Because of COVID-19, virtual recruiting has become more popular in the recruiting process. Most of the process is the same as if you were actually able to be on campus. Here are some tips for using virtual options.
The more you communicate with college coaches the better. Playing hard to get is not going to help you. Make sure you get lots of opportunities to speak with all the coaches. It’s different when you can’t meet them in person. You may be in a situation where you are narrowing your options and can’t quite get on campus yet. Do as much as you can without being face to face.
This is true regardless of if you can be in person or not. Speaking face-to-face with coaches can seem scary, but they really do want to get to know you. When you are talking to them, make sure you are actually looking at their face and reading their expressions. You can learn a lot by watching people when they speak. You are looking for honesty, transparency and a genuine interest in you. You are also interviewing whoever is on the receiving end. Every word matters.
Make sure they know what is important to you and don’t be afraid to ask your questions. They’ll be expecting you to have questions. Also, let them know when your season begins. All states currently are on different rules and opening dates for the start of seasons. Make sure college coaches know your schedule.
Whether you can be face-to-face with coaches or not, being on campus is important before committing to a college. You can visit colleges unofficially and stay away from people and still take tours. You can also drive around campus and the community and get a sense of what the culture is like.
You can also ask coaches to give you a virtual tour of campus. Make sure they know what you want to see ahead of time, including classrooms, facilities, and places to eat.
You can watch some teams online or on television, but some colleges don’t have a lot of exposure. That does not mean that they aren’t competitive or talented teams. You’ll just have to work a little harder to find those competitions.
Ask college coaches if you can watch their practices and games, multiple ones if you are in the process of narrowing. You have to make decisions around style, leadership, and culture by watching.
You can also ask to see individual player workouts. Who would be your position coach, if your sport has positions? Who will be working with you on skills? Watch those coaches and practices as well.
Send game film even if it’s from the summer, when they could not see you play because of the COVID restrictions. If you play a sport that does not usually produce game film, then make some. It doesn’t have to be fancy. College coaches will just want to see you play.
Ask to talk to players as well. Ask if you can be face-to-face with the team, just as you would be in a group on a campus tour. Try to meet all the players, even the ones who are graduating. They may be a resource later when you have to narrow your college choices. Get phone numbers and ask them the questions you would ask if you were in person with them.
Many seniors are in a tough position, as some seasons have been moved or cancelled. In order to make a solid decision on where to attend college, be creative and find out whatever you need to find out in order to make that decision.
It’s best not to wait for COVID to be over. Attack it now and do what you have to do to get the information you seek. You can still make great decisions and find a great college to attend if you continue to work at the recruiting process.
Stay on your recruiting journey. Virtual is new and different but it does not have to be a hindrance.
Do college coaches see red flags when they look at your social media accounts?
Taking unofficial visits is important in the recruiting process.