In a recent article by Nelson Gord, Director of Next College Student Athlete (NCSA), the process for making contact with college coaches was laid out in some detail. As I read through all the suggestions designed to move the athlete from obscurity onto the radar screen of selected coaches, the process on the pages in front of me seemed oddly familiar.
Mr. Gord dispensed with the misconception that high school athletes were not allowed to contact college coaches. He replaced those misconceptions with facts concerning the matter. Similarly, non-athletes believe that contacting college admissions counselors is something that only juniors or seniors do. In both cases; contacting college representatives as an eighth grader or freshman student is not too early.
Families were encouraged to do their homework before launching into full assault mode on attractive colleges. It was suggested that athletes organize and update their highlight or skills videos every six months, have their athletic stats verified by a third-party from a combine or other event, provide GPA and ACT/SAT scores, provide contact information for themselves, parents, club/high school coach and personal trainers, schedules for upcoming games, tournaments, camps or showcases and most importantly why you are interested in this particular program.
The system by which this information is presented should be factual and efficient. Anything considered to be a waste of time will not get the desired attention. An introductory email is the best, first contact followed by a phone call. Once contact has been made, it should be maintained. Sharing new information and updates about achievements and schedules is vital to remain top of mind for the coaches. You are essentially making the job or recruiting you easy. Helping busy coaches save time will always be viewed in a favorable light.
Every step in this athletic recruitment process is applicable to the student seeking an academic degree. More and more colleges are accepting and sometime requesting videos of students explaining why they want to attend their school. The grades and test scores will always be of great interest to any admission representative. Your past, present and future coursework are of great importance; and making a compelling case about what attracted you to their school can be very impressive. Whether your talent is in athletics or academics, getting noticed is the name of the game.