For a high school student-athlete, there aren’t many things more frightening than talking with a college coach on the phone. It can be daunting. And it should be. You’ve been dreaming of getting an athletic scholarship and now the coaches are calling. You’re on the spot.
You need to prepare for these occasions. Once you take a few calls, you’ll get more comfortable. That is, until you get a call from a coach you really want to play for. This school is on your A list. You’ve been hoping he or she will call. And now it happens. It can really make you nervous.
When taking a coach’s call, try to relax. He or she will understand you’re nervous. That’s ok.
Secondly, have a list of questions ready. If the coach is calling your cell phone, you’ll have to think quickly. The list will have to be in your head.
Third, role-play a few calls with your parents or a friend. Believe me, that will help.
Fourth, ask questions. Below are suggested questions you can ask. The coach will be impressed with your interest and initiative.
The questions below are taken from the Recruit-Me Athletic Scholarship Manual, and these pointers have helped thousands of student-athletes over the years.
Describe your coaching style.
All coaches have different coaching styles and use different techniques for motivation and discipline. It is to your benefit to ask this question to determine whether your learning style and the coach’s style would be a good fit.
What are your expectations for the upcoming year?
Obviously, all coaches would like to see their programs succeed each year. By asking this question, you will learn the goals and objectives the coach has set forth to reach the final destination – a successful season.
Describe the walk-on process and the scholarship program.
You will learn how the coach handles his/her walk-ons. Each coach and institution treats walk-ons differently. Also, the scholarship programs will vary to some degree.
What role will I play on your team?
Many coaches will already have an idea of how they would like to utilize certain recruits. You will be able to find out where the coach sees you fitting in on his/her team and why.
What demands does this sport require physically and what time is required?
It is important to know the physical demands that will be placed on you during your tenure as an athlete. Also, you need to know how much time is spent with this sport so you may manage your study time wisely.
How strong is my degree program?
There are some institutions that have stronger programs than others. There are also those institutions that specialize in specific degree programs.
Does this major mix well with athletics?
Some majors are more time consuming than others and may require labs or mandatory work outside of class hours. You need to know the demands that will be placed on you within your major, to know if you are spreading yourself to thin through participating in athletics.
What is your view on academics?
Many coaches have different thoughts regarding athletics. It is important to know that the coach’s philosophy on academics will compliment yours.
What percentage of athletes graduates in four years?
This will tell you about a coach’s commitment to academics. Also, the team grade point average is a good indicator of academic commitment.
You should also have questions ready about college life. These are questions that will give you a flavor of the school. Although visiting the school is the best way to get your answers, this is a great opportunity to get the coach’s opinion.
Finally, prepare questions about financial aid. Of course, your athletic scholarship questions are asked here, but explore other financial aid opportunities the school has to offer.