Tagged: athletic recruitment

Using Social Media To Connect With College Coaches

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Another great guest blog post from our friends over at NCSA Athletic Recruiting!

The following is a post by Chris Burget, a head scout at NCSA Athletic Recruiting, who regularly contributes to the NCSA blog, as well as to his own at CoachChris99.com. Chris played football at the University of Arizona, where he received a full scholarship. You can find Chris on Twitter @Coach_Chris99, and you can talk to Chris and other football scouts about your football recruiting process and how you can maximize your chances of getting a football scholarship.

Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are invaluable online tools, as they allow coaches to link to the power of prospective college athletes’ social media profiles, helping these student athletes to share their recruiting profiles, videos, and stats. Recently I put up a Twitter poll asking student-athletes, among all of their accounts, what kind of social media tool did they most prefer to use in order to connect with college coaches?

Coach Chris

Over 2,100 votes came in and, overwhelmingly, Twitter was the main tool that responding athletes used to increase their exposure to college coaches.

Twitter Is A Great Social Media Tool To Connect With College Coaches

It’s not surprising that Twitter ranks so well, especially when you consider the amount of tweets that go out daily on Twitter and the ease for prospective college athletes of targeting their videos to colleges and coaches. Every day, I meet with student-athletes and their families and at some point I ask which social media platforms they currently use. Most athletes tell me that they’re on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter – and all of them want to know how to increase their chances of connecting with college coaches.

TwitterAs a Head Scout with NCSA, I have the opportunity to guide these teens, helping them to navigate the competitive recruiting process. The number one thing I tell them is that you need to have an online presence in order to connect with college coaches. Here at NCSA, we have more than 35,000 active college coaches who use our database of the very best student athletes in the country! As a verified third party, we help to match student athletes with colleges and coaches. Still, to successfully connect with coaches, student athletes also have a role in promoting themselves on social media.

Remember: Only 1% of student athletes earn a Division I full ride. Furthermore, more than 94% of the college athletic programs are outside of Division I. This being the case, you need to get out in front of coaches and promote yourself — especially if you haven’t seen that team playing on TV, or making national headlines. Who knows? That coach might just be at the school that is the perfect fit for you academically, socially and athletically.

If you’re interested in playing sports at the next level, regardless of whether you’re just starting high school or are finishing up your final season, there are certain steps that you should take in order to increase your exposure and put yourself in the best possible position to obtain a scholarship. Don’t wait until it’s too late. The best way to get started is with a recruiting profile. And, of course, remember to take full advantage of your social media presence while connecting with coaches and colleges – it’s a great way to increase your exposure to coaches and to give yourself a boost during the recruiting process!

Three Traits That Make You An Ideal Recruit To College Coaches

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Here’s another great guest blog post from our friends over at NCSA Athletic Recruiting!

When we talk about finding the college that’s the right fit for you, we often discuss three important areas: the academic fit, the athletic fit, and the social fit. Conversely, we need to remember that coaches are also looking at whether you are an ideal recruit for their program. This is because at the same time that coaches are looking for student-athletes who will be the right fit — those who will say yes to an offer to join their roster — they’re also looking for recruits who say no, whether it’s explicitly, in an email or a phone call, or implicitly.

Here are some ways to be an ideal recruit, one who doesn’t unintentionally signal no to a coach.

An ideal recruit is honest about the right fit.

That “right fit” question is a two-way street. Are you the right kind of player for the program? Are you the right size for your position? Do you race at the speeds that the team requires?

At the same time, is the college/university right for you? Are you going to benefit from the school’s academics? Is the campus social scene a place where you can see yourself fitting in? Furthermore, if you’re from Wisconsin and you know that you don’t want to have to fly back and forth from home to college, talking to coaches on one of the coasts probably won’t serve you well in terms “best fit”, no matter how great a program the coach offers.

An ideal recruit is respectful in his/her communication with college coaches.

Depending on where you are in the recruiting process, you might be receiving questionnaires, form letters, e-mails, or even phone calls from coaches. Often there are strict rules that govern when a college coach is able to communicate with student-athletes.

The important thing for you to know is that no matter how far along you are in the recruiting process, being respectful to college coaches, and replying in a timely fashion to any type of communication you receive, is paramount.

Again, some coaches are searching for the “no”. Many student-athletes are intimidated by the prospect of saying no to a college coach, which makes a lot of sense given that a coach is someone who student-athletes, in general, deeply respect and want to impress. You should remember, however, that if a college coach has to hunt you down because you’re not being respectful in your communication or being proactive in reaching out to him/her, then your chances of being recruited by that coach are slim. In all likelihood, there are more ideal recruits who are signalling a deeper interest in that program than you are!

So, if you want to keep a door open (and we recommend that you never burn bridges with any college coaches!) then communicate clearly with coaches and behave in a manner that is respectful.

An ideal recruit is courageous and is a leader.

Coach Sue Enquist tells us that the number one trait coaches want to see in their athletes is courage: the courage to get to practice early, to work harder than your teammates while you’re there, and to stay late when you need to.



