Coaches Advised to Dress Your Team in order to Impress Recruiters
We’ve all heard the axiom “Dress for the job you want, not the one you have.” It’s meant to be an aspirational guideline. In other words, you want people –usually prospective employers—to see you as “fitting” into the job (i.e., the one you’re trying to get!). And it makes perfect sense.
Get in Line with Fitting Uniforms
As “The Uniform Guy” around here, I have always put forth the notion that the same thing holds true when it comes to athletes and the need to impress recruiters. A HS player should always try to look like they “fit in” at the next level. Even at the uniform level. (Sorry, can’t help y’all with the talent, dedication, etc. parts) You at least want to avoid a huge gap between the two, budget allowing.
The problem is that, in team sports, it’s uncommon for players to have a significance influence on the decision-making about uniforms. That’s especially true for schools, but extends to elite travel, too. In a nutshell, as a player, you get what you get.
So it’s those darn, non-fashion-forward coaches…that’re to blame!!!
The coaches’ role in the equation actually starts much earlier. An often unspoken, but always underling, consideration --when coaches are trying to decide which uniforms to buy for their team-- is “Can I see my team in those uniforms?”
There may even be an actual visualization element involved, where a coach imagines the team, at the start of the season, running out on to the court. (The concept applies to all sports, but I’ll use basketball as the example here). I’ve even been so bold in the past as to suggest that, whichever team has the better uniforms, starts with a two point lead!
Impress Recruiters with Your Game
The world of recruiting has changed radically in the past 5-10 years. But there’s still no D1 coach that I know, that would dangle a scholarship offer to an AAU wunderkind, no matter how talented, without first seeing the goods in person. So we need to work backwards. In short, recruiters, who must be impressed long before head coaches (D1 or others) come sniffing around, will more likely assess an athlete’s talent in a gym. Where he/she is wearing a uniform. Which may or may not videotape well (oops…that’s a whole other blog post!)
They come to see how the kid –if—the kid can play ball. And if so, how well.
But part of the assessment is “How does he/she ‘look’ in that uniform?” More importantly, is it likely that they can “project” to the next level? Well, recruiters—stop the presses!—are humans. As such, they can fall victim to the truism that is best represented by the simplest assessment: “Do they look the part?” Because looks matter. Sure, lots of other things are involved. But athletes wearing the best uniforms possible is definitely a value-add in order to impress recruiters.