Below are 5 reasons why attending a college showcase or tournament won’t get high school athletes noticed and recruited.
• Due to college budget constraints coaches attend fewer events. They will drive to an event rather than fly. They may attend an event for only 1 day rather than 2 or 3 days. This limits their ability to view and assess talent. In many cases it’s glaringly visible the small number of college coaches in attendance.
• There are more showcases and tournaments in smaller geographic areas now than there were a few years ago. This additional competition means that coaches must be selective in where they spend their time and money. As a result there are fewer coaches at each event viewing the same group of athletes from the same geographic area. If there are 3 showcases within a 25 mile radius of each other, how many showcases does a coach need to attend!
• Coaches use the Internet to do their initial round of scouting, evaluation and prescreening. A coaching staff can spend a few hours in front of a computer, view profiles of a hundred athletes or more and determine who they want to see at an event. They probably won’t make an offer based on the Internet viewing but they will decide how they will spend their time and who they will scout.
• For a family, recording games, practices and skills sessions are much easier to do now than it was a few years ago. Creating a highlight video and posting it on the Internet is also easier. Coaches attend showcases and tournaments to confirm information on talent they already know, they don’t spend their limited time and resources chasing after unknowns.
• Parents don’t fully understand the recruiting process. A showcase or tournament is part of a bigger, more complex picture. If a student athlete participates in 1 or 2 local showcases and is not heavily recruited, attending 10 or 20 showcases won’t change the results. However, taking a vastly different approach will yield different results.
Most of us do things differently now than we did 5, 10 or 20 years ago. We do online banking, get our daily news from the Internet and receive our mail via email; banks, newspapers and USPS still exist. Showcases and tournaments fit into the same overall change in how we do things. They still exist, but they do not carry the same weight as they did in the past. It’s all part of change. Those who embrace the change will be successful. Those who continue to do things the same way as their parents will be left on the recruiting bench rather than be in the recruiting game.
Participating in a tournament or showcase and competing against several hundred highly skilled athletes decreases the odds of being noticed by college coaches. Marketing individual skills using mail, email, video and video-streaming, along with regular follow-up to several hundred coaches will yield totally different results. A proactive marketing approach will yield better results than attending a half dozen showcases or tournaments and the pre-work can turn a showcase into a much more positive and productive event.