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  • Growing up, I wanted to be recruited by Coach K, featured on SportsCenter, and drafted into the NBA.

    But that wasn’t my reality.

    Instead, I was a solid high school player with a chance at being recruited, but no idea how to approach the whole process. At times, I was confused and overwhelmed with what to do and how to do it.

    In this article, I’m going to share with you the most effective strategy for helping yourself get recruited. It’s a strategy I used during my recruiting process and one that, if done correctly, drastically improves your chances at landing a spot on a college basketball team.

    This is NOT intended for:

    • High major recruits
    • Lazy players
    • Selfish individuals
    • Players with bad grades
    • People who want others to do all the work for them
    • Players who’s daily training doesn’t align with their aspirational goals

    As current Washington Mystics assistant and former PGC Director, Sefu Bernard once told me, “passion persuades, persistence pays off, but contribution is key.” College basketball coaches are looking for good people who will help them win games.

    If you’re not good enough to help a team win, what you’re about to read won’t greatly increase your chances of getting a roster spot. You must get good before you get seen.

    Playing college basketball is not easy. The deck is stacked against you. Many people told me if I was good enough, coaches would find me. I thought I was good enough, and it seemed no coaches were “finding me.” I took measures into my own hands and created my DIY Recruiting Strategy. Here’s how it works…

    “Do it Yourself (DIY) Recruiting Strategy”

    1. Set the Foundation

    The #1 factor for the college selection process must be fit. As you consider what schools would be the best fit for you, remember these three questions:

    1. What level can I play at? (if you don’t know, ask your coach)
    2. What do I want to study?
    3. Where do I want to live?

    2. Research, Research, Research

    Google is your best friend and has all the information you need. Go to google and search “list of college athletic programs in {insert desired state}” Here’s an example for Arizona. Look at the Wikipedia page which includes every NCAA, D1, D2, D3, NAIA, Junior College, and NCCAA institution in that state.

    3. Create aA List of 10 Schools

    Scroll through the list of schools in your desired states. If you find one that you’re interested in, study the school’s website and basketball page. Does it pique your interest? Does it get you excited? If so, add it to your list. Move on. Repeat this process until you have 10.

    4. Rank Order

    Once you have your list, rank your choices. Put your dream school #1, your fall back option #10, and rank the others that piqued your interest two through nine.

    5. Study the Current Team

    What year are the players on the team who play your position? What’s the school’s win / loss record in the past 5 years? How long has the coach been there? Do you know anyone who’s played for that coach you can speak with?

    6. Send an Email (to all the schools on your list)

    Navigate to the school’s basketball website to find the assistant coach’s email address, then send a personalized email that includes:

    • Why you’re interested in their basketball program
    • Test scores and grade point average (GPA)
    • Spring / summer AAU schedule
    • Highlight tape (3 minute max)… ask if they’d like game film?

    7. Follow-up Phone Call

    Coaches are busy, and can’t look through every email. If you haven’t heard back in two days, call! Most athlete’s won’t do this. It’s a bit scary, but have courage, and do it! Just think, if you’re feeling scared, the other thousand kids wanting the same scholarship are feeling the same way.

    During this phone call, have a script to help you clearly articulate why you’re calling and the desired outcome of the call. Also, be ready to resend your initial email in case the coach accidentally deleted it or it got buried. Make the coach’s life easy. This shows initiative and helps you stand out.

    8. Note Taking Process

    After the call ends, write everything down. Use a notebook, word document, or an excel sheet but make sure you have captured these things:

    • Specific information that will be helpful next time you both speak.
    • Things you learned that will help you with the next conversation.
    • The next step for you with that coach. (Did they want film? Did they tell you to call back in two weeks)

    9. Send a Follow-up Handwritten Letter

    If you want to stand out, do things others aren’t doing. Write handwritten notes. Send a letter to the basketball offices directed to the coach you spoke with on the phone. Whether you think they like you or not, do this because it makes a great impression. Coaches are connected all over the country, constantly talking about players, and you want your name at the top of their minds.

    10. Repeat the Process

    For each of the 10 schools on your list, go through this same process.

    “Wait, Kyle, you’re telling me I have to do all of those things for ten coaches?”

    It depends. You saw the stats. The odds are against you. If you want to be the one that gets a scholarship, do the things that others aren’t willing to do.

    It takes a lot of time and guarantees you nothing. Shooting 1,000 shots in practice doesn’t guarantee you will make more shots in games, but it does increase your chances.

    By going through this process, you’ll learn:

    • How to write better emails
    • How to work hard for what you want
    • How to push past your fears
    • How to push past “no” — because most of these coaches won’t end up recruiting you
    • The value of handwritten notes
    • How to sell yourself
    • How to speak well with adults on the phone
    • Doing the little things in life make you stand out
    • A great approach for getting a job in the future

    I’ve used versions of this approach my entire life to get jobs, find mentors, and build businesses that work. As you do this, keep your high school coach in the know so they can be an additional resource for you, even helping you make some of these phone calls.

    In writing this, my goal is not to discourage you. By all means, approach your basketball career with BIG dreams. I did! But understand, sitting at your house waiting for Coach K to call you is not the most effective way to find yourself playing college basketball.

    In closing, I can’t stress this one point enough. This is for the players who are training their butts off to get the slightest chance at a scholarship. Get as good as you can first. Then, when it comes down to a coach choosing between you and another player of equal skill and talent, they choose you because you did the extra work to stand out.

    -Kyle Koszuta, PGC Director

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    About PGC

    PGC Basketball provides intense, no-nonsense basketball training for players and coaches. Our basketball camps are designed to teach players of all positions to play smart basketball, be coaches on the court, and be leaders in practices, games and in everyday life.

    We combine our unique PGC culture with a variety of teaching methods and learning environments to maximize the learning potential of those that attend our sessions. In addition to spending 6-7 hours on the court each day, lessons will be reinforced through classroom sessions and video analysis.

    Our goal at PGC is to empower you with the tools to fulfill your basketball dreams, while also assisting you in experiencing the joy of the journey.

    To learn more about PGC Basketball, including additional basketball training tips and videos, visit our YouTube Channel or find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.