Step 8 – Plan Your Communication Strategies
Communication is an extremely important aspect of the recruiting process. Communications will take several forms:
- First, you will be expected to tell the coach about yourself.
- Second, the coach will expect that you have done your homework and that you will ask him questions about the program and how you will fit in.
- And third, you can expect the coach to ask you questions, and to listen carefully to how you respond; you must be prepared.
One way to prepare is to find a partner to role-play with before following up with college coaches. This will help you get an idea how to respond to coaches on follow up phone calls and conversations. This person could be a parent, teammate, coach, counselor, or anybody that will play along!
What to tell the coach
Stress your personal strengths! Say one of your strengths every time an opportunity arises in conversation. Do not be afraid to come off as cocky – just let the coach know you are confident in your abilities to succeed at the college level and help improve his program. Here are some strengths that you should build into your conversations, if they apply to you. Add others that are applicable.
- You are doing great academically and plan to continue so that the coach will not have any worries in this regard.
- You will pursue every avenue possible for financial aid
- You will do whatever it takes to have a chance to play for their program.
- You are registered with NCAA Clearinghouse, so the coach knows you are eligible, which takes away 50% of the coach’s worry about a recruit.
- You are responsible and mature. You are proving that with the emails, mail, researching the coaches contact information, following up with the coach, and being able to put all the materials together, including being pre-registered with the NCAA Clearinghouse.
- You are passionate about being a collegiate student-athlete and playing for their program; you will do whatever it takes to prove to the coach that you are worthy of an opportunity to play for him.
- You know how to balance and excel in both academics and athletics.
What to ask the coach
You must do your homework to identify good questions to ask coaches. This is important to demonstrate your interest in their programs. Here are some questions to get you going down the right path:
- Have you had a chance to look at my email or package that came through the mail?
- How do you feel I could fit into your program?
- How many players are leaving after the (your graduation year) season?
- What does the scholarship situation look like for my recruiting class?
- How many more players are looking to sign for my recruiting class?
- When are you looking to solidify your recruiting class?
- What is the daily life like for a player at your college/university?
- How rigorous are the academic courses and how much help do we receive through the athletic department? What academic services, such as tutors, exclusive study area for athletes, learning specialists, and counselors are available?
- What is the graduation rate of your players?
- What would you like me to do from here to prove that I have what it takes to play at your school?
- Do you have any questions for me?
Be prepared to respond to these questions a coach might ask.
Think hard about how to answer these questions if asked. Ask others who have been through the recruiting process what types of questions they were asked. Role playing with a parent, friend, or other person can be extremely helpful.
- What are your goals going into your senior season?
- What are your goals for college?
- Where do you rate sports on your list of priorities compared to other areas such as school, faith, family, social life?
- What are you looking for in a college?
- How much scholarship money are you looking to receive?
- What fields of study are you interested in?
- What are the things that you are looking for most in a school?
- What most interests you about our school?
- What other schools are you hearing from?
- Do you have a leader now?
- What types of grades are you getting now (which may be an early way to ask for your transcripts)?