Author Topic: Advice for Playing College Basketball/Sports  (Read 2006 times)

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Offline Grond

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Advice for Playing College Basketball/Sports
« on: December 29, 2015, 10:55:48 pm »
I (Grond) started a thread in the "Killer Crossover" section of High School basketball, asking advice on "How to get noticed by college coaches."

Sevenof400, one of our FearlessFriday members, gave such good advice that I thought the information was IMPORTANT enough to start a dedicated thread!

The discussion was about a senior guard playing for a school in northeast Arkansas, which is a difficult region to get noticed.

Here we go:

From afar, I'd suggest the following to Brandon:

   * Where does academics fit into your college plans?  In other words, are you attending college simply to play basketball or are you looking for a major that leads to a career?  Be honest in this assessment.
   * Given your grade info, D1 and D3 schools are likely out of reach.  I'd suggest targeting D2 and NAIA schools and there are several in Arkansas.  Given your proximity to Missouri, Tennessee and Kentucky, don't forget to consider schools from those states too although going to school out of state may result in the loss of the lottery scholarship.
   * Identify six schools of interest - make sure you would be happy attending ANY of these six.  One or two of these could be dream type schools but the other four should all be realistically achievable.
   * With this list of six schools, start by writing a letter of interest to the HC at each of these schools.  Do NOT email this letter - U.S. Mail it.  College coaches receive TONS of email and most of it goes unnoticed. You are using the U.S. Mail to establish a relationship that can be continued via email, telephone and other means.
   * Keep the letter brief and to the point - tell the coach you are interested in attending their school and you would like to learn more about their program and school.  Tell the coach you will call in a couple of weeks and would like to talk to him.  Note: until July prior to your senior year, coaches cannot initiate contact - don't be discouraged if a coach doesn't call back because NCAA regulations prohibit it.
   * Keep a communications log - if you mail something to a coach, note it on this list.  It doesn't matter if it is a call, email, U.S. Mail - anything - note it on the communications log.
   * Three weeks after sending the first U.S. Mail piece, call the coach.  You probably won't get them on the phone so be prepared to leave a brief voice mail.  It can be as simple as a reminder to the coach that you are still interested in their program and would like to learn more about any possible opportunities for your freshman season.  Sound professional, be concise and to the point.  I'd repeat this every 3 - 4 weeks or so.  You want to stay on the coach's radar.
   * If the school has a prospect database on their athletic website, sign up now!  This helps the coach (and the program's support staff) keep track of you.  It is okay to sign up on the prospect database for more than one school.
   * Register as an athlete on the NCAA Clearing House (the Eligibility Center) for sure and if you are considering any NAIA schools, you will need to register on the NAIA Eligibiilty Center.  There are tasks for you to do on each of these websites - one of the first things you want to do is ensure you will be academically eligible to play college athletics.  Your high school guidance counselor should have resources to help you with this registration if you need them.

Let's start there for now - there is definitely more to do but this is enough to get you started.  This can look like a daunting list but remember you are doing this so you can play college sports.

Keep us updated on your progress.

Here is a second comment from sevenof400:

Following up on this:

Quote from: BigLion10 on Today at 12:00:19 am

    "In all honesty your coach can help out a lot as well if he or she contacts the colleges for you or sends out your highlight tape to them and ask them to take a look ."

A good number of high schools in Arkansas are now loading their game film to an online services such as Hudl.  Find out if your school does this.  If so, athletes can set up accounts on Hudl and create highlight films.  (I suspect other online services have a similar set up.)

However, don't misuse this resource - keep this in mind:

   * Do NOT cold send coaches highlight films - coaches already get so many films from prospects they do NOT know it is quite likely your will be ignored UNLESS....
   * ..if you have an existing relationship with a coach - one you have developed through prior communication - ask them if you can send highlights of your performances AND when would they like these highlights.  Be prepared that a coach may say NOT to send one now but would like one later (perhaps after the end of their college season).  Note this in your log book (as you can see, your log book will become very important to several points in this process).
   * Whenever a coach says it is okay to send them a highlight reel, make sure this reel does NOT consist solely of segments of your best plays with (on) the ball (it's obviously okay to put some of this) but also include a COMPLETE half of basketball (one where you played a lot obviously).  A coach will want to see what you do away from the ball, off the ball, on many areas where you are NOT the immediate focus of play.
   * Hudl allows you to create a highlight and email only the link to the coach - this is definitely the way to go because emails with large attached files can easily be rendered undeliverable due to file attachment size limitations and/or be identified as junk or spam.
   * After you send a coach an email with your highlight link in the email, call the coach and leave them a voice mail reminding them you have sent the coach an email with your highlights.  While this sounds repetitive, you want to avoid your email being tagged as spam or junk AND given the amount of email most coaches receive, if your email should fall off the first page of the coaches inbox, you have significantly decreased the likelihood of your email being found.

Remember, proper perseverance can help sell you to a coach - and that is what this process is largely about.
You'd be surprised how effective your interactions with a coach can be when you offer to do something (such as send video in the future at a prearranged time), actually send the coach the video on time at the prearranged time, and ensure the coach has successfully received the email.


I think sevenof400 has given some really good advice here. It was intended for basketball, but his methods can apply to any college sport.

There are two main things to take from all this:

A) DON'T WAIT FOR SOME FLYING SAUCER TO LAND, AND OUT WALKS A COLLEGE COACH WITH A SCHOLARSHIP. There are good athletes that also have to work to get noticed.

B) DON'T RELY ON EMAIL ALONE. Email has become highly overrated, most college coaches are overloaded with email to a point of practically ignoring email.

"A goal without a plan is a WISH!"

Again, thanks to sevenof400 for giving permission to re-post his comments.  ;)
« Last Edit: December 30, 2015, 12:22:38 pm by Grond »


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