The college recruiting process can be exhilarating and uplifting, especially when your plan is working on all cylinders. Consequently, even the best-executed projects can run into roadblocks or even stall completely. A Coach Testimonial can be a powerful tool in college recruiting. Embracing the club coach as a powerful ally will help prospects gain considerable ground.
Club coaches are not only wizards in the gym and on the field; they have an uncanny ability to read core personalities of every boy and girl they teach. A successful coach is a great educator first. They know their student’s strengths, weaknesses, and potential leadership capabilities.
College coaches will do a thorough academic and athletic evaluation of a prospect to determine where they fit in their recruit priority chart. Moving forward, a diligent college recruiter will reach out to the club coach to learn about the inner makeup of the prospect.
Given a choice between a blue-chip prospect who may be a potential “loose cannon” on the inside of the team and a solidly skilled prospect who brings a strong character component to the table, college coaches will likely lean toward the latter. Consequently, a strong testimonial from the candidate’s current coach can go a long way in closing the loop in the college evaluation. Below is an example of an impact coach testimonial:
Coach Testimonial: “Rarely in my time at PDA have we added a player directly from a tryout onto our top team, but I was so impressed with Ian during our tryout process that we immediately offered him a place on our top team that plays in the MLSNEXT league. As a player, Ian is most comfortable in central midfield but can also play wide. His best qualities are his comfort with the ball, his passing ability, and his creativity. As a person, Ian would be an outstanding addition to any locker room, university, or team culture. He has been a pleasure to coach, has taken instruction very well, and applied it during matches, and his training habits are exemplary. Ian is an excellent, positive, and supportive teammate. I have no hesitations at all in recommending Ian to any college program and would be happy to discuss him further at any time.” –Tyler S.
The Coach Testimonial should touch on 3 critical areas. 1) Athletic ability, 2) Ability to coach and teach the prospect and 3) The potential leadership qualities he or she brings to a program.
Prospects should create a starting point for their college search by defining themselves. Creating and sharing a 1-page player profile with college coaches is an excellent first step. Not only should the profile let college coaches know who you are, but it should also include a powerful coach testimonial.
The testimonial serves as a soft recommendation where a coach can identify the skill of an athlete but also convey their core character and inherent leadership qualities. In addition, club coaches can utilize powerful networking skills and cultivate robust relationships with college coaches.
College coaches are grounded, common-sense individuals who rely on their gut when making most of their program decisions, including recruiting. Whether you are the captain of your team or a member of the student government, embrace these leadership roles to build your character foundation.
College coaches have an uncanny ability to size up prospects quickly. They can pinpoint a real leader as opposed to a “resume leader” in a heartbeat. And who better than your private coach to convey your leadership skills to college coaches?
The coach testimonial, as part of the player profile, forms the recruiting foundation. Picking up the phone and calling college coaches gives club coaches the opportunity to convey personal information about the prospect further. This drives the recruiting process to the next level.
The club coach can be many things to prospective student-athletes, A mentor, sounding board, and even a sport psychologist! In addition, he or she can be a powerful ally who can offer valuable information to college coaches. Perhaps just enough to tip the scales for the prospect in the right direction.