How many times have I heard coaches say” no one flies under the radar”? “If you are good enough we’ll find you”. You may never hear something more pompous come out of a coaches mouth than those statements. With all the players out there working on their game, how could this be possible? In fact, it’s mathematically impossible. Just read
the answers to a recruiting survey that I sent out to 45 CIS Universities.
I didn’t make these numbers up; the coaches submitted how many games they watch in a year. You can see by the number of games they view, that if you are not in the right place at the right time you may never be found. You need to take some ownership in this process. You need to self promote.What factors might you have going against you?
Blue chip athletes
Blue Chip athletes are noticeable. They stand out. They are in the press. They get talked about, and they are resultantly on the radar. If you are not a Blue-Chipper, you need to do some work in self promotion, to get noticed. Most coaches see the body and think I can teach that kid to play. All things being equal, size matters, speed matters, quickness matters. Equalize your chances by not only working on your game/skills, but work on your body.
This maybe more of a factor in Canada then other countries, but elite programs tends to be located in hotspots. What dictates a hotspot? Usually geography. Do you live in a densely populated area, where there programs are more likely to be funded? Do you have facilities where you can go work on your game?
Are the teams in your area competitive enough to get invited to visible high profile tournaments where one a University coach may be in the stands? Is your team good enough to be in a final game at a major tournament? If a university coach is only going to 50 games total high school and rep in a year, they are likely to be at the championship final games. DON’T let any of these things ever be excuses for not getting it done. You can work on your handles in your basement or garage; you can skip in your garage. You can find a way, but it’s not as easy.
Too Many Hats
Are you in a system where your high school coach promotes you to Universities?
They may be limited by time, limited knowledge of the recruiting process, and sometimes just a lack of motivation to promote players. Ask your coach if he actively contacts University coaches to promote players. Ask your coach if they have any reliable contacts.
And if you are still not convinced that you can fly under the radar, watch this video about Steve Nash and how nearly went unnoticed.