10 Questions to Expect From a College Coach

Last week, April 15th to be exact , marked a significant recruiting “first down measurement” for football players in the class of 2010.  It was the first day that they could receive phone calls from DI college football coaches.  While the date that a college coach can call a prospect for the first time varies depending on the sport and level of play…that initial phone conversation is a big step in developing a recruiting relationship.  Unfortunately, many prospects have no idea what to expect from that phone call and we figured this was a good time to shed some light on how prospects in ALL sports can prepare for a phone call from a college coach…Before we get into what a recruit can expect from a phone call from a college coach, here are a few important ideas to keep in mind:

- The first day a college coach can call a prospect is not always the first time they have spoken on the phone.

  • As we have pointed out many times in the past, prospects are able to call college coaches at any time. The prospects that are farther along in the process might have already made phone calls to college coaches and spoken with them prior to the initial period which makes it permissible for a college coach to call the prospect. In cases like this, the phone call might go a little differently than for the prospects who are speaking with a coach for the first time.

- By the time the first day a college coach can call a prospect rolls around, many student-athletes already have offers!Phone

  • This is very important to realize. DI college coaches in just about every sport have already begun to offer scholarships to 2010 (junior) graduates…and some might even be finished recruiting the class of 2010 completely. This has all taken place and coaches haven’t even been able to call them yet in some sports! This should be a strong indicator of how early college recruiting takes place and why freshmen and sophomore year are so important in the process.

- Know the dates for your sport!

  • The first thing every recruit should do is to learn when a college coach is able to call them for the first time. Although April 15th happens to be the first time a DI college football coach can call prospects, we realize many of you do not play football…so find out that date for your sport. If you are unsure when Calendarthis date occurs, be sure to download the “Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete” Here.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about some of the most common questions prospects can prepare for when speaking with a college coach.  Obviously every staff will ask different questions, but many will have an actual script of questions and topics to assist the coaches in their phone call…It might be a good idea to have a script of your own, or at least some answers prepared in advance.  Here a few of those questions as well as some advice for answering them:

Q:  How are you doing in school?  What is your GPA, test scores, etc?

Advice: Make sure you are always aware of your current academic standing.  Always know your GPA (both core and cumulative), class rank, and test scores.  Even if your GPA or test scores are lower than you would like, be honest with the coach and let them exactly what you are doing to improve.  Tell them you are receiving extra tutoring or taking a SAT / Report CardACT prep class to raise your scores.  The worst thing a student-athlete can do is simply not know their academic information.  If you don’t know your GPA, what do you think a college coach will assume? (Hint…they are not going to assume you are earning straight A’s)

Q:  What are your strengths as a player?

Advice: Do not be modest here!  This is your chance to shine and tell the coach what you do best.  Be informative and honest.  You have been working your whole life to develop these strengths…be proud of them and communicate their value with answers that consist of more than one word.

Q:  What areas of your game are you working to improve?

Advice: While this can be a tricky one, it is important to be honest.  Do not spend too much time discussing your weaknesses, but rather let the coach know how your off season workout is going to address those areas and how you are going to turn them into strengths.

Q:  What are your goals for the upcoming season?

Advice: This is something every student-athlete should think about.  We encourage student-athletes to set measurable goals and write them down to hold themselves more accountable.  Make sure to mention both team and individual goals.

Q:  Do you think you are capable of playing at our level?

Advice: Always Yes!  Explain why you think you can compete at their level or what you are doing to ensure you would be an asset to a team at any level of play.

Q:  What improvements have you made over the past couple of years?

Advice: Focus on things you have done to improve your game over the years.  Do not be afraid to tell the coach how much better you are now than a year or two ago!

Q:  What type of scholarships are you looking for?

ScholarshipsAdvice: This is your chance to bring up financial issues if they will be a determining factor in your decision making.  Be open to options and always ask about other types of aid besides athletic scholarships.  Never directly ask for a scholarship, but rather let the coach know what sort of impact that need will have on your decision.

