Q: How can I become a preferred walk-on?
A: Walk-ons make the team in two ways: as a preferred walk-on or through a tryout. Believe it or not, walk-on spots at many schools are just as competitive as scholarship spots—they are very limited!
To become a preferred walk-on, coaches need to see you play—either in person, or on video. For any roster spot, coaches are looking for size, speed, skill and strength. You may not be masters of all four, but can you really improve in one or two areas?
Importantly, work to find out if they need your position. It may be a waste of time pursuing a position at a certain school that is stacked, most walk-ons are invited to join the team because they play a position that is lacking depth on the roster, and the coaching staff doesn’t have scholarships available.
In the same way that you would pursue a scholarship spot, send your film and Student-Athlete Resume, and tell them you are looking for walk-on opportunities.
Having your prep coach call can also help, again mentioning that you’re looking for walk-on opportunities. Start with the assistant coach who recruits your county/school, and possibly try the position coach or Director of Operations if you aren’t getting much feedback. Most coaching staffs also have a “Walk-On Coordinator,” you can also ask for them.
Find ways to get exposure and your info in front of coaches! Approach your efforts in the same way that you would as a scholarship player.