Look, I’m sorry about the “slightly” misleading title, but I needed your attention.
Look, a lot of guys ask me what it takes to become a pro football player.
There are actually some things you can do to improve your chances, believe it or not.
But let’s not kid ourselves, here.
Nothing’s promised in life, and I damn sure can’t promise you that following these tips will land you on a squad.
…but there are a few things you can do to at least improve your chances, though.
An Agent… To Need, or NOT To Need?
Truth be told, most players looking to play pro football really don’t need agents.
Unless you’re a legitimate NFL-caliber player, you can probably do the work required to get a shot yourself. Let’s talk about how to become a pro football player.
Not being able to find an agent is not an excuse for not pursuing a pro football career.
Promoting yourself to decision-makers on pro football teams is something you can do yourself.
Don’t get me wrong, though.
An agent with good relationships and a good name may have some relationships that you could leverage.
If you want an agent, and can find one, great. I’ve just seen way too many athletes put their careers solely in the hands of an agent.
If things don’t work out with a specific agent, you should be able to pick up where he left-off yourself.
Below are 5 things you can do to land yourself a shot.
1. Create a highlight tape and upload it to YouTube. As I mentioned before, you can do this easily using Windows Movie Maker. You only want your best plays are on the film. The goal here is to just spark the interest of the personnel guy watching your film. 5 minutes is more than enough. You might even be able to get away with 3 minutes.
2. Create a bio. The bio is basically your athletic resume. Make this bio in Microsoft Word, and paste the contents in the email that you will be sending to the team.
3. Visit team websites to obtain contact information. You’d be surprised how many teams have email addresses posted on their website for you to use to submit bios and film; especially teams in the Arena League, CFL and IFL.
The Edmonton Eskimos, of the Canadian Football League, for example, provide an e-mail address, phone number, fax number, and mailing address for sending stuff to their Scouting department.
>>Related: Contact Info for all CFL Teams
4. Send your information. Email your bio, a picture of you on the field, to the Player Personnel and/or scouting staff. Or, if the team mentions a specific email address for bio and film submissions, use that one.
Regarding try-outs, I try to encourage guys to send their bios to teams and follow-up to get a feel for their interest in them before coughing up the money to attend a try-out, if at all possible.
Otherwise, if you pay to attend and they don’t have a need at your position or an interest in you, you’re wasting your own time and money.
5. Follow up! A wise man once told me that “the fortune is in the follow-up.”
It’s so true. Don’t be a bug-a-boo, but you may have to send follow-up emails and phone calls to get feedback. Pro football coaches are some of the busiest people on the planet.
If you find that you’ve sent your information to all eight CFL teams, and after a month you haven’t received any feedback or returned phone calls, it may be a sign that they’re not interested.
If you don’t get any feedback, don’t get discouraged. You may have to start out at a lower-level league and work your way up. There’s tons of leagues, you have the IFL, AFL, UFL, and many other opportunities.
Don’t give up!
So now you know how to become a pro football player. I know what you’re sayin, “it’s more to it than that.” To that I say, you’re absolutely right.
Check back soon, as I’ll provide more detailed info on each of the five steps.
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