Don’t worry if you’re from a small town or a less known area, this article breaks down “How to be a hot athlete recruit even if you’re outside a sports recruiting hotbed”.
More than half of all top college football recruits come from Texas, Florida, California, and Georgia. The majority of both men’s and women’s college hockey players hail from Minnesota, Michigan, and the northeast U.S. California produces the most college softball players, but if you live in Vermont, the likelihood of playing in college is .0017%. Add it all up and where you live can actually have an effect on how you’re recruited for college sports and by whom.
While a geographic bias may seem unfair, it ultimately comes down to budget. Recruiting budgets can vary greatly between sports, schools, and programs. Those with smaller budgets have to prioritize their visits to be able to see and evaluate as many recruits as possible during each recruiting trip. And, if you don’t live in or near one of those hotbed areas, then you’ll need to follow these steps to get yourself on the radars of recruiters:
Expand Your Search
It’s only natural that you’ll want to earn an athletic scholarship to play at one of the schools on your prospect list. However, the same attributes that put a given school at the top of your list probably appeal to many other athletes as well. That means your competition might be tough and, if you don’t live in a recruiting hotbed for your sport, it might be extra tough.
So, regardless of what schools are on your list, expand it. Look at what other schools have to offer, whether they’re smaller, larger, or even in different, lower divisions. Casting a bigger net in your search will give you plenty of options and contingency plans. If you’re off the beaten recruiting path for your sport, do everything you can to get on the radars of as many coaches as possible.
Make A Five-Star Recruiting Video
If you haven’t done so already, make sure the action in your highlight video will help you jump off the screen and onto a coach’s radar. Remember, coaches can look at a hundred or more videos a day so, if you’re in an under-recruited area, your highlight video will be one of your best opportunities to get noticed.
Remember to include your best game highlights and update your video as your skills develop and your playing time increases. And, since you’re using your highlight video to get your foot in the door with college coaches, remember to include your stats, physical measurements, GPA, and entrance exam scores too.
Get In Front Of A Coach
If a coach can’t see you play in person, find a way to put yourself in front of that coach. If a school you’re interested in offers camps or combines, sign up and attend them. If you wind up traveling a fair distance to get to one camp, look for camps and combines from other nearby schools to get the most bang for your buck. In addition, be sure to send your highlight video to the coaches at those schools ahead of time and let those same coaches know you’ll be attending their recruiting event, so they’ll be on the lookout for you.
Accent Your Academics
If you’re looking for an extra recruiting edge, look no further than your grades. If a coach is deciding between you and a similar recruit, the player with the higher GPA and better ACT or SAT score will almost always earn the scholarship offer, regardless of where they’re from. In addition, if you’re being considered by a smaller school with fewer scholarships, eligibility for an academic scholarship will provide a coach more options to assemble a package of academic and partial athletic scholarships.
Promote Yourself Online
Regardless of where you live, you can reach a national audience via Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Displaying your skills on social media makes it easy to get on a coach’s radar and, at the same time, you can follow the schools you’re interested in and interact with coaches. Just remember to keep your posts positive and focused on you and your accomplishments, on the field and in the classroom, so that, when a coach does view your feed, he or she can quickly see who you are, what you’re about, and what you have to offer.
If you live outside of a recruiting hotbed, follow these tips and you can still stand out. And don’t give up. You may have to work a little longer and harder, but no matter where you live if you have the talent and desire to play at the next level, the right athletic program and the right school will find you.
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