September 27, 2020
With the challenges of the current recruiting landscape – ongoing and extended NCAA Division 1 dead period, league and college-specific recruiting restrictions impacting schools of all divisions, gathering and travel limitations and more – it is very tempting for underclassmen to power down their recruiting and wait for things to be normal again, for the recruiting landscape to look like it used to. But although your recruiting process has to look different than it would have a year ago, right now is not the time to pause on your recruiting or to stop being proactive. Right now is the time to pursue the available recruiting opportunities that are out there, to capture as much verified video and data as possible, and to stay proactive in your communication with college coaches.
There is no secret to guarantee success in high-academic recruiting – but the closest proxy for a secret ingredient is proactivity. Student-athletes who are proactive and in the driver’s seat of their recruiting process have a much better chance of success – and right now is no different, even though the landscape of college and high-academic recruiting looks dramatically different.
Why not wait until things “normalize”?
First and foremost although the opportunities for quality recruiting exposure are different now than in the past, coaches at high-academic programs of all levels are still making recruiting decisions on their incoming classes based on the information that they have available, particularly through video and data on prospective student-athletes. Due to the academic and admissions rigors of our partner college programs, the recruiting process at these high-academic schools isn’t as accelerated as other schools – but this fall is still a crucial time for 2021s to solidify and finalize their recruiting process, and for the classes of 2022 and 2023 to get on the recruiting radars of their target schools. Without taking concrete steps in your plan for recruiting exposure this fall, the risk is that the recruiting process at your dream school moves ahead without you, making it that much more difficult for you later on this fall and next summer.
The second reason to not wait right now is the wide accessibility of meaningful digital exposure through verified data and video. With all Division 1 programs confined to campus without in-person recruiting – and with many Division 3 programs in similar situations based on school-specific guidelines – coaches are looking at more data and video now than ever before, and have transitioned large swaths of their recruiting efforts to digital media.
Wide accessibility of high-quality cameras on smartphones and recruiting profiles like SportsRecruits means that every student-athlete to make some strides in their recruiting right now to get their foot in the door. (If you have questions about how to best approach your recruiting video, take a look at this earlier post about what to include)
After you’ve created your own recruiting video at home (with access to some facilities and potentially the help and support of coaches, teammates and parents) the next step is to get verified video and data through a trusted third party at an accessible event like the Headfirst Showcase PLUS. This verified video provides coaches more footage that they can use in their recruiting decisions, and the data and analytics through tools like Blast and Rapsodo give coaches a depth of insight into your play that can help them get to know you even more as a player, and about your projectability on the field. To learn more about how coaches use tools like Blast and Rapsodo in both their player development and their recruiting, click here to see an interview that we did earlier this spring with Coach Chris Gordon from Duke Baseball.
Even though the recruiting landscape is incredibly challenging right now – for both college coaches and prospective student-athletes – it’s not the time to be passive. There are still opportunities to attack the recruiting process head-on and proactively, and it is crucial that student-athletes continue to move forward however they can at their target programs.