On Recruiting

5 Tips in Developing Your Unique Brand as a Prospective Student-Athlete

The college search for athletes is an “individual” quest. A winning strategy for one prospect could be a losing strategy for another. I think we can all agree that when it comes to recruiting, the “blue chip” kids are going to be found…It’s just a matter of when. That aside, the majority of the prospects navigating the college search are NOT blue chip kids and should execute a personal plan of attack that includes “grey areas” of recruiting.

Prospects should identify distinctive characteristics that help separate them from the rest of the pack in a competitive group of college bound athletes. Below are 5 Tips in Developing your Unique Brand as a Prospective Student-Athlete.

Personal Brand Defined

A Personal Brand is simply developing and maintaining a character, mission and purpose that identifies and differentiates you from other prospects. Your personal brand is not something you whip up in a weekend…It is a life-long commitment to shaping and reinforcing your personal core values.

College coaches are not implementing rocket science strategy when recruiting prospects and considering the tremendous volume of interest, they need to establish clear and simple operatives that will streamline the recruiting process.

An effective brand strategy gives you a major edge in the increasingly competitive college recruiting arena. Your brand is your personal commitment to coaches that tells them what they can expect from you. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.


Defining your personal brand can be daunting, but consider the following operatives that will get you started:

  • What is your college goal?
  • What strengths do you bring to the table as a prospect?
  • How do teachers, coaches and teammates view your core values?
  • What personal qualities do you have that are outstanding and unique?

Remember, college coaches are looking at 3 standout qualities in prospects: Impact athletes, quality students and boys and girls who bring a robust integrity component to the recruiting table.

Tell it like it is

It is one thing to present your brand to college coaches in a positive light and an altogether different strategy to boast. College coaches are grounded, common-sense, gut thinkers who, at their core, are the “salt of the earth.” They have an uncanny ability to read prospects and families quickly and with laser focus accuracy.

Commit to sharing an optimistic but...

[Read the full column]


Tom Kovic

Tom Kovic is a former Division I college coach and the current director of Victory Collegiate Consulting, where he provides individual advisement for families in navigating the college recruiting process. For further information visit Victoryrecruiting.com.


Previous Columns

November 30, 2015
5 Tips in Developing Your Unique Brand as a Prospective Student-Athlete
The college search for athletes is an “individual” quest. A winning strategy for one...
February 5, 2015
5 Key Tips in building a Powerful College Recruiting Mission Statement
College coaches are brilliant recruiters and look for 3 key components when evaluating prospects....
October 28, 2014
The changing climate of college recruiting
College athletics has changed dramatically over the past 20 years and coaches are under tremendous...
July 24, 2014
Five essential initial steps in being recruited for college athletics
The college experience is, in many cases, the most important four years in our children’s...
April 29, 2014
College showcases: Streamlining the effort
Baseball showcases and tournaments will give college coaches a first-hand look at a prospect that...
August 26, 2013
3 keys to maximizing college recruiting interviews
I think we can all agree that there will be a laundry list of tasks on the college recruiting...
June 13, 2013
100 Days to Maximize your College Recruiting Effort
The summer can be organized and utilized in several ways and the prospect that looks at the next 100...
April 2, 2013
When your strategy hits a wall, learn to pivot
The college search for athletes is an individual and tactical quest that will play out differently...
January 28, 2013
4 Key Recruiting Tools in the College Search for Athletes
Competition for scholarships, roster spots and admissions support is at fever pitch and the family...
November 21, 2012
Networking tools which advance the college search
The college search for athletes is a marathon, not a sprint and the recruiting process can, at...
July 19, 2012
Maximizing Prospect Communication with College Coaches
Effective communication between prospects and college coaches can be a critical component in the...
April 23, 2012
Financial aid 101
September 7, 2010
Launching the recruiting effort
The college experience is, in many cases, the most important four years in our children’s...
July 14, 2010
Communicate dynamically with coaches
Whenever I lecture on college athletics recruiting, a primary area I focus on is using “delibe...
June 25, 2010
The initial assessment
Organization is an important component in the college search for athletes and completing a college...
More Division III sports news

Twitter Feed

Other Columns