How To Get Recruited

Sometimes high school athletes will ask me this question. They ask "how do I get recruited?" or "how can I get an athletic scholarship?"

I'm not an expert regarding the first question but I still give them advice. I tell them that while self-promotion is important, it is much more important to focus on the process of improving. In order to earn an athletic scholarship or become a walk-on on a college team, you first have to be good enough. You can't fake your way to a scholarship. You can't trick a coach into giving you a scholarship that you don't actually deserve. So worry first about getting good enough. Keep working as hard and smart as you possibly can. Train like a collegiate or pro athlete even while you're in high school. This is how you pass your competition and earn a scholarship. Be so good that coaches and recruiting services can't help but notice you. Focus on the process and let the outcome, promotion, and recruiting take care of itself.

However, it would be naive to say you just need to focus on the process and you don't need to worry about self-promotion at all. It is very possible that you work extremely hard and get good enough to play college sports, but don't get any offers simply because no one noticed you. However, even if this is the case, you can still walk-on at a college and prove yourself in front of coaches. But you'd definitely be better off if you got the attention (and offers) that you deserved.

This attention doesn't always come. Sometimes you have to promote and recruit for yourself. You can do this in many ways. You can upload your film and highlights online. You can post workout videos on your social media. You can sign up for tournaments/events to compete with other good athletes. You can have your high school coach recommend you to college coaches. You can earn honors such as "all-conference," "all-region," or "all-state." These honors do a great job of getting your name out there.

Self-promotion, in itself, can't hurt. It can only help. However, when self-promotion distracts you from the process of improving, it becomes a problem. You should be spending much more time training than trying to promote yourself. And do not think that if you get noticed by a coach, your work is done. You need to continue training hard until the day you sign your letter of intent (and after this also!). Like I said, you can't just fake your way to a scholarship. Coaches will eventually see how good you actually are and how hard you actually work.

So my final advice is to focus on self-promotion for only the necessary amount of time. Don't overdo it, and never let it distract you from your training. What can help is asking your parents, a sibling, or a friend to help run your accounts and do your self-promotion for you. They can be sort of like a volunteer "agent" for you. This way, you don't have to worry much about it and can stay focused on your training.

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