The courageous student-athlete is one who knows what the right thing to do is for him/herself, but is also able to convince/show peers what the right thing to do is:

“If you want to separate yourself in the recruiting process, start right now practicing your courage. It’s not easy. It’s so much easier in high school to go with the flow, fit right in. Just take little baby steps to work on your courage. Step out, step up, and be the one that others will follow.”

Be honest, be respectful, be courageous — and you’ll be more like the ideal recruit than ever before.

We’d love to chat with you about what kind of schools will think you’re the ideal recruit for their rosters. The best way to get started is with a recruiting profile!

The Student-Athlete Campus Visit

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Another great guest blog post from our friends over at NCSA Athletic Recruiting!

NCSA Recruiting Expert and Educational Speaker, Coach Bob Chmiel, travels the country year-round, providing families with recruiting education at partner camps, combines, and high school events. With over thirty years of experience in college football – specifically football recruiting – Coach Chmiel now lives his passion for sports and education as a speaker at NCSA.

One of the most exciting aspects of the recruiting process is visiting a college campus. The dream of moving on to play a chosen sport in college really starts to feel like a reality once a student-athlete has had the chance to go and check out the school, meet potential teammates, and get to know the coaching staff. Even just walking the paths between class buildings and dorms starts to give a good idea as to what campus life is like, and whether or not student-athletes could see themselves attending a particular school.

Now, there are two ways to visit a school as a prospect or recruit: an unofficial visit or an official visit.

When looking at Division I schools, a student-athlete can take five official visits and an unlimited amount of unofficial visits, according to NCAA regulations. In all other divisions (DII, DIII, NAIA), official and unofficial visits are unlimited.

But what’s the difference between the two? As fall sports are in the middle of campus visit season, and spring sport student-athletes are preparing to accept offers to visit schools, let’s review.

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Official Visits To A College

An official visit is when the school invites a student-athlete to visit campus, paying for their travel, lodging, and certain per diem expenses. For instance, if a student-athlete flies to visit a school on an official visit, the school will pay for their plane ticket (although the school will not pay for the ticket of a family member or anyone else coming along). If the school is close enough for a student-athlete to drive to for an official visit, the athletic program will pay for gas mileage.

Again, student-athletes are allowed up to five official visits to Division I schools, and unlimited visits at schools in all other divisions. By the same token, college programs are only allowed to host a certain amount of official visits, and this amount varies by sport.

It is my advice to take as many official visits as are offered and of interest outside of Division I. Why? Precisely for the reason that outside of Division I, you can take unlimited visits! You’ve got nothing to lose, the trip is paid for, and you may fall in love with a college and program you wouldn’t have experienced had you not gone on an official visit there.

If you are getting multiple offers for official visits within Division I, the “up-to-five” rule means that it’s going to take some planning and discretion when deciding where to accept an official visit. Keep this in mind as you start to map out when and where you want to visit and what division the school is in.

Unofficial Visits To A College

Just as the word suggests, an “unofficial” visit is the exact opposite of an official visit in regards to having your expenses covered. On an unofficial visit, a student-athlete pays their way to the campus, and is also responsible for covering all lodging, food, and other expenses.

Once you have committed to taking an unofficial visit to a program, a recruit may be issued up to three tickets to a regular season game being played during their visit, according to NCAA regulations, which the school will set up for you. However, no school can offer a recruit tickets to tournament or bowl games.

Again, a recruit can take an unlimited amount of unofficial visits!

How Recruits Can Set Up Both Official and Unofficial Visits

Both types of visits require an invitation from a college coach or program, meaning a school has to proactively send you some form of an invitation offering either an official or unofficial visit, and that’s when it’s up to you to follow-up.

As a high school student-athlete, however, you can absolutely reach out to a college coach and let him/her know your interest in visiting their school. In fact, I highly recommend doing so! In an e-mail or over the course of a phone call, it’s a great idea to mention to a coach, “I want to be clear that I really love what I know about your program and school and would be honored to be offered a visit.”

Taking an enthusiastic, respectful, and proactive approach to getting offered an official or unofficial visit is a great place to start with schools that are on your radar.

Coach Chmiel’s Last Pieces of Advice

There are some final thoughts I want to leave you with.

Being offered an official visit by a college program generally means a program has a very high level of interest in you. Take this into consideration, and remember, if it’s a Division I school, you only get five official visits. Use them wisely.

If a school is offering you an unofficial visit, there is at least some interest there, however not anywhere near the same level as an official visit offer.

When schools outside of Division I offer you an official visit, I don’t really see any downside in taking it. You may learn you love a school you never knew much about, or it may make it easier to cross it off your list. Furthermore, practice interacting with coaches and their teams is always a positive thing when it comes to your recruitment.

Plan visits early on and with efficiency by area of the country. For instance, schedule them in an area where you’re vacationing with your family or perhaps traveling for a tournament. The more you make campus visits a priority early on in the process, the more confident you’ll be in your decision later down the road.

The scouts and digital resources at NCSA Athletic Recruiting can help you prepare for your campus visits. The best way to get started is with a recruiting profile!