Recruiting is Like..

5 Things Kanye West Can Teach You About Recruiting


Inspiration can come from the strangest places. He’s certainly not the perfect role model, but you might be surprised how much Kanye West can teach you about getting recruited for college sports.

What could he possibly teach you? Read on to find out.

1. Get noticed
Whether he’s tearing apart a Maybach, rocking a gold chain the size of a rope, or shocking everybody with a Twitter lecture about changing the world, Kanye West knows how to get noticed. Say what you want about him, but he’s a master of standing out.

You don’t necessarily want to get noticed in the same ways as Kanye – he’s had his share of bad behavior and you definitely don’t want to copy him in that way. For an athlete, the number-one way to do this is to always have your motor going and play at 100% – because you never know who’s watching. Second: have outstanding grades and test scores. Baltimore center Matt Birk scored a 34 on his ACT – that, along with a stellar GPA, was enough to send him to Harvard on scholarship.

Standing out can also mean extracurricular activities – how many tight ends were on the chess team? How many runners also starred in the school play?

Maybe chess and theater aren’t your thing, but if you are unique – in a good way – coaches will notice and you will stand out from the tons of other athletes who want the same scholarship you do.

2. Build a strong track record and be persistent
Kanye didn’t become the biggest name in rap overnight – he started working in 1996. It was almost a decade before he came out with his first album.

But because didn’t give up and kept doing quality work, he built a strong resume and got noticed.

You’re in the same spot – even if your team isn’t great, even if you don’t think your coach is being fair, keep doing good work and recording it because college coaches will want to see that game tape.

3. Learn from the best
To hear him talk, you might think Kanye got to where he is today all by himself – but he didn’t. He worked with top artists like Jay-Z, Mos Def, The Game, Nas, and John Legend. He learned from people with different perspectives and more experience than him, and it paid off.

Any good athlete is doing the same thing. Swallow your pride and talk to the older guys on the team – they may have some tricks you could use. Older guys, you might be surprised how helpful a fresh perspective and be – so talk to the young guys, you’re never too old to learn.

4. Become a social media master
Kanye’s Twitter feed is packed with interesting stuff that shows his love of music (and Louis Vuitton, and Prada, and Gucci…), but most importantly it shows the kind of person he is.

You can use social media to show coaches and everybody else that you are a smart, honest, dedicated, hard-working, team player. Say things that show that, share things that show that.

Kanye isn’t really the kind of person college coaches are looking for, and you don’t necessarily want to emulate the way he acts (remember this is 5 things you can learn from Kanye West, not 5 ways to be like Kanye West). But you should emulate the way he uses social media to express himself.

Which brings us to the last point.

5. Stay humble
Sometimes you can learn as much from somebody’s mistakes as you can from their successes, and Kanye is definitely a guy like that. For all his success, fame, and fortune, he’s constantly making problems for himself because of a big head and a big mouth.

Don’t make the same mistake.

Even if you’re the best player on the team, respect the other guys, keep working hard, and don’t let it go to your head, because:

  • There’s always somebody out there better than you
  • Ego hurts the team, and coaches hate it (click here to see how keeping his ego in check got former UNC star Marvin Williams recruited)
  • Staying humble is the right (gentlemanly, ladylike) thing to do

When you think back on the great athletes, those who were respected, who were legends, who were leaders: they always stayed humble. The only thing more impressive than a great athlete is a great athlete who is gracious.

What other non-athletes do you think you can learn a lot from? Share in the comments!


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About the author
Aaron Sorenson