How users can get recruited on TikTok


Ryan Vance

Students walking down a hall adorned with pictures of the school’s most elite athletes.

Ryan Vance, Business Manager

TikTok is still a very new app compared to veteran social media platforms  like Facebook. A lot of kids use the app, but many adults are still in the learning stage. At this point in time, it is uncommon for coaches to utilize TikTok as a recruiting tool. Athletes can take advantage of the app and gain exposure to coaches using the app.

It may be hard to believe that athletes can be found by coaches on an app like TikTok, but it is a great way for coaches to view how people play. Many PV students do not post videos of their sporting accomplishments on instagram. A majority save the highlights and playtime for Tiktok posts. These videos show athletic form and body language, two very important aspects of an athlete.

Many TikTok athletes post more than just their highlights and trends. Coaches can see what kind of person they are based on what other videos they post. Are they funny? Do they enjoy hanging out with friends? Or, is the athlete more serious and focused on niche interests? The coach is able to learn a lot about the athlete through the content that they post.

Some may be concerned that coaches do not have TikTok and will never get it. Coaches are adults and do not always have the app, but they can see trends shared through other social media apps. If a video is viral enough, people without the app will have opportunities to see the content.

When coaches or recruiters see a viral TikTok video, they will often visit the user’s profile, so it is important to make sure to have the best profile possible. The ideal profile includes things like the athletes name, a photo in uniform, high school and graduation year. This will give coaches the most essential information and allow them to get in contact.

 Anyone can go viral on TikTok, a reason the app is so appealing. Student athletes can take advantage of the app by posting a lot of content of themselves playing their sport. Just posting on a regular basis makes it more likely that one video will go viral. There are other ways to help a video gain popularity.

Following trends that other users are doing make videos more catered to the mainstream audience on the app. Another strategy is using hashtags to represent what the video is about. This can help cater the video to specific audiences. Including “#athlete” in the description shows that the video is about an athlete, something coaches are looking for.

Senior Colin Meyer posted a video of the boys soccer team winning state last year – an athletic post that gained thousands of views. This video followed the trend of athletes posting their favorite sports videos. In the description, he put multiple hashtags, such as #dontquityourdaydream. Posts following trends in a similar format to this example can easily go viral.

TikTok is not a sure way to get recruited. There is no way to make sure a video will get noticed by other users, let alone college coaches. Even if a coach does see a video, there is no guarantee they will contact the athlete. TikTok is a very new way for coaches to connect with athletes. There are not yet set strategies for coaches to discover potential recruits.

Schools have taken to TikTok to try and recruit all students, not just the athletes. Colleges and universities are beginning to create their own TikTok accounts. These schools post content like campus tours, study hacks, a day in the life videos and meal ideas. This allows young users to get a sense of what going to college at that school is like.

In contrast to the now popular college tours and student life videos, recruiting college athletes on the app is just getting started. “TikTok will definitely be used more for recruiting in the future,” said PV Junior Jeffery Rinker. “It is going to gain popularity and be an easy way for coaches to see athletes in action.” The app is just beginning to be used for recruiting. Students will only get noticed by coaches if they put themselves out there.

TikTok is new to recruiting and colleges are just starting to utilize it. Athletes and coaches are learning to get in touch with each other using the app. The only way to get noticed and go viral is to post.