College Recruiting Tips
- First and foremost, PREPARE! While a prospect might not know the exact time a college coach will be calling, every recruit should recognize that phone conversations will be a significant portion of a recruiting relationship. With that in mind, prospects should write down a list of 15 questions that they could ask a coach…and keep it handy! While the conversation should flow naturally, it will only help a potentially nervous student-athlete to have a set of questions prepared ahead of time that they can always ask a coach.
- Be Honest
- A prospect should never ask if they will receive a scholarship during an initial conversation unless a coach brings up the topic.
- Recruits should maximize the conversation by only asking questions that they can find answers to by talking to the coach directly. They should not waste this valuable opportunity by asking questions that can be answered through a brief visit to the college’s website. Each conversation serves as a limited chance to develop a real relationship…make the most of it!
- Do not be afraid to ask coaches about themselves. Often times, recruits only ask questions that pertain to their life and neglect to find out anything personal about the coach. It’s important for a recruit to get to know a coach (their interests, their family, etc…)
Simply put, academics are the most important part of the process. If the college coach does not share your academic goals then it might be time to look at other options. Here are some academic questions every recruit might want to ask:
- What are the admission requirements for an athlete?
- Does your team have a full-time academic advisor?
- Do your players graduate in four years?
Athletics / Recruiting
These two topics overlap in many cases, as an athletic evaluation will determine how heavily the coaching staff will be recruiting a prospect. Here are some “must ask” questions for recruits at any point in the process:
- Has your coaching staff evaluated me?
- Where do I fit on your recruiting board?
- How many players will you be recruiting for my recruiting class?
- What types of off-season activities are expected?
- What does the training program consist of at your school?
- What is your recruiting timeline?
- Is there a good time to come visit your school?
- What are the physical requirements each year? (training commitments, weight, etc.)
- What are your expectations of me as a player? As a person?
As we noted, it is rarely appropriate for a recruit to ask if they will receive a scholarship in an initial phone conversation, however there are a few questions that will help you gauge your scholarship possibilities at that school…
- What types of academic scholarships are available? What about other sorts of grants and aid?
College Life Questions
Even though athletics will obviously play a major role in the life of a collegiate student-athlete, every recruit should make sure they are going to be happy on campus even when they are not with the team. Make sure to ask about some of the following:
- Are the players on your team close with each other?
- What is the housing situation like? Do teammates typically live together?
- Do student-athletes stay on campus during the summer?
- What is a typical “day in the life” like for a member of your team during the season? What about during the off-season?
Important Final Questions
While there are many directions that a conversation might take with a college coach, one key goal should be to find out what comes next:
- What are the next steps in this process?
- When is the next time we can speak / meet?
- Is there anything I can provide you with that will help you further evaluate me?
The Coach and Coaching Staff
- How would you best describe your coaching style?
- Where do you place your emphasis (offense, defense) during training and games or matches?
- When does your head coaching contract end?
- What is each of the assistant coaches responsible for?
- How does your team treat walk-ons?
- What is the typical year like for your student athletes? (off-season training program)
- What is the typical day like for your student athletes during the season? During the off-season?
- How important is this particular sport to your school’s athletic director?
- What is the current status of the college’s relationship with the NCAA (or NAIA)?
Sports and Academics
- What percentage of your players on scholarship graduate in four years?
- What is the team’s GPA from last year?
- Describe the typical class size.
- What do you do to academically support your players? (Tutors, study hall requirements, staff, class load)
- Am I allowed time to make up classes and tests missed because of the competition schedule?
- Are tutors provided for athletes?
- How do students compensate for time out of the classroom?
- What are your policies for missed practices or being late due to class commitments?
- Do you have a solid academic advising center? How many players take advantage of it?
- How many credits are required for me to be eligible to compete?
- How many credits are required for me to keep my financial aid?
- Do the players on the team all live in the same dorm?
- Will I be required to live on campus all four years?
- Where state/region do most of your players come from?
- Are there any unique team-building activities you do in your program?
- How many games/matches are there in a season?
- How much travel do you have in a typical year?
- What tournaments do you play in?
- What are the most impressive accomplishments of your program in the past five years?
- What are your team conduct rules? Are they the college’s minimums or are they tougher?
- Am I expected to stay in town during the summer?
- When does the season begin? End?
- What are my off-season responsibilities?