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For many student-athletes, the fear of the preceding happening is a major reason they don’t contact college coaches. Bad idea. Such an approach doesn’t make it any easier for the coach to recruit you either. The key is to be prepared.
Before you contact college coaches, and it is the athlete calling the coach-not the parent, you must know the following:
It’s easier to find out what level you’re at for some sports than others. Any timed or otherwise measured sport makes it easy to compare personal stats to team stats. Other sports, especially team sports, are more difficult.
However, even team sports will have general recruiting guidelines for various positions at the different college levels. This combined with honest evaluations from high school and club coaches or feedback from prospect camps should help you target the right level for college.
Why wouldn’t a coach want to get to know better a prospect that seems to be a possible match for the team?
The NCAA may no longer be requiring minimum ACT or SAT scores from athletes but that just means your GPA is going to become even more important. And this means that when you contact college coaches, you should know that your current GPA for core courses puts you comfortably within the NCAA, conference, and school requirements for the team. You will also make sure that you are on track to fulfill the minimum NCAA core course requirements which isn’t going away.
This means that you’ve taken the time to make sure all of your classes will meet the NCAA core course requirements and shown you can take care of business in the classroom. You aren’t recruitable if you don’t meet the academic requirements. And coaches would rather not worry about players staying eligible to play during the season.
You should have looked at the team’s roster as part of figuring out if you’re competitive or not. But knowing the team’s record and their conference competitors can save you from embarrassing comments. It may never come up in conversation, but if it does, you’re going to wish that you spent ten minutes looking at the conference records. And who knows, if this particular team doesn’t work out, you’ll know some other possible opportunities to check out.
Too many players don’t realize that contacting college coaches is part of a two-way process. Players need to be finding out if the coach, team, and school are a good fit for them. There are all kinds of opinions about whether or not you should go to a school just because of a coach. But a coach could definitely be a reason not to attend a school if you don’t agree with his coaching philosophy or approach to winning.
There are plenty of lists of suggested questions for specific sports available on the internet. Use them to create your own list. Remember, you’re picking from a list of colleges that you know you’re competitive for. Of course you need to ask questions to find out if it meets your preferences.
All of this assumes that you have an athletic profile as well as video available. If you don’t, take care of it before you make the phone call. You don’t want to have to be scrambling to pull it together if the coach expresses interest.
You can contact a coach as soon as you’re certain you’re a good match for the program and college. Just be aware of the Recruiting Periods contact rules. If nothing else, you can always complete a player profile.
The questions you ask a college coach will depend where you are in the recruiting process. The questions you ask the first time you contact a coach won’t be the same as later in the relationship. Visit Questions to Ask College Coaches on College Recruiting Visits for questions.
An athletic profile is like a resume or CV for athletes. It should focus on your strengths and is an important tool in the recruiting process. Not only is it useful for coaches, it helps athletes to gather all of their information in one place. Read 6 Things Baseball Players Must Have on Their Athletic Profile for more information.
One thing to remember that once you’re in a position to start asking coaches questions, they will be asking you questions as well. Be prepared, especially for the one about what other schools are recruiting you.
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