When talking recruiting with my athletes the first things we go over are what I like to call the “Pre-Game checklist”. Just like in football, the pregame is essential and forms the foundation of your overall game plan.
The Pre-Game is about the 3 P’s:
- Player Profile
- Player Presentation
- Player Presence
Player profile is one of the components recruiters use to evaluate the athlete. This can be as straightforward as a questionnaire and is used to set the base level of expectation from your athlete. Generally, the profile will be comprised of four sections:
- Personal information includes details such as address, parents’ names, and parents’ Alma mater
- Academics includes details such as school GPA, ACT and/or SAT scores, major/minor, other scholastic interests and achievements
- Athletics includes details such as height weight, 40 yard dash, playing position, athletic honors, and Hudl link, which is the most important component of this section.
- Social media includes the athlete’s online presence via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. The social media channels will be the main form of communication between the school and the athlete. Think of this as athletic, not social, as this is part of your athlete’s personal brand and marketing package going forward. To this end, social media should be used to support and promote the athletics, or it shouldn’t be used at all. The rule of thumb with social media is that if the piece of information isn’t sharable at the dinner table, then it shouldn’t be shared. Period.
The next P is Presentation and it is the impression the athlete makes upon first meeting. Just like a job interview, you must not only look the part but also dress appropriate for the occasion, or in this case the school, you are attending. There are 2 criteria for this: physical appearance and the handshake. Physical appearance should mimic that of the what a senior captain scholarship player would wear for game day or walk thru. Think about dressing for an interview. You wouldn’t show up wearing the clothes you hang around the house in. You need to look the part and that means looking like what a player the coach wants on his team. Most of the time that is clean-cut apparel, your high school team polo and khakis work every time. With the handshake, the kid’s personality must shine through. Always remember you are representing yourself and your family at all times. Shake a coaching hand like you just signed a million dollar deal. Look him in the eye and speak up. Your name clearly, what position you play and when he asks you a question be honest and be direct. Coaches are feeling you out. Your personality plays a vital role in the recruiting process.
The final P stands for Presence and refers to the athlete’s online presence. Ask yourselves the question, if a coached were to Google your name, what would come up? Online presence can make all the difference in the recruiting process. In fact, for some kids, online presence makes the recruiting process once they gain exposure via online or local and/or national media. The key to building a successful online presence is starting with social media accounts and tailor those to the athlete. Remember, whether positive or negative, college coaches will find out about it because to these schools your kid is an investment and they will do everything in their power to make sure they are investing wisely.
No matter where you are in the recruiting process, you should evaluate your 3 P’s and constantly try to improve in each area. If you have questions about where you stand in the recruiting process or want to enhance your player profile, presentation or presence then send me an email and I will evaluate your situation.