The best methods to use when interacting with coaches from prep schools, colleges, and pro teams for gaining opportunities and forming connections.
1. Relationship Building: How do we build a relationship?
* President Hoover said, “No one ever listened themselves out of a job.”
* Pay attention to details or advice within the conversation.
* If you’re actively listening, you are actively learning.
* This is a great way to build relationships.
* As you expand your network, look for opportunities to shadow, volunteer, or work for people in the industry that have a lot of valuable knowledge.
* Do your best to learn from them.
Common Courtesy & Respect:
* Saying “Thank you,” and “Hello Coach or Hi Mr. / Mrs.”
* Someone helping you achieve your goals is a choice that they make. This decision is made by; them having a position you fit, a genuine relationship or (for some) a personal benefit, and their knowledge that you have a need and ability. No one wants to tarnish their rep!
* Consideration & Appreciation are HUGE relationship-builders!
* Sending messages like, “What’s up bro.” to a coach Is a relationship-killer!
* Maintain communication even when not in need of assistance. It shows that you care about your connections and keeps you fresh in their mind. In the chance that an opportunity may arise.
* 10% of networking is showing up. 90% is following up.
* Do NOT wait more than 24 hours to make contact for an opening. Timing is everything!
Real Relationships are Built One by One:
* I don’t recommend mass contacting. Contact individually for a personal touch.
* Connect with many different people in the industry. Such as; athletic directors, head and assistant coaches, team owners / managers.
* It’s not about what you can get, but what you bring to the table.
* This can be referrals, useful information, recommending other players, etc.
* There’s no guaranteed return on investment (time & effort), but you will increase your odds by providing valuable upfront. It shows you are a team oriented person and selfish.
2. Professionalism: To Become a Pro, You Must Conduct yourself like a Pro!
Take ownership and personal accountability:
* Don’t use your parents to make connections for you! Pro & College Coaches Hate this!!!
* Being a professional is not about how you are treated or perceived by others. It’s about how you treat and interact with other people.
* This is especially important during the moments when you are NOT being treated well. (What you do says more about you!)
* Build a positive reputation by constantly proving your worth.
* Use caution with social media and remember you are a brand. With every action you are either enhancing or diminishing it.
* Make yourself available. Be prompt in returning phone calls, texts, or emails.
3. Preparation: Not Preparing for Success is Preparing for Failure!
Do your research:
* Approach every interaction as a networking opportunity.
* You are constantly proving your worth!
* Be organized and have your materials on hand! Resume, Highlights, Full Game Film, Profile Links, Stats, and References.
* Networking Intentionally: Networking without a purpose and strategy will not help you achieve your goals. (Build a contact log).
* Get recommendations from people you know. Don’t be too proud to reach out for help.