5 Easy Steps to Help Market Yourself to College Coaches
Marketing has a place in all facets of life. It plays an important role of communication ideas and persuading people. As a prospective college athlete, you can use marketing for your advantage. Presenting an appealing version of you as a person, not just an athlete, can improve your odds of being recruited.
Here are five steps to help football kickers and punters market themselves to college coaches.
1. Have Good Relationships with Coaches
A large number of college football athletes are stars at the high school level. While excelling on the field is important, it will not be the thing that makes you stand out to recruiters. College coaches look for team players who are coachable. Learning technique, skills and the playbook will get you on the field quicker than being athletic. This starts with spending time with your head coach, coordinator or position to master your position and the scheme. Become someone who always wants to learn more about the game. Unlike high school, one person cannot win a game in college. At the collegiate level, everyone has to buy in to the team. By being a team player and having the drive to always learn from your coaches, you will be more valuable to colleges.
2. Quantity and Quality is Important for Game Reels
Most of the time, college coaches are unable to show up in person for more than one of your games. Therefore, it is important to film your best highlights and make reels. These highlights should not include big plays, but also plays where you created an opportunity for another player. For example, a defensive lineman who gets double teamed and forces the quarterback into a sack. That is something noteworthy because it shows that teams need to double team you in order to slow you down. Including plays that display how you make your teammates better adds a different type of highlight to your reel. Your game footage should also be high quality. If your team does not film the game, have someone record the game with a camcorder, not a phone, to show your gameplay. Having good highlights is important for coaches to have interest in you.
3. Have a Social Media Presence
Many people know stories about athletes losing scholarships due to their social media posts. But, social media can be a great way to get your name out there. I strongly urge athletes who want to play in college to use Twitter. Tweeting out Hudl or game highlights and retweeting positive tweets about your football team enhances your image as a player. In addition, sharing your teammates highlights and having your teammates share yours increases viewership. Social media has a negative connotation for athletes and non-athletes in regards to getting into college. Athletes can use it to their advantage for recruiting purposes and representing themselves online in a positive manner.
4. Learn Email Etiquette
While face-to-face communication can make a good or bad impression, face-to-face communication with college coaches is limited. They juggle lots of recruits and are constantly traveling. This is where email comes into play. Email is the most formal type of communication online. Therefore, it is essential to communicate in an effective and understandable way. As bad as it seems, the most important thing when typing an email is to not sound stupid. Proper grammar and correct spelling help present a positive, professional image of you as an athlete and as a person. If it is a lengthy or highly important email, I recommend having a trusted parent, friend or coach look it over before you click send.
5. Use Who You Know to Your Advantage
Networking is a valuable tool for getting your foot in the door. Any coach, family friend, who can help you get connected to a program or coach is someone that you should use to your advantage. In particular, reach out to your coaches. College football programs love to establish relationships with high schools. If a player from your school was recruited by colleges that you interested in, odds are they familiar with what kind of athletes come from the program. College coaches, especially recruiting coordinators, talk often with high school coaches. But, they cannot always communicate with you. While college coaches have strict regulations on when they can contact athletes, athletes are always able to reach out to schools and coaches. Use your freedom as a student-athlete to contact the institutions or people that are on your radar.