Steve Shenbaum, actor and IMG Academies communications and media specialist, coaches up some of the best professional athletes on their presence and verbal skills. Below, he outlines a few systems that help develop the right qualities for interacting with a coach, face-to-face or over the phone.
COINS—or things that make you smile. When speaking with a coach, reveal interesting aspects of your personality outside of sports. You don’t want to be viewed as just an athlete, so convey to coaches some other areas of your life that get you excited. Know your COINS. Own them. Figure out others’ COINS—then find a mutual interest or conversation topic.
NUMBERS. On a scale of 1 to 10, consider a “3” personality to be laid back and chill, and an “8” to be dominant and assertive. Think about which number you are closer to—3 or 8? Then, work to improve the deficient area. When dealing with coaches, monitor your 8 persona so you don’t come off as “God’s gift” to sports, because you’ll fail every interaction. If you’re more of a 3, strive to be more confident and outgoing during conversations.
OBJECTIVE. Rarely do you get in a car and drive aimlessly. Treat conversations similarly. Know where you’re going in social situations, in terms of how you want the other person to feel during your interaction. Do you want him/her to feel confident in your ability? Do you want him/ her to feel happy to have had the opportunity to meet with you? Keep those feelings in mind.
Improvisation, which is a large part of recruiting phone calls and conversations, is about speaking up, speaking your mind and being correct at all times. Carry your COINS, know your NUMBERS and develop a specific OBJECTIVE to achieve a successful conversation that will impress coaches.