Dear volleyball student-athlete who dreams of playing at the next level (and the volleyMoms and volleyDads who raise them),
With hundreds of other athletes competing for spots on teams across the country, you MUST be proactive if you hope to make coaches notice you.
Here’s the reality:
Coaches have limited time and limited resources, and while it would be great for a coach to drive over to your high school game next weekend to see you play, chances are he (or she) lives miles away, or worse yet, he might not even know you exist!
So is all hope lost? Not at all. It’s time, however, for YOU to get proactive.
Not sure how to make coaches notice you? Keep reading!
Building the brand of YOU!
Your personal brand is how you are seen by the world. Seeing as we are trying to make coaches notice you, it doesn’t matter what your best friend thinks, what your mom says, or even how highly your current high school coaches think of you – if no one else will ever know who you are.
How will you separate yourself from the crowd (and not with a viral video of you eating cinnamon)?
Here are 3 quick ways you can begin to build your brand:
Make Coaches Notice You Step #1: Know your values
Knowing your values is step number one in building your personal brand. In the grand scheme of life, everything will revolve around this, and don’t be worried if you’re not 100% clear on it yet. That said, your values will shape your priorities in much of what you do in your future. Try to look for schools that are in line with your values, and for a coach who seems like would be a good fit for you.
Make Coaches Notice You Step #2: Be authentic
Next is to be authentic in showcasing your talents, skills, strengths, and weaknesses. Always continue to work hard on improving, but don’t try too hard to impress others by being someone you’re not. Never lie to impress a coach (or anyone, really) because your “fakeness” will eventually come through anyway.
The better you get at being your authentic self the more comfortable you’ll become. This will help your relationships with friends and family, your recruiting journey, and later in the job market, too!
Make Coaches Notice You Step #3: Build a positive online presence
Lastly, you need to build a positive online presence. This has never been truer than it is in our current time. It can almost be guaranteed that the first thing a coach will do when he hears your name will be to type it into Google. If you have never Googled yourself, do it now.
If you are trying to make coaches notice you, ask yourself, will they like what they see?
Check your social media postings. Does who you are online look like something you want a potential coach or boss to see?
I used to tell my kids to see if it would pass the “grandma test”. In other words, if you wouldn’t want Grandma to see it, it shouldn’t be posted (this goes for SnapChat, too!).
In any case, no matter what is already out there from the past, take the opportunity going forward to clean up your online presence to help increase your brand, but also because it’s just a good thing to do.
Recruiting, then and now
Once you begin this thought process of increasing your positive personal brand, you’ll soon see how valuable having a personal website can be.
As a single mom steering two college bound athletes through the recruiting process I have learned a lot. They are just seven years apart, but the process, and our online world, has dramatically changed in the past few years (some things change by the day!). As the owner and founder of Student-Athlete Connections, it’s my job to keep up.
For my daughter, she had to write emails, send letters, and physically mail DVDs to all the schools on her list (and this was NOT that long ago). This cost me time and money (not to mention the hassle-factor) to create and ship, and half the time we had no idea who would be viewing it at the other end.
Volleyball kid #2
Fast forward to just a few short years later… my son’s process was much different. I saw how technology could give him an edge, and I took the opportunity to learn all I could. He was able to land an offer at the school of his choice, and during the process he communicated with coaches who got to learn more about him through his emails with various links to his schedule, his highlight videos, and updates from his high school and club season along the way.
The whole process felt so much easier, and had a flow to it that we never experienced the first time around.
If you are still trying old school ways to make coaches notice you, keep reading!
My expertise is leveraging the technology and all of its opportunities, to help your personal brand shine!
It’s not icky
Having an online profile is a game changer. No longer does it feel “icky” to have to cold call coaches or mail them DVDs. You can send your potential future coaches your stats, athletic accomplishments, academic achievements, and game footage all wrapped neatly in an attractive, professional, yet simple visual package – and have a reason to start a conversation about it.
Your online profile will be housed on your own personal website. It goes hand in hand with an email strategy I recommend you use to get noticed by your desired schools.
By sending coaches your site’s live URL they will have everything at their fingertips.
Now you can stop hoping a coach will stroll by your court and discover what a great player you are – and start putting the ball in YOUR court. Check out some sample profiles here.
Can’t I just do this myself?
You might be wondering if you can just build a website on your own? Yes, in fact, you can – and if you have the time and the expertise to spend learning and tweaking, I say go for it!
For over twenty-five years, being a “volleyMom” has been my life. Now that both of my kiddos are off being college vballers themselves, I’ve turned my passion I had all those years in the sport toward helping others ride that wave, too.
Now if you would have asked me a few years ago, I would have NEVER thought this would be my jam – coding and building and tweaking and learning and fixing and creating websites… but it’s become my passion with volleyball all over again.
Empty Nest Adventures
I’m an empty nester now, and in between flying to games to watch my #2 kiddo play (#1 is now a coach with her own club), watching livestreams, and checking the online stats for the games that I’m missing, I’m now here serving my volleyball community in this new way and I’m absolutely loving it!
That’s why I believe we’d be great together. My passion for the sport and to help build you a presence online. Your passion to get seen, get connected, and get recruited to keep playing the sport you love at the next level.
Luckily, it won’t take you endless hours to build your site. You leave that part up to me.
What’s in it for me?
Here’s what you’ll get with a Student-Athlete Connections website package:
1) A professional website customized for you with information you provide
2) A central source for coaches to see multiple data pieces – all about your brand, YOU!
4) An easy conversation starter, ready for any coach’s inbox
5) An opportunity to give a great first impression – that just may separate you from the crowd!
6) Peace of mind that you now have a tool you can use to help you get seen, get connected, and get recruited by the school of your dreams!
Let Me Take Care of the Legwork
I totally get that your passion might not be around building websites (wink). You’re busy with school/work, practices, tournaments, home life, and I get it. I also get that that stuff sucks a LOT of time out from under us. Let me take some of the overwhelm off your plate so you can get back to driving the kids and watching their games. Side note/tip: ALWAYS volunteer to be the team driver or at least give a few players rides occasionally – it’s how I learned EVERYTHING that was going on in their lives on any given day.
Wishing you all the best success with the recruiting journey,
Ready to take it to the next level? Be sure to grab your FREE Done-for-You Email Templates to help you start connecting with coaches from your best fit schools by tonight!
Website Designer, Teacher & Volleyball Mom
Let’s talk about the best way to take your recruiting online and make you more visible.