If Youth Athletes Don’t Promote Themselves, Who Will?
A coach at a prominent high school in my area recently posted a tweet criticizing youth athletes for self-promotion. Having grown up with an emphasis on humility of which I like to think I convey today, I read that post and it first I understood where he was coming from, but after thinking a bit more, it made me angry. We’ve just passed the one year mark of the covid-19 pandemic in which youth athletes have seen sports seasons cancelled along with their hopes and dreams of playing in college all but disappear due to dead periods imposed preventing college coaches from seeing youth athletes in person. Criticizing young people for putting videos on social media in hopes they may attract the attention of a coach so they may continue their dream of playing their respective sport at the next level is ridiculous. When I’m not creating content for TheTravelBallDad.com, I’m paying the bills with my 9-5 as a sales guy and being in sales, I know first hand if you sit back and wait for the customers to come to you, you’re going to be waiting a long time. Working to get your message in front of the right person at the right time in hopes of driving opportunities to close is what I do and frankly, it isn’t much different for the kids who are working to get noticed and play beyond high school. Like in sales, recruiting is a numbers game. Yes, if you’re good enough, coaches will find you, but honestly, that applies to the top 5-10% of players who have been deemed ballplayers since middle school. What about the other 90%, the kids who work their tails off to improve their craft and the late bloomers who finally grow into their body? Do these kids not deserve a chance to be noticed? What is the harm of them trying to get their name out there and be noticed so they may one day have the chance of achieving their dream of walking on a college field or court?
College Coaches have done the best they can throughout this pandemic to continue recruiting players using the tools available such as game footage, livestream video like you see from the Prep Baseball Report Future Games and technology that records metrics such as exit velocity, throwing velocity, spin rate, etc. Is using technology alone to deduce the capability of a youth athlete ideal? No, I think we’d all agree technology alone does not tell the entire story of a youth athlete, but in a sea of many and coaches being strapped to their offices, at least these tools provide the colleges something to digest regarding the futures of so many who aspire to play a sport they love beyond high school. In summary, to all the people who criticize youth athletes for self-promotion I say to you,
“What the hell do you expect them to do and what’s the harm?”