While it’s easy to believe athletes at large high schools and elite club programs get all the recruiting attention, that’s not necessarily true. The reality is if you compete in a small town or play for a small school, and you have the talent to play at the next level, coaches will find you. You might just have to put in a little extra work and follow these three tips to make it happen.
- Record and Post Everything
If you’re not at a high-visibility program or you’re simply playing for a smaller school, it’s never been easier to be seen and recruited by college coaches. Simply record and post everything you do to your online recruiting profile. In addition to all the basics needed on a recruiting profile, include links to your game highlight video, your training videos showing your athleticism (including speed, skill, strength, and agility), and even your offseason workouts.
The key to getting recruited as a small school student-athlete is to get seen. However, the downside to being seen as a small-town athlete is that you’re competing against other small schools and might be judged accordingly. That’s why it’s important to post not only game highlights but workouts, training sessions, and even pickup games. Remember to segment or label each video accordingly on your online profile and limit what you have posted to your best or most recent clips (coaches don’t have the time to go through 20 videos). The goal is to demonstrate your athleticism and show coaches you can go from a small school to the big stage.
- Sign On To A Travel Or Club Team
While it may not be feasible for every athlete or their family, if you’re at a small school, joining a travel team or club team is an ideal way to get seen by more coaches against tougher competition. You may have to travel to a larger town or continue playing long after your school season ends, but the potential for exposure and stiffer competition makes it a worthwhile endeavor. In many cases, club or travel tournaments or leagues may be as close to college-level competition as a high school-age student-athlete will find. And it may only take one game and one coach to discover what you have to offer.
With all that said, remember that not every club or travel team is created equal. The skills, experience, and goals of the coaches can vary wildly. Expenses can vary from team to team as well. If you’re not sure if a particular club or travel team is right for you, reach out to your coach or school administrators for some extra guidance.
- Get Online To Get Recruited
One area where everyone has the same access is social media. And there’s no better way for a small town or small school athlete to get in front of coaches than via social media. Yes, you still want to fill out the recruiting questionnaire for any and every school you’re interested in, but a great way to catch a coach’s attention is to reach out to them via Twitter or Instagram.
To get started, simply look for the colleges you’re interested in, whether it’s Division I, Division III, junior college, or anything in between. Find the social media accounts for head coaches, assistant coaches, and even the strength and weight coaches. Then. follow their accounts and direct message them, introduce yourself, express your interest in their program, and send links to your online profile and highlight videos.
You may not see results right away, as every coach uses social media differently. But once a conversation starts and programs start following you, post updates with your accomplishments and new highlight videos. You may feel like a small fish in a big sea, but it only takes one coach to see you’ve got what it takes to go from a small school to the big time.
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