In a clever effort to get a better chance of attracting the best high school athletes from around the United States, college recruiters are turning to a new social network to capture.Connecting athletes and coaches, BeRecruited.com is a social network for players of all different sports and both major and minor post-secondary schools.
BeRecruited has actually been around for nearly a decade, founded by Ryan Spoon in 2002. As a young swimmer, Spoon found difficulty with competing in the recruiting process, and thus took the process to the online medium. The network continues to gain in popularity, with roughly 1.25 millions users, most of which are athletes. It is the nation’s largest online college sports recruiting site.
In an article in the New York Daily News, a cross country coach at Manhattan College stresses the benefits of such a network, as some schools, such as his own, may not be able to get the attention of prospective athletes. While some school can offer a great deal of money that will drown out most other schools, smaller colleges with quality programs and quality coaches are looking to beRecruited to get an advantage.
Not only are coaches able to find future stars, but young athletes can also search potential schools and make contact with far more coaches and teachers. Moreover, it is perfect for those who don’t compete in the major sports such as football and basketball, both of which take up a majority of attention and certainly money on the collegiate level.
For those who compete in soccer, lacrosse, swimming, track, tennis, among many others, the site gives them an opportunity to get their name and face out in the scouting world. For a long time, scouting could only take place on a limited basis, with finite time and resources. The move to the online, social network allows more people to realize more opportunities.
“Traditional recruiting is not an efficient market for exchanging information,” said Vishwas Prabhakara, the chief executive officer. “What beRecruited.com does is grease the wheels and help make connections more efficiently.”
Students create their own online profiles, complete with their sports statistics, pictures, videos, and other interests and achievements. Based on their needs and accomplishments, their profiles are then forwarded along to prospective colleges and recruiters. When scouts cannot attend every game in the area, highlights may go unseen; with the network, videos can be posted to showcase young athletes’ skills.
It seems a combination of LinkedIn and eHarmony, where athletes can find their ideal match in schools, and vice versa, as teenagers post what they are looking for in a college or university, and the schools advertise what they can offer. The network is free, but for an additional $15 a month, or flat $60, athletes can contact schools directly to be more proactive.
As well, students have the chance to pursue potential academic and athletic scholarships that are available at the variety of schools.
There are myriad success stories as the site demonstrates the trust and influence that social networks have on the future of student athletes and schools.