From receiving hundreds of emails a day, traveling to tournaments and identifying student athletes, recruiting is a full time job for all college and university coaches. Because of this, more and more coaches are starting to look overseas for student athletes, and in some cases many coaches prefer international athletes over domestic. Coaches invest a lot into their recruits and in many cases coaches ask about a recruit’s academic ability and character, before their athletic ability.
1) Maturity Level
Many international student-athletes (even Americans abroad) tend to be more mature than the average graduating senior in the U.S. This is usually due to the fact that they are more independent, more well travelled, and even in some cases more responsible compared to their American counterparts.
2) Academic Level
Due to the fact that the academic level at many international schools tends to be at a higher level than high schools in the United States, many student-athletes are usually better prepared for college and have the study habits needed to manage the grueling schedule of a collegiate athlete.
However, although coaches are looking overseas, the fact remains that many international athletes can still get overlooked and the process is arduous to say the least. Many coaches do not have the resources or budget to recruit everywhere in the world, which means that in order to be seen you have to go to them. However, this is not as easy as it seems.
Contacting Coaches by email: Coaches are bombarded by emails from recruits, with coaches receiving over 100 emails a day asking them to watch highlight videos. Many of these potential recruits are not familiar with the level in the USA and usually only send emails to those schools that are very popular, like UCLA or Notre Dame. Although these schools might be a great academic fit, in most cases wouldn’t be a good athletic match.
Many of the videos being sent are too long and the best highlights are mixed throughout the entire video. Coaches don’t have the time to watch 10-minute videos, and on average usually watch less than a minute. Therefore, ensuring that you have all of your best highlights right at the beginning will help you get noticed. Also, don’t get too discouraged if you'd don’t get a response. In some cases that might not mean that the coach doesn't like you, but due to the sheer number of emails they get, it could also mean they just haven't seen you.
ID Camps and Showcases: These camps have become rite of passage each summer on almost every college campus in the U.S. However, many of these camps are not a viable way to get seen. These events, although provide a great experience and opportunity to spend a few days on a campus that interests you, the reality is that you shouldn’t rely on these to be chosen to be a part of the team based on the results from these camps. Many coaches are not using these events to truly recruit athletes; you will be competing with hundreds of other athletes (almost all of which you have never competed with), which means that your ability to stand out enough from the rest of the crowd is something that happens very infrequently.
Recruiting Companies: Using an expert to promote you to coaches within their network is another way to be recruited. There are many types of companies that provide a wide range of services, from the ability for you to create an online profile, providing you contact information of coaches to connect with, creating your highlight video, or helping with different aspects of the recruiting process. When you are looking for the right company to work with, the most important thing to keep in mind is that their priority should be finding the right academic and social fit for you as a student first. In order to ensure success, companies should pre-assess your athletic (and academic) level prior to working with you making sure you have the ability to compete at the college level. Make sure you ask about their success rate, some of the schools in which they have placed recruits, and their ability to garner scholarships.
Even if you are looking at NCAA D3 programs (which do not offer athletic scholarships) there are benefits of using the right recruiting company. Even with these schools, a good recruiter has the ability to get you noticed, provides more for you to choose from, assists to you secure additional scholarship dollars, as some of these schools do offer higher academic scholarships for student-athletes, and makes sure that all elements of the recruiting process are covered and being done by you.
Ultimately, it’s vital that you keep your options open, as the more open you are with location, size, and other factors in your college search, the more opportunities there will be for you. Keep in mind that the recruiting process for an international athlete can be very difficult (and in some cases confusing). Make sure that if becoming a collegiate student-athlete is a path that you are interested in taking, that you do all you can to provide yourself the best opportunity to not only find the right college for you, but also be in an environment where you have a realistic chance of competing when you arrive for your first year of competition. If you do that - you might just have that college career you have been dreaming about!
Ethos College, a leading college sport recruiting company that works with student-athletes from international and prep schools worldwide. Ethos College’s focus is finding the right academic and social fit for each of their recruits and has built a network of coaches in all NCAA sports to over 1,100 schools in U.S. and Canada. Since its inception, Ethos College has garnered over $40,000,000 in scholarships for its clients and has received multiple scholarship opportunities for every one of its recruits.
Chris Campasano is the founder and President of Ethos College.