Updated: Aug 31, 2020
Written by Geoff Raives, Director of Partnerships
Recruiting 101: You need a player profile. Why? It's the first thing a college coach is going to look at to learn more about you. So, how do you make your profile stand out? What exactly are college coaches looking for? What information should you add (or not add) that will highlight you as a student, athlete, and as a person, knowing that thousands of others just like you are vying for the same roster spot?
In our last “Communication Counts” blog post, we talked about having a plan in place, and how the athlete’s and parent’s responsibility and roles differ. Now, let’s look at the Player Profile and how you can use this tool to layout your unique qualities.
Your profile is your resume. It gives coaches a glimpse of who you are as a student, athlete, and as a person.
First, Ask Yourself:
Is a coach looking to bring in a great player… or a student-athlete/all around good person who can add to their environment or program?
What makes me unique as a student, person, and player that will make a coach want to find out more about me?
Can a coach easily navigate through my profile and other info?
Do I like the way my profile looks/feels?
By asking yourself these important questions, you can evaluate whether or not to add new information to your profile. You want to add exciting and up-to-date info.
So what should you consider adding to your profile to help make yourself stand out from others?
Must - Haves:
I won’t spend too much time here, as these are a given. Club/Team, Grad Year, Position(s), GPA, Test Scores (if applicable), NCAA and NAIA Eligibility Numbers (when applicable), contact info (whether yours or your coach’s), and any stats or honors that help highlight you as a student and as an athlete.
A highlight video was already important before the pandemic, but now it is crucial. A highlight video is meant to entice a coach to come watch you play live, however, without events and showcases taking place, they may turn to highlight videos to make decisions on recruiting for their programs. You need to show them what type of player you are and how you may fit in to their program.
Length: Typically, a video should be anywhere from 3 - 5 minutes after multiple updates. If you don’t have 3 minutes of good footage when making your first cut, that’s okay. It's better to have a critical eye and only include 1 minute of good clips than to have a boring 3 minute video that quickly lands you on the "do not recruit list." But, even after 3 minutes, DON'T STOP FILMING! Ultimately you want to replace your good clips with great clips, and then replace the great clips with amazing clips… and eventually you have a 3 to 5 minute video worthy of truly showcasing your talents.
What to Display: Put your best plays first! Show them your strengths, whether on or off the ball. This helps coaches evaluate your place in their program both offensively and defensively, regardless of your position.
Visibility: Make yourself obvious – use a spot shadow, arrow, circle, something! Do this for every single clip. If a coach can’t figure out who they are watching they will just move on or turn off the video.
The Whole Picture: When filming games and scrimmages, make sure the coach can see what is going on around the ball and allow them to see a couple seconds before and after you make a play so they have a full understanding of your thought process and intentions.
Lack of Footage: If you only have enough to create a 30-45 second video, go ahead and start there, and continue to build as you get more footage. Something is better than nothing when it comes to your video.
No Footage: Improvise! Set something up in your backyard or even living room with you juggling or going through technical work. Try introducing yourself and say why you would be an asset to a college team. If you have no footage, sometimes just making a video and being creative or giving some insight to you as a player or person can help you stand out… but make sure to add game footage once you obtain it.
Goalkeeper? For a GK, strongly consider a training video that will be able to show off your range, athleticism, reflexes, and overall shot stopping ability. The camera angle positioned directly on the field can more easily highlight your skills than having to film from the stands.
Check out our quick video with even more tips HERE
Social Media Accounts:
…but maybe not your personal ones.
Social media has been a huge problem for college sports in general, as it has led to many players losing scholarships and roster spots. Many athletes won’t add their personal social media tags to their profile because they question what a college coach may think. Let’s start there – that’s not a bad assumption. Let me put it this way – if you don’t want your Mom or Dad to see this post…you don’t want a college coach to see it either. This goes for not only your own posts, but for photos and posts in which your friends may tag you. Many coaches have someone browse recruits’ social media accounts in search of “red flags” or things they don’t want to bring into their program. This is a good reminder to clear out anything on social media that doesn’t reflect on you in a positive light.
However, social media can also be a huge asset, if you have impressive content that helps show what you do both on and off the field. You just may want to consider having separate accounts just for recruiting, while keeping your personal accounts private. Next time you have that huge play, pass, save or goal, add it to social media. If you volunteer, consider adding footage of this work, assuming it’s okay with that particular organization. Keep up with your favorite programs and congratulate them on their wins. These types of things give coaches an idea of what makes you – you.
You should know by now that having good grades makes it easier to get into schools and get recruited, and if you disagree… get to work! If you have impressive grades, it is important to put this front and center. Adding your transcripts and list of upper-level courses can help highlight you as a students.
Further, coaches will need to see your transcripts at some point if they’re interested in recruiting you, so this will save both you and the coach some time in the future. Different divisions have different eligibility requirements, so a coach may be able to quickly point out that you’re missing a mandatory course or maybe you are close to achieving a certain academic award given out by the school. Wouldn’t you want to know if you were 0.1 or 0.2 away on your GPA from getting an academic merit award? The more info you give, the more club and college coaches can help you along the way.
References/Letters of Recommendation:
It is very important to have people who can vie for the type of person, student, and player you are. These recommendations or even conversations that your references may have with college coaches, can sometimes be the difference between you getting recruited or passed by for one else. Keep in mind that it is your responsibility to show your character, work rate, and ability – your references are just confirming it.