Why You Need a Mission Statement During the Recruiting Process

When college coaches evaluate prospective recruits, they look for student-athletes who meet or exceed their eligibility and admissions standards. They also search for direct-impact athletes who thrive in their positions and can drive their team to the next level. Finally, they want self-aware young men and women with a strong character.

Creating a recruiting mission statement is essential in elevating your position on a college coach’s radar and complimenting 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. Here are a couple of tips for developing a powerful statement:

Why this School?

Your mission statement needs to be compelling and display a high level of self-awareness. Sit down with a family member to discuss and identify critical attributes that your ideal college will possess. You should focus on the quality of the academic experience that you would desire.

A good college coach and exceptional educational institution 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. 

How can you Contribute?

Talk about your athletic impact and contributions. This segment of your statement may appear dull, 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 use your strengths to impact a college sports program. There is a fine line between being cocky and confident. Create a bold statement that demonstrates your current skill set as an athlete.

Does Your Character Fit the Coach’s Needs?

Lastly, touch on character and leadership. Coaches put a premium on character; they are looking for the best and brightest prospects to drive their programs to the next level. They want to recruit young men or women who display loyalty, dedication, perseverance, and diligence in their everyday lives. Coaches want impact players, but they mainly 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, or a skilled athlete who has the potential to lead the team, 9 out of 10 times, a good coach will go after the second candidate. Team leadership offers intangible benefits at the core of the program, but it also provides consistent team momentum.
The final draft of your mission statement should be bold, confident, and well-balanced. Give coaches every reason to believe you are looking for a quality education. Drive home the point clearly and confidently that you have the athletic tools to impact a good 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.

* Originally published on September 22, 2021, by Michael Pizzuti

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