Every high school athlete's dream is to play their sport at the collegiate level. In order to make that dream a reality, they need to get recruited. For the last 30 years, April through July is when the bulk of recruiting happened for basketball players. However, due to national shutdown and shelter-in-place orders, the class of 2021 and younger hoping to play sports at the collegiate level, will need to be more proactive and change strategies to get in front of coaches.
For some players, they may already have a list of scholarship offers that are not impacted by the current restrictions, but for the majority, this spring and summer was their opportunity to start their recruiting process.
During these unprecedented times, we believe players now have two options: Do nothing or take action on their own and find a way to start their recruiting process! Read on below for five detailed steps players can take to get recruited during quarantine.
Coaches utilize Social Media to get to know players before recruiting. Use your social media accounts as a cover letter to highlight your personal skills and for your basketball career.
Treat the recruiting process like an interview. Before you go in for an interview you have to apply for the job. When you apply, you send in your resume with a cover letter. Your Twitter page is a great platform to use as your cover letter. The purpose of a cover letter is to introduce yourself, draw attention to your resume, and motivate the reader to interview you. Oftentimes, your cover letter is the first contact you will have with a prospective employer. Your cover letter should market your character as well as show your passion for what you are applying for.
College coaches spend a lot of time surfing twitter using it as a tool to recruit players and also a way to get to know that player better. Your Twitter page should include a bio with a brief breakdown about you (ex. Height, AAU/Club, and accomplishments). It should also have a link to your basketball highlights, which will serve as your resume (refer to step 2 in the basketball highlights section for what the highlight should consist of). Lastly, your pinned tweet should be a tweet that represents you giving an inside look at who you are as a person.
Your scouting report should consist of a highlight film with a brief player profile and clips showcasing your strengths.
Before playing a game coaches research their opponent extensively to prepare.. This is called a scouting report. College coaches do the same when it is time to recruit. They want to see what you have to offer. College coaches use the scouting report to see if you are a good fit for what they are looking for.
Your highlight film is your resume. A resume is a way to list your qualifications for the job you are interested in. It is also a great tool to showcase your value.
Do’s and Don’ts of Creating a Highlight Film:
Being realistic is very important to getting recruited and ultimately landing in the right spot.
One of our codes at M14 is, ‘Dream big, but live in reality’. This is a tough pill to swallow because you never want to sell yourself short. Before you can successfully start your recruiting process you must identify what level you should be looking at: Division I, II, III, or NAIA. Most players have no idea what level they are capable of playing at because they simply have never done it. But don’t worry, you know someone that does… your coaches!
Reach out to your high school coach, AAU coach, and your trainer and ask what level they think you can play at. No one knows you better as a player than your coaches. You spend most of your basketball hours with one of these three individuals and they should be able to lead you in the right direction. Now, be prepared for honest feedback, this means you may hear a level that you are not excited about. Don’t forget the first part of the code: DREAM BIG! Whatever level they tell you, make that your main focus, but DREAM BIG and pick 10 schools one level higher. You never know what may come of it.
Your next steps should be:
Pick up the phone & contact coaches!
After you have narrowed down your list of schools, it's time to get to work and start contacting them. The best way to contact each school is by email, text, or direct message on Twitter. Technology has made the recruiting process a lot easier for coaches to communicate with athletes. However, when it's time to be recruited, players have to realize that they are not the only one reaching out to coaches.
Talking to a college coach directly on the phone is a great way to separate yourself from all the other recruits who are communicating via text, social media, or email. Calling a college coach helps the coach and recruit learn more about each other. This will also help players determine whether or not the school is a good fit. Don't get discouraged if you get rejected or no response on the phone call, this will happen. It is important to stay consistent and remember you will eventually find the right fit and, when you do, you will know!
Coaches, Trainers, Teachers & Program Directors. Utilize your references to provide a source of credibility.
After you finished step four, and picked up the phone and made a few connections with a few coaches, you should have an idea of which schools you would be a good fit at.
Ask your coaches (high school/aau), trainers, teachers, and mentors for a write up or video as a reference. Utilizing your mentors within the basketball community to provide a recommendation on your behalf will help give your resume more credibility and provide helpful insight to college coaches about who you are as a player/student-athlete.