STEP 3: BEGINNING THE COMMUNICATION PROCESS
The communication process in recruiting is very complex with many different roads you can take. Throw in the NCAA Recruiting Rules for communication and things can get messy. Speaking of NCAA Recruiting Rules, let’s first understand the facts. Quickly read this overview of communication do’s and don’ts before moving on. Remember that rules vary slightly between division. You want to make this communication process as personal as possible between you and the college coach while also trying to open up as many opportunities as you can.
Action Plan: First, get your list into the hands of people you trust. This could be your travel ball coach, your pitching or hitting coach, or the team’s “recruiting coordinator.” Let me be clear, your future is in your own hands, however, if you can have a few people acting on your behalf, lending an extra set of eyes and ears, that’s obviously beneficial. For example, if Boise State strolls up to watch one of your teammates, or even one of your opponents play, what a perfect opportunity to let them know that someone else on the field is very interested in their program. You bet they’ll keep their eye on you while they’re there! But if nobody knows they’re on your list then you may miss those opportunities.
Second, begin to send out emails. If you do not have a direct route to the coach you’ll have to start the communication process somehow, I recommend emailing before calling. It gives the coach something they can hold on to and refer back to if necessary, especially because rules don’t allow back and forth communication until your junior year. Your email should include mostly facts and a little bit of fluff. Keep it as brief and precise as possible.
1) Your Name, Grad year, Position, and Travel Team
2) Your upcoming schedule if applicable (Tournament name, location, game times and fields) Don’t let a coach “guess” if they’re watching the right team, get them all the right information. Email this information early in the week, as soon as you get your schedule.
3) Your coaches name(s) and contact information (In case college coach needs more information on you or your schedule)
1) A little about you and what you’re looking for in a college. This is where the research you did in Steps 1 and 2 come in handy. For example: “I was immediately drawn to XYZ University because not only am I looking to major in Early Childhood Education but…” or “I have family about 30 minutes outside of the city and have followed your program for the last several years…” etc.
2) You can also include any significant honors you’ve recently received. Avoid adding too many stats unless they are notable championship-tournament.
Finally, attach a short video. While what you have to say in the body of your email may sound interesting to the college coach, they are going to want to know if you are “worth” reaching out to contacts about, or better yet, are they going to add you to their “must-see” list. In this time of technology-at-your-fingertips, it’s easy to snap off some game footage or run the camera during part of a hitting or pitching session. If you want to take it a step further you can add a small introduction at the beginning that shows your personality and a little about yourself as an athlete. Try to keep the video length around 30-45 seconds. If you can find a way to separate yourself from the group you will give yourself better opportunities to be seen. Here is an example of a short but effective video:
Step 3 is titled “Beginning the Communication Process” for a reason, it is a process not a single action. Like any good relationship communication should become easier over time. Communication will flow smoother with certain schools and others will fall from your list. Be patient but be persistent.
If you are an uncommitted 2018 grad, do not panic. There are still plenty of opportunities for you. Continue with the above communication steps, broaden your list, and I would recommend searching for reputable camps specifically for those uncommitted in your grad year.