Q:  What are your interests or hobbies?  Do you have a  girlfriend, boyfriend, etc?

Advice: This is the coach’s attempt to get to you know you on a personal level.  Remember, in many cases, these coaches are many years older and they are doing their best to relate to the prospect.  Let the coach know more about you!  This will help you connect on a more casual level and also give the coach something to ask you about next time you speak.  Have some fun with this question!

Q:  Who is going to help you make your college decision?

Advice: Let the coach know who will be a part of the decision.  Will your high school coach play an integral role?  Will the decision be made by you and your parents?  Are your parents involved?  This information will greatly help the coach understand who needs to be included and involved.

***This is the million dollar question***

Q:  What other schools are recruiting you?

Advice: Let them know who else is interested…and be honest!  If the coach finds out that many other schools are recruiting you then you will immediately look like a better recruit.  Try to let them know about schools that are similar to the one you are talking to.  For example, if you are speaking with the coach at Yale and you have heard from four other Ivy League schools, make sure you go into detail about their interest.  No coach wants to lose a recruit to a rival school.

This is your chance to show off how wanted you are by other coaches with the hope that it motivates the coach you are speaking with at that time to take action.  If you have offers, let the coach know.  In order to create this type of leverage, you must have a number of options.  If you are concerned about the number of options you currently have, be sure to expand your search and let more coaches know about you.

Q:  What questions do you have for me?Questions

Advice: Be sure to check back next week when we explain what sort of questions prospects should be asking when they have the opportunity to speak with college coaches.  This is your chance to find out valuable information…don’t pass it up!

Comments Closed

  1. Johnny and Michael,

    If you would like to talk to one of our scouts just click here


  2. Allyson Walton

    Thank you for giving me the chance and opportunity to play at the collegiate level. You have given me the advice to be more confident about myself. At first I was modest about my athletic ability. My high school coaches didn’t do much so I took the nerve to call the college coaches myself. When I asked my high school coach to talk to the same college coaches, my high coach told me the college coaches said they were interested but I seemed to modest (and my high school coach told her more great things about me than myself). But, after reading your advice, I’ve been able to sell my skills and be totally confident about my talent. I am now going to be living my dream and play college ball!!! All the athletes still looking to play college ball, keep up the work effort, be CONFIDENT, and never give up. Best of luck!

    Thank You

  3. Keith

    Allyson -
    Great story! Congratulations! Thanks for sharing your story with us. Good luck next year.

  4. Sophia muller

    Hi, my name is Sophia Muller, I play high school lacrosse and have been playing for six years. I’ve been a varsity starter since 10th grade and am currently a junior. I have played club and my high school team and have begun talking to my high school coach about my college chances. They believe I can play college lacrosse I just don’t know where to officially start. I have a 3.8 cumlative avr. And most likely a 4.0 for my junior year right now. I’m 5’8” midfield and last year led my team with goals and finished the season with first team for my schools section. Any help on where to start? This all seems very intimidating…

  5. Brian Davidson


    You can start by contacting our scouts to see where you may athletically qualify:


  6. leeaza hicks

    these are very good tips to get recruited thank you

  7. leeaza hicks

    these tips are very good to get recruited thank you

  8. Bobbie

    Hello, my name is Bobbie Loomis I’m 17, a Junior, and going to McKay High School. I’ve been playing baseball pretty much my whole life and want to continue that; especially at the next level! I’ve been told over and over I have the skills and academics to become a very strong competitor at the next level, but I doubt myself because of my location. Oregon isn’t a very competitive baseball state, but I have to work with where I’m placed. So far this year my team hasn’t won a single game, but we have individuals doing really well such as myself. If a college coach is coming down to a final decision and is comparing me to another person at a more competitive level… Say their team is doing good, but the guy is sub-par in his area of play. Who will the coach be more interested in, and how can I make myself know further than just my state?

  9. Nice Site. I will be visiting more often as you have done a good job.%d%a

  10. Paxton Parker

    I am going in the 10th grade, I just have been playing golf for 2 years. I score around an 80. The first 5 months of play, I shot a 75. I just haven’t been playing along time.I am starting to compete in the Dixie youth events. What are my possibilities?How should I contact coaches of my interest?

  11. Paxton –
    Great job on getting to be such a good golfer in such a short period time. I’m jealous! You’ll need to be a 3 handicap to have a shot to play at any college. It’s great you’re playing in those Dixie Youth events. When your scores improve, you can contact all 284 D3 and all 181 NAIA college golf programs. You can do a google search and find the names of those schools. Make sure you read the tips on these pages on how to effectively make those contacts. Good luck! If you want some help, you can click here: http://recruit-match.ncsasports.org/fasttrack/lead/preSAEFEntryV1.jsp?lnkSrc=SAEF-Blog

  12. Freshman hurdler

    I read the NCAA recruiting guidelines but it is confusing. On one hand they say coaches can’t contact you until your Junior year but on the other hand articles state the best recruits have already signed by their Junior year and scholarships are gone.

  13. Marcy

    I’m going to be a junior this year and I’ve been playing Varsity girls lacrosse since I was a freshmen. What type of summer camps should I be enrolled in? Currently I am going to travel to Berkeley for one of their camps who have coaches from several different schools that I’m an interested in. In addition I will be on 2 club teams during the fall until regular season in the spring starts. As a freshman I was voted Rookie of the Year and made All League as a freshman. This year, when I was a sophmore I was the top scorer in Orange County (and according to MaxPreps one of the top scorers in the nation). In addition I recieved Attack Player of the Year, MVP for Lacrosse, and made All-League for another consecutive season. What else do I need to do in order to get recruited for college? I know junior year is crutial and my coaches are inexperienced in the recruiting area since they have only been coaching for 3 years.

  14. True, it is very confusing. However, it is true that many athletes receive scholarship BEFORE they can even be contacted. This is usually done through a coach or relative. Its exactly why athletes need to proactively reach to coaches.

  15. Tait Carter

    My name is Tait Carter I attend Carrollton High School, which is located in Ohio. I will be a senior this year, I play softball and volleyball. I am looking to play softball at the collegiate level and also major in engineering or mathematics. I maintain a steady 3.5 GPA I have been a scholar athlete for all three years for softball and volleyball. I am also a member of the National Honor Society. I have taken the ACT twice and I received a 21 the second time, I am registered to re-take the test this September. My positions are pitcher, first base, second base, and outfield. I throw about 57-58 MPH I have a variety of pitches. I have lettered all three years so far in softball, this past year (my junior year) I tore my MCL in the second game of the season so I was not able to play. I am working this summer and in the off season to make a comeback from my downfall this year. I have received many awards and honors from athletics and academics, if you would like to know more about me please let me know, I am very interested in any advice and the criticism that I will be needing to further my search. Thank you.

  16. Tanisha

    I am a junior/senior at Pelahtchie High school in Pelahatchie, MS and basketball is my life… I only played my high school years, but was playing street ball every since I was about 8. When I first started playing basketball on a team, I had this thing of letting other people’s opinions get to me. Two years later, others’ opinions really don’t matter because it’s not about them, but about how I play the game.I am 5′ 8″, 171. I have a GPA of 3.6 and on my ACT my score was a 17, but I am taking it again until I reach the score I want it to be. I can be an all around player, but am mostly posted. I look forward to being reruited by MSU, LSU, USM, or North Carolina. My career choice is to be a vetinarian. I believe that my dream can be as real as anything if I put my thought and determination into it!

  17. Sophomore mom

    My daughter is entering her Sophomore year of high school. Most recruiting webistes ask if they have already applied for financial aid. At what age are they supposed to register for FAFSA and also the Clearinghouse? Thanks.

  18. The best time to register is after Junior year

  19. Aaron G

    Hi, my name is Aaron. I am currently a junior at my high school, and my sport is baseball. I started last year as a sophomore at first base, and had a .480 or so average, and had one error in the field all year. My cumulative GPA is 3.5 I have been going to a lot camps/tryouts, but I’ve had very few coaches contact me. I’m wondering if there is something more that I can do to get noticed? Thanks.

  20. Keith

    Aaron G – If you wish to be recruited, the wrong thing to do is to waste your time and money going to college camps. The main reason that colleges hosts camps is to generate revenue to pay their assistant coaches. If you wish to be recruited, you need to be introduced to college coaches by a trusted, third party source. You also need to be introduced to a larger number of them than you could ever visit their camps. If you wish to learn more about the right way to get recruited, go here: http://recruit-match.ncsasports.org/fasttrack/lead/preSAEFEntryV1.jsp?lnkSrc=SAEF-Blog
    Have a parent/guardian complete the information. Good luck!

  21. steve

    Most of your comments to these youths are very encouraging,however, how do you reach out to the less fortunate youths who don’t have access to the right parental guidance or even a computer.

  22. steve

    I work with kids who are less fortunate than most kids. Tell me what I can do to start the recruiting process.Most of them have decent grades and are very talented.

  23. Keith

    Steve – Unfortunately, we can’t do anything about the parental guidance. I’ve found, though, that those student-athletes who don’t have that usually have a coach, mentor, or other responsible adult who takes an interest in them that gives them access to the right guidance. As for computer access, I’ve worked with plenty of student-athletes with no home computer. They do have access, though, either through their school or the public library.

  24. Keith

    Steve – To answer your second question, get educated about the recruiting process. The best source for that is the book “Athletes Wanted” It’s on sale until Jan 5th and you can get it by clicking here: http://www.athleteswanted.org/purchase-book/ All proceeds from the book go to help the kinds of student-athletes that you’re working with.

  25. hey my name is jahlil harvey im in 8th grade at G.A.R high school and last time i checked i had a GPA of 3.3 i know its not the best and i can do better but im workin harder in school and in basketball to get to my goal go to a d1 colage and one day go to the NBA…can you help me to reach my goal write bac…

  26. Keith

    Jahlil – Only 4 out of every 100 HS basketball players get to play in college. Only 3 out of every 10,000 HS basketball players get a chance to play in the pros. How many points per game do you average? What kind of grades do you get? Are you willing to work harder than anyone else? If your answers are right, NCSA will be able to help.

  27. Ethan Ricci

    Hey my names Ethan Ricci I’m a Junior D-Lineman at Fuquay Varina High School. I’m 6’1″ 255 and run a 4.9 I bench 335 PC 315 and squat 515. I am an odd case because I only weighed 170 my sophomore year on varsity and 210 my Junior Year. I also only ran a 5.3 until after my Junior Season. I have received letters from all the Ivy Leauge Schools, I have a 4.55 GPA, and a few local 1-AA programs. I will be atteding a camp with coaches from almost all the SOCON and CIAA schools. It also has coaches from some MAC schools. I was wondering what I needed to do considerig I was to slow and undersized my 1st 2 years on Varsity? If it helps I’ve played mainly interior DL.

  28. Darien Bouzakis

    Real graet advice….Have gotten calls from coaches and your advice is great!!

  29. ima from statesboro high school grad wantin to play for team that will let me show
    my skills and strength and become player that i am ima 6’1 and half 240 weight my favoirte postion is linebacker i run 4.9 in the forty and ima hoping that a NCSA
    coach look at me so thank for u time to read this have nice day.

  30. Stacey Foreman

    My husband and I recently got custody of my nephew Andrew. He is 18 and will be starting his Junior year this fall. This will be his last year of eligibility since he will be 19 in April. Due to some road blocks he has faced he was unable to play football or wrestling his freshman year, but he did play high school football as an 8th grader and he was able to play baseball is sophmore year and was Honorable Mention 2nd team all State in Ohio! My question is what if anything can we/he do at this point to increase his chances of being seen and/or getting a scholarship? My worry is that since he will not be eligible to play his senior year that he will not get the notice he deserves.



    Dear sir
    How you doing? Hope everything is fine with you sir?
    To whom it may concern, am writing this email in desire to play football for professional club in Europe . I am BABALOLA SEUN JAMIU by name. Currently leaving at Nigeria I was once playing for 2nd Division in my country Nigeria as a full right back and defensive midfield in academy. I we be really glad if I can get me in your football club in any part in your academy who we like to try me out. Because I don’t so much believe in talking I believe in force and what you can do when re on the field, I can play for 90 minute’s any day any time in as much as am injury free.i will be so great full if you can help me out with my little low carrier over here in Nigeria that is why i decided to drop you this little mail Bellow is my email address and interested club shouldn’t be waste time to call on me and I we be ready to prove my professionalizing. i have skills and i am also strong and i have good passes and am ready to prove my self if you can try me out.Please kinda reply me and try me on. Bye Hope to hear from you soon.

    My Information


    Weight : 65 cm

    Height : 5:7 ft

    Hair: Black

    Eye Colour: Brown

    Language Speak : English

    Place of Birth : Nigeria

    State : Ogun State

    Country : Nigeria

    State : Lagos

    Date of Birth : (March 19 1997)

    Age: 13 years old

    Natural Foot: I use both legs

    Position : Midfield and Defensive midfield

    Address: N0 37 Abeokuta Street Bariga Lagos.

    Email : (babalolaseunsy@yahoo.com) or (babalolaseunsy@gmail.com)

    Phone Number : +2348132849022

  32. Willetta Rooth

    You completed certain good points there. I did a search on the theme and found mainly folks will have the same opinion with your blog.

  33. FloridaHSbballer

    I am a junior in high school. I play girls basketball and i have been recieving interest from D1 and D3 schools since my freshman year. I have been playing with one of the top elite aau teams in the state and i’ve played on the same team with some of the top players in our conference, which several have Major D1 scholarships. I also played up a level, with the seniors, last summer. The only problem is that i made varsity as a junior and my coach has possibly jepordized some of my relationships with colleges. Other players in my grade were moved up before me during our freshmen year, but none have any college interests. Even though i am better than my fellow teammates, my coach continues to not play me because he’s ignorant. One specific D1 college, who has engaged extreme intrest, has visited one of my games and has talked to my coach on the phone. Ever since the college conversed with my coach, all email/mail has stopped. I feel out of place asking the school what was said in the conversation, and my coach refuses to tell me anything that was said. WHAT SHOULD I DO??????

  34. Bobbyddfdsldg

    hey was up

  35. Reggie


  36. Autumnelise1994

    YES!!!! Do not give up on yourself or your dream of playing college sports.I started getting recruited by Div 1 colleges in 8th grade for volleyball.
     I tore my ACL Feb 2010 as a freshman playing varsity B-ball. I had surgery 2 weeks later. I was cleared to play July. Only to find out there were surgical errors & I was playing with only partial functioning ACL & would need surgery again. I was referred to a different doctor. The best doctor in Michigan-head director at University of Mi Hospital/MedSport. My surgery was set for Dec 6th 2010. When doctor went in, he also learned that the holes made in my bones were too big. I had to then take bone from my hip to fill in the holes. That took an additional 4 months to heal first before I could get my ACL fixed. Finally I had surgery April 4th 2011. I was cleared to play Sept 27th.
    I continued to send info, videos to all the div 1 colleges about my surgeries, rehab & progress.  I am currently being recruited by Penn State, MSU, Notre Dame, Purdue. Only Illinois & Michigan went with a different middle. I have been honest with the coaches.They have stayed with me. All my hard work is finally paying off!!!!!!!!!!!!
     I truly believe my injury sets me apