When they evaluate recruiting prospects, college coaches look for strong students who meet or exceed their eligibility and admissions standards. They also search for direct-impact athletes who thrive at their positions and can drive their team to higher levels. Finally, they want self-aware young men and women with strong character.
Creating a recruiting mission statement can elevate your position on a college coach's radar and complement your recruiting efforts. Consider it as a brief introduction, in which you tell a coach about your achievements and goals and explain why he or she should consider you. Below are three tips for developing a powerful statement.
Academic and Life Goals
Your mission statement needs to be compelling and display a high level of self awareness. Sit down as a family and identify critical attributes that that your ideal college will possess. Primary on the list—and the glue that binds the other attributes—should be the quality of the academic experience you desire.
A good college coach and exceptional educator will recruit you not just for the next four years, but for the next 40. A caring coach desperately wants you to impact his or her program as a standout athlete, but he or she also wants you to achieve success in life and grab the bigger brass ring for future advancement. You don't get a second chance at a first impression. Make this point stand out.
Athletic Impact and Contributions
This segment of your statement may appear simple, but you probably have a long list of athletic accomplishments to share. The key here is to streamline them into a clear statement about how you plan to impact a college sports program.
There's a fine line between being cocky and confident, and you want the coach to believe in you. Create a bold statement that demonstrates your current skillset as an athlete.
Character and Leadership
Looking for the best and brightest prospects to drive their programs to higher levels, college coaches put a premium on character. They want to recruit young men and women who display loyalty, dedication, perseverance and diligence in their everyday lives. Coaches want impact players, but they especially want people who will become strong links in the team chain.
Given a choice between a blue chip prospect whose stats are off the charts but who could potentially become a loose cannon on the team and a solidly skilled athlete who has the potential to lead the team from the inside, nine out of 10 times, a good coach will go after the latter candidate. Team leadership offers intangible benefits at the core of the program, but it also offers consistent team momentum; the ship always remains on course.
Below is an example of a balanced mission statement:
"I envision my college years to be a personal growth period. My goal is to explore a science major that will position me well for medical school. On the field, I plan to be a dynamic player and positive influence on the team. As I grow both physically and mentally throughout my college baseball career, I will strive to be an asset to the pitching rotation, infield and batting lineup. Most importantly, I will conduct myself with honor and respect on and off the field, knowing that the way I carry myself reflects my team, my coaches and the school I attend."
The final draft of your mission statement should be intrepid, confident and well-balanced. Give the coaches every reason to believe you are looking for a quality education that will position you strongly upon graduation. Drive home the point clearly and confidently that you have the athletic tools to impact a worthy college program. Finally, establish yourself as a team player. Extend your loyalty and respect to the coaches as a prospective student-athlete who is the complete package.
For more advice and information on recruiting, visit the author's website at victoryrecruiting.com.
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock