Events are just the start. Deep relationships are what you really want.

Go ahead—talk to coaches about that big tournament you’re attending. But don’t stop there. Don’t disappear just because the tournament is over. Long before and after those showcases— not just during them—you have to keep in touch with the coaches on your list to build real relationships.

Events are great opportunities to contact coaches at the colleges on your list and to get seen in person. Login to CaptainU; ask those coaches if they’re coming to the tournament and if they can see you play. After the event, you might follow up to see if they liked what they saw. That’s all great.

But for some athletes, that’s when the talk stops. Seeing a coach in person seems so important and, without that big moment to talk about, conversation fades.

Here’s the reality, though: If you want to make a great college team, you can never stop working on those relationships. Until you’ve signed with a team, you need to keep sending messages to coaches — even if you don’t have any tournaments coming up in the near future.

Do everything you can to help coaches get to know you. Reach out regularly. It shows them you can be consistent and reliable. Coaches love it when athletes do this because they see they can trust you.

Tournaments are a great way to see coaches face-to-face and showcase your skills. Just make sure you’re contacting coaches long before and after those big moments. Become unforgettable. That’s how you’ll make a great college team.

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