College Recruiting Basics: Voicemail Messages

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Basketball Player on Cell Phone

Earlier this year, the NCAA changed its rules on when college coaches can call recruits. New rules state that coaches can call you once a month, starting June 15 after your sophomore year. Beginning Aug. 1 of your senior year, coaches can call you twice a week.

For football, the rules differ. Football coaches can call you one time total your junior year between April 15 and May 31; and they cannot make additional calls until Sept. 1 of your senior year.

Current NCAA rules do not allow college coaches to text message athletes, so phone calls and e-mail are the main methods of contact and communication.

Now that you know when and how often a coach can call, are you prepared for the call? Do you check your voicemail? Is your voicemail message set up properly? Do you even have a voicemail set up?

Voicemail Mistakes
Before I go into proper techniques for professional voicemail, let's first examine a few examples of unprofessional voicemails.

Trick Messages: Your voicemail says, "Hello…Hello…can you hear me?" The coach replies, "John, are you there? Can you hear me?" Your voicemail then says, "LOL, gotcha! Leave a message at the beep, sucka!"

Ringback Tones: Do not use an inappropriate ringback tone. A college coach doesn't want to listen to the latest explicit rap lyrics while he's waiting to leave you a voicemail.

No Voicemail: After numerous rings, your phone shouldn't say, "This wireless customer has not set up their voicemail. You cannot leave a message. Goodbye." You want the coach to be able to leave a message, so set up your voicemail.

Full Voicemail: Check your voicemail consistently and delete old messages, so the coach will never hear: "This mailbox is full and is not accepting new messages. Goodbye."

Personalized Messages: Your voicemail should be generic and applicable to everyone. It shouldn't be directed at a specific person, such as, "Hello, you have reached John's phone. Leave me a message at the beep. Unless you are Sally—then I hate you and never call me again!"

A Good Voicemail Message
Increase your chances of getting recruited by setting up an appropriate voicemail message. My advice for creating a professional voicemail is to keep it short, friendly and appropriate for everyone, such as: "Hello, you have reached John Smith. Please leave your name, number and a message, and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you and have a great day!"

It takes two minutes to set up a professional voicemail. You spend hours a day training to get better, so spend two minutes to be a better recruit!


Jared Montz, a former pro soccer player and collegiate national champion, is the founder of His company works with competitive high school athletes in all sports; builds them personal websites, like; and teaches them how to promote and network themselves confidently to college coaches using

Find out more, watch College Recruiting TV and download a free copy of Montz's College Recruiting Handbook at the You can also connect with him at

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