Many athletes in every sport get recruited as soon as they begin their junior year. For the elite talents, coaches may start showing interest as soon as freshman year. But, for just about everyone else, getting on a coach’s recruiting radar takes work. Fortunately, it’s not hard work, and in most cases, it can be accomplished in these four simple steps.

Step 1. Make The First Move

The easiest way to get a coach’s attention is to send them an introductory email. Tell them who you are, your class year, height and weight, and share some of your highlights, such as your best game, average points, and time in the 40-yard dash. Be sure to note why you’re interested in that program, why you’d be a good fit, and include a link to your recruiting profile that has all your information.

Then, be persistent. If you don’t hear back after a few weeks, send another email that reiterates your first contact. You can also call a coach, but be aware of recruiting regulations that govern when a coach can speak to you, and remember that an email allows a coach to respond when they have the time. If you want to raise your recruiting profile, make the first move and reach out to every school on your target list. If you don’t get favorable responses from some coaches, reconfigure your list and repeat Step 1.

Step 2. Show Off Your Abilities

This does not refer to being a “show off.” Instead, an important part of getting on a coach’s radar is getting seen by that coach. And, since you’re already making the first move by emailing coaches, make a highlight video to include in that email so a coach can get a look at your skills.

A recruiting highlight video doesn’t have to be a career retrospective. Instead, start with your strongest clips and include a range of clips from either games or training that show all your skills. Be sure to include your contact information at the beginning and end and make sure you’re highlighted in any game video. Limit it to 3- to 5-minutes and remember that your highlight video doesn’t have to blow a coach out of his or her chair. It just has to get them interested in seeing more of you.

Step 3. Get In Front Of Coaches

If a coach can’t see you play in person, put yourself in front of coaches at clinics, camps, and showcases. If you’re interested in a particular school, look for camps or clinics put on by that team on campus. If you want to be seen by multiple coaches, showcases and tournaments offer great opportunities to do just that in one place.

But don’t be content with just being seen. You also need to network before, during, and after an event. Email a coach beforehand to let them know you’ll be in attendance at a camp or showcase. Take the opportunity to introduce yourself when you see them at the event. Then follow up afterward with an email thanking them for their time and reminding them of why you might make a good addition to their team.

Step 4. Sharpen Up Your SEO

The biggest element of search engine optimization (SEO) is keywords. In your case, your name is your keyword. Coaches will Google you. What will they see when they do? If there’s anything connected to any of your social media that doesn’t reflect positively on you, delete it.

If you Google yourself and there’s not much there, make your own content. If you’ve been mentioned in your local media, make sure to include links to that in your recruiting profile. Start social media accounts dedicated to your recruiting. Post highlights, updates on your academic and athletic awards, links to media mentions, and note the success of your team, teammates, and school. You don’t have to focus on social media content all the time. Just post occasional updates that will keep a positive image of you at the top of your Google search.

Once you’ve completed these four steps, hopefully, you’ll be on a few or a bunch of recruiting radars. If not, go to Step 5, which is “Don’t give up, reconfigure your target list of schools, and repeat Steps 1-4 until you find the school and program where you’ll fit best.”

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