We focus so much on what to say or do to make a good impression with coaches, it can be hard to remember that every conversation with a college coach is a two-way street.
Knowing what questions to expect from a college coach and how to answer them is important, but you should also prepare the questions you want t0 ask. This is a chance to find out whether you'll excel on this coach's team.
The key is to know the right questions to ask to maximize your short time with a coach.
Before we get into specific questions potential recruits should ask a college coach, let's go over a few basics.
What to keep in mind when you're talking to a coach.
Although you might not know the exact time a coach will call, you should recognize that phone conversations are, or will be, a significant component of your recruiting relationships. Write down a list of 15 questions you want to ask a coach, and keep it handy!
The conversation should flow naturally, but it can only help a potentially nervous student-athlete to have a set of questions to ask a coach ready ahead of time.
Unless a coach brings up the subject, a prospect should never ask if he or she will receive a scholarship during an initial conversation.
The questions you ask will depend on your situation and what's important to you, but no matter what you ask, they should be questions only a coach can answer. "How many students attend your school?" or "What dining hall will I eat in?" are probably answered in the materials the school sent you or posted on their website. Make the most of your opportunity to develop a real relationship with a coach, and to determine if this school is a good academic, athletic and social fit.
Another point: Don't be afraid to ask coaches about themselves. Often, 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.
What you should ask a college coach on the phone
Check out a few topics that should be covered while you have a college coach on the phone, and some sample questions from each:
Academics are the most important part of the process. Here are some potential questions to get you thinking about what you could ask a college coach:
- What are the admission requirements for an athlete?
- Can the application fee be waived for athletes?
- What are some of the most popular majors for athletes on your team?
- Will my specific major interfere with the athletic schedule?
- Do your players graduate in four years?
- Does your team have a full-time academic advisor?
Athletics and Recruiting
These two topics overlap in many ways. An athletic evaluation will determine how heavily the coaching staff will recruit a prospective player.
- What is your recruiting timeline? Have you offered scholarships to others in my class? Have any other athletes in my class accepted the offers?
- How many players will you be recruiting at my position?
- Where will you be recruiting this season?
- What does the training program consist of at your school?
- Is there a good time to for me visit your school?
Please remember, it's never appropriate to ask whether you'll receive a scholarship offer in an initial phone conversation. But you can still gauge scholarship possibilities at that school:
- How many scholarships do you have available for my class?
- What types of academic scholarships are available? What about other sorts of grants and aid?
- Would an athlete need to apply before a scholarship is offered?
- What would happen if an athlete with a scholarship offer got injured?
- 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?
- Is it possible to work part-time in addition to playing a sport and studying?
How to finish the call with a college coach
You won't have time to ask all of these questions in your initial phone call with a coach, but they can help you get a good first impression of the school. When you're done, be sure to thank the coach for his or her time.
You can also ask about next steps: "When can we speak again?" or "Is there anything I can provide you that will help you further evaluate me?"
Recruiting is all about building relationships. It doesn't happen overnight, and it involves a number of different situations in which a recruit communicates with a college coach. The earlier you start that relationship, the more time you will have to make the best decision possible.
Our scouts can help you get ready for calls with college coaches. The best way to get started is with a recruiting profile.