Is 2018 the year you want to get your name out there more as an athlete? But what does that really and how do you do it? We put together 5 practical tips every athlete that want more exposure and there name out there whether it’s for college recruiting or getting more playing time should do.

I remember my days in jr high and high school as an athlete with big dreams of playing college football. It didn’t matter what anyone else thought because I knew I was talented enough to play in college. The only problem with this confidence of mine was that besides the athletes and coaches in my district no one else knew who Jacolby Gilliam was.
My mindset was if I played good college coaches would find me and two it’s my high school coaches job to get me recruited. You know, like besides teaching social studies that’s what they were paid to do.

Both of those assumptions were wrong. Unless you’re the next Leonard Fournette, college coaches are going to need more than just your highlight. Sending you’re recruiting tape is the easy part. Second, your coach may love you as an athlete, but it’s not realistic to expect them to call a bunch of coaches on your behalf, game plan for the next opponent, teach classes, and have a life themselves.

I wish I figured this out when I was in high school, even knowing this in junior high would have been clutch. As we are rolling in the new year if your goal is to “Get your name out there” as an athlete the 5 tips in this article are for you.

1. Define what does getting your name out there mean to you?

Getting your name out there as a student-athlete can mean so many different things, so decide what that means for you. Does that mean I want college coaches to know me? Does it mean I want my coach to notice me more so I can get more playing opportunities? Or do I just want to be social media famous as an athlete?
Once you know this, it will help you with tip #2

2. Set some goals

How you play in the game is important but not that important if the right people do not know about it. Say you want to the next social media famous up and coming athlete, are you posting your videos on Instagram and tagging all of those highlight accounts?

It helps when we have smaller goals that lead up to achieving a big goal like earning a college scholarship. Here are some examples of some micro-goals:

  • Get an invite to a college camp
  • Lead your district in a particular stat
  • Be featured on a 9INE POINT athlete spotlight
  • Get 200 views on your IG highlight video

Each goal helps level you up to achieve the next thing and then the next thing. Once you start building momentum, there is no stopping you but you.

3. Start Marketing Yourself

Everyone is accessible whether you are looking to play in college or in the pros overseas. The most convenient thing you can do is email spam a bunch of college coaches your highlight. For example, most universities have an athletic directory on their sports website. So you could find the sport you are interested in and send that coach or recruiting coordinator an email. You have to remember 95% of athletes could do that and it some cases it works, but you want to stand out. Most of the time your email won’t even get read.

It’s 2018 get creative, make a skills video that has the opportunity to go viral, make a video showing how you broke down their plays and what each player’s role was. Think outside the box. Talent is easy there are talented athletes across the country. What intangibles do you add on top of your abilities are what will impress coaches when you’re trying to get your name out there.

Make a phone call. I’m going to be real with you I hate phone calls, but when I was trying to get my name out there after my ACL tear, I had to bite the bullet. I remember I called several times to different Universities trying to get ahold of a coach or recruiting coordinator but most of the time I would get the receptionist who would forward me to the person I wanted to talk to only to get their voicemail. But being persistent one day I called and got a hold of someone with the track team at OU that ultimately helped lead me to earn that walk-on opportunity.

There is so much more you can do to market yourself that we will save for another article. You can get some more ideas from my talk with Professional Basketball player Nigel Byam on the 9INE POINT Podcast here.

Do the things that make you uncomfortable, they will help you grow and eventually you’ll strike gold.

4. Expand your horizon

Trust me I’ve been there we all want to go Division-I to the top sports schools the Oklahomas, Kentuckys, Alabamas and the Dukes of the world. That dope a dream and you should go for it, but don’t forget other colleges are looking for athletes just like you.

Like fam, there are 347 Division-I colleges in the U.S. Not everyone can go to Alabama, but you have universities like Kent State or SMU looking for athletes ready to ball out. Reach out to the smaller schools you’ll be amazed at the experience they can give you too. What’s more important to you going to a big school just to say you are on the team or going to a smaller school to get some PT playing the sport you love.

5. Believe in yourself.

This is the most important of all. You have to believe that you’re worth the opportunity before you can get it. This goes back to every tip on this list, only a select few athletes get to continue their sport at the next level from jr high to high school to college to pros the number gets smaller and smaller. Throughout your athletic journey, you will have parents, coaches, friends, people that you don’t even know tell how unrealistic it is for you to achieve your goal of getting your name out there.

Believe that you can achieve the level of greatness you want and willing to put in the extra work to make it happen.

The athletes that you look up to didn’t get there overnight they had a belief in themselves and did what most athletes wouldn’t to have their name on the big stage.

What tip was the most helpful for you? Share this with a teammate or athlete you want to do big things too.

Jacolby Gilliam

Jacolby is the founder and publisher of 9INE POINT Mag. As a former walk-on, he realized there are so many athletes with stories that are not being heard or told for various reasons. 9INE POINT Mag was born, as a platform to help athletes and those that support them share their stories and journey, regardless of your NCAA division, playing status, pro or semi-pro. Jacolby feels that every athlete has a journey that can inspire other athletes in the midst of theirs.
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