
- Tell them exactly what your goals are. It’s critical that they understand that you don’t have hear only from the best of the best college programs, but that you are open to consider any opportunities that might be out there. Coaches sometimes will only get excited at the prospect of one of their athletes going to a “top school” in their sport. If they take this approach, not many of their athletes (if any) will play college sports. Make sure they understand that you want as many contacts as possible, so that you can choose the school and the coach that is the best fit for you. Make sure you communicate that clearly to your coach at the start of the process.
- Ask them what college coaches they have good contact with, and if they would get in touch with them about you. By doing this, you’ll find out if they have any real relationships with college coaches. If they do, great! They can help you get in touch with them and seeing if there are opportunities at those schools. If they don’t, then you know that you may have to go through other sources to get contacts for your college scholarship search. Make sure you see if your coach can help use their contacts to further your chances of playing at the next level.
- Ask them to write a letter or reference for you. Have them send it to you electronically so that you can e-mail it or print it for college coaches. Make sure they list what they like about having you as an athlete, what your strong points are, and what areas you need to improve in. The more information the better. A letter like this won’t guarantee you a scholarship, but it will be an extra measure of proof that you are working hard to improve your performance and working with your coach to make that happen.
Those are three quick ways to ensure that your coach is doing everything they can for you as you get ready to pursue college scholarship opportunities. They’re proven, they work, and they can make a big difference in your end results. By the way, if they haven’t already, make sure they fill out our free high school coach recruiting form on the NCSA website. That’s how a lot of contacts get started with college coaches.
One other thing I want to point out to you is that it isn’t your coach’s “job” to get you recruited. Don’t expect them to give up their personal lives to spend hours and hours devoting time to your college search. The main responsibility for contacting coaches falls on your shoulders. This is your future, and you need to take ownership of the task and make sure you are getting in front of as many coaches as possible. Your coach can help you make that happen, but it isn’t their responsibility to make it happen.
My advice to you is this: Pick one of those three tips I just listed and go to your coach immediately and ask them for their help. That’s the easiest – and fastest – way to get your coach involved in the recruiting process and start seeing results.
Chris Krause, Founder and President