Self-promotion is essential if you want to continue playing competitive soccer.
How many times have you heard "It's not what you know, it's who you know?"
It's been said so many times it's starting to get old, but it's important to get out there and meet people in your chosen field, however you can. We all have heard, over and over, the importance of networking and self-promotion for when you want a job. But what you may not have heard much about is the importance of self-promotion when you're a soccer player.
If you're planning on pursuing soccer beyond high school, either by playing in college or by trying out for professional teams, you need to master the art of self-promotion.
Unfortunately, for a lot of people, this is harder than it sounds. When we think of somebody who talks about their accomplishments, we tend to think of people who are arrogant, conceited, boastful or braggarts, and we certainly don't want those negative words associated with us.Repeat after me: I'm the best!
Look at it this way: You're going to be just one of hundreds, if not thousands, of other student athletes applying for that soccer scholarship or trying to get that trial for that professional team. If you don't talk up your soccer accomplishments, nobody else will, and that scholarship or tryout will go to somebody else.
So don't be afraid to let coaches, agents, scouts and soccer clubs know just how awesome you are. And don't just tell them. Find ways to make your self-promotion stand out from the crowd. Grab their attention and show them why you're the best player they've ever seen. Get them your soccer résumé
When you're job hunting, one of the first things you do is create a résumé and cover letter. The cover letter is the first step to selling yourself to potential employers, and the résumé backs it up with a detailed listing of your experience and accomplishments.
When you're a soccer player, it's important to have a soccer résumé and cover letter that do the same thing. The object of the cover letter is to convince the coach why you're perfect for his team, or to convince an agent that he needs to represent you in attaining professional trials.
Your soccer résumé should back up your cover letter with your soccer experience and accomplishments. List the teams you've played for, talk about how well the team did during your time with it, and how well you did while playing for them. Also include individual statistics, like goals scored, points, assists, shut-outs, etc., and any soccer awards or honors you've received.
It's also good to get recommendation letters from coaches you've played with, be it at your school, a camp you attended or elsewhere. They can provide firsthand testimony to the kind of player you are, which can be invaluable for your soccer career.
If it's a scholarship or university team you're applying for, you may need to include some academic information, like ACT or SAT scores and your GPA. Because many universities have minimum academic requirements for acceptance, a coach needs to know if you'll even qualify to get into the university.Modernize your soccer résumé approach
While a paper résumé is important to have, it's something that every other student athlete will have as well. You need to find a way to push your résumé out of the crowd. One way to do this is to include a video résumé or a highlight reel along with your traditional paper résumé.
Where your paper résumé will tell people what you've done, a soccer video résumé will show them, especially coaches who may not have had the opportunity to come and see you play. Plus, modernizing how you display your résumé will set you a cut above the rest. If you don't send in the video résumé with your traditional paper one, make sure that you include a note at the bottom that lets coaches know you have one available. A better idea still is to upload your video résumé to "Google Videos" or put your video online, and include a link to the video on your paper résumé.
If you've been involved with any soccer camps, see if they have videos of your playing time. If you're lucky, some camps or soccer programs may even help you create a soccer video résumé.
Don't hold yourself back from getting that soccer scholarship or scoring a chance to play for that professional team. Get started now making your soccer video résumé and highlight reel so that you can blow those coaches away.