Aspiring to be a college athlete is a goal among many McNicholas students. Getting noticed by college coaches is getting more difficult for high school students, especially when college coaches are starting to look for potential athletes as early as the 8th grade.
A popular way to get noticed by coaches is through email correspondence. The email should be professional but have a personal touch. Student athletes need to include facts about themselves, stats, positions, and a video highlighting their skills. Although a video is optional, it is highly recommended by college coaches. Sending an email before the season and/or before tournaments is also important, so coaches have the opportunity to watch the athlete perform.
Senior Liz Wittwer signed a written commitment to play soccer at Northern Kentucky University, but she verbally committed to the coaches during her junior year. She was recruited by the NKU coaches at a college showcase in Memphis, Tennessee. “I emailed and called the coach several times just to begin putting my name out there. The coach of NKU saw me at a college showcase in Memphis and shortly after, they asked me to begin attending camps,” Wittwer said.
College showcases are a common place where college coaches of every sport go to recruit potential athletes. Most showcases require an invitation for athletes to participate. If showcases are not an option, many colleges host camps for various sports. These camps will test athletes’ skills and showcase their talents to the coaches of that college. To find camps to attend, athletes should visit the websites for their preferred colleges.
Wittwer suggests contacting coaches as soon as possible. It is very important to start emailing/calling college coaches right away. “If you are trying to play a collegiate sport, you need to start early with the recruitment process. The first step is getting your name out there and making sure the coach knows who you are. Sending emails, making phone calls, and attending camps are all good ways to get noticed by a school,” Wittwer suggested.
Football coach Mike Orlando has been coaching at McNicholas for six seasons and has had ten players sign to play in college. Orlando said technology has made the recruiting process a lot easier for coaches. He makes sure to be candid with any college coaches looking at his players. “When recruiters come through, I think it is my job to be as honest and forthright as possible. Luckily, we have tremendous young men both on and off the field, which makes this part of the process very easy and natural,” Orlando said.
Orlando has three pieces of advice for his players and any other athletes wanting to play collegiate sports. He suggests being authentic and using social media appropriately. “Be mindful of what you are putting out there. Technology is a blessing but can be a curse. Social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are all monitored and can be your downfall if abused or used inappropriately,” Orlando said.
When being recruited, make sure to have fun and enjoy yourself. Athletes should avoid putting all of their focus on being recruited when they are still participating in McNicholas athletics.
“We tell our players to have a great year for McNick and don’t get caught up in all of the hype. Sometimes players focus so much on the recruiting process that they neglect the present and fail to thrive,” Orlando said. “We tell them to have the best year that they can possibly have and let the rest fall in to place.”