“It always looks good when players include highlights from a secondary sport if possible”
So many athletes aspire to play the sport that they love at the collegiate level. But the path to playing college sports is different for each and every person. These 4 tips will give some insight into having a positive experience in recruiting and finding the right school and standing out from the rest of the crowd.
1. Keep your options open
Lots of different schools and programs are out there. As lucrative and prestigious as a spot on a Division I team sounds, there are so many opportunities to play college sports. Division II and III schools are in many locations and offer different academic opportunities as well as a chance for an athlete to have a better chance at early playing time. Many successful division II/III athletes that play at a high level have the same physical ability to have played for a Division I team. However, they may have chosen Division II/III for a number of reasons – academic, location, family, monetary, etc. Do not underestimate the successes and great experiences that can be attained by playing a non-Division I sport.
2. Make a highlight video that stands out
Having a highlight video that showcases some of your abilities and successes is an important way to get easy recognition by recruiters and coaches. While some coaches at recruiting tournaments may miss some of your best plays, having them on film to send to coaches can make up for any mishaps. Your highlight video should include a good amount of plays from your season, but it should also have good quality and visibility. Coaches will not want to watch your tape if they cannot see you clearly in the screen. This is where the “standing out” factor is the key. A great strategy athletes use in highlight tapes is to put their best plays near the beginning as attention grabbers, then scatter in a few good plays for the remainder of the video.
3. Showcase other abilities besides just playing your sport
It’s a good idea to keep in mind coaches like to see well-rounded athletes and people. They view prospective players not only as athletes, but also as young men and women who they work with daily and can possibly make an impact on their lives. The most successful college teams have great people, not just great athletes, on the field and in the locker room. College coaches know this and want these types of people in their program. Other information on awards and recognitions can be displayed in a highlight video include being an honors student or a team captain. The list is endless as athletes are many times so much more than what their sport shows.
4. Highlight other sports you play
It always looks good when players include highlights from a secondary sport if possible. Specialization seems to be a major part of today’s sports culture with athletes playing only one sport for a long period of time. Currently some of our country’s greatest athletes were two-sport athletes in high school – LeBron James (all-state football and basketball player). Not only does playing multiple sports prevent the burnout effect that most athletes experience, but it also can be viewed positively by coaches as they see someone who can balance their schedules with multiple sports.