When a college coach, especially a head coach, is willing to hop on a plane and come to your home, it’s a sign that he seriously wants you on his squad. Nevertheless, sitting on your couch, face to face with a big-time coach, can be one of the more nerve-wracking parts of the recruiting process. Being prepared can help.
• Research the coach so you know what to expect of him.
• Write down questions and topics you want to cover ahead of time, so you don’t forget anything when he shows up.
• Keep a notepad with you during the meeting, so you can record important information and jot down new questions as they arise during the conversation.
• Don’t let the coach dodge anything you throw his way. When he seems elusive, rephrase your question.
The Student Athlete’s Handbook offers a few more bits of advice to help you ace the important one-on-one on your turf.
• Ask the same question more than once in different ways, with a long period of time between the variations. If there’s an obvious difference in answers, the coach might be trying to deceive you.
• Don’t accept quips or one-line answers. If the coach has a big reputation, he might dodge tough questions or try to get by on charm. It’s difficult for any teenager to question the sincerity of an adult, especially if he is trying to get recruited. But if a coach laughs off your concerns during the recruiting process, don’t expect the situation to improve once you commit to his team and school.
• Be prepared to welcome coaches of all different personalities into your home. Some are fired-up salesmen while others are low-key and reserved—even boring. What matters most is whether he can provide you with a rewarding collegiate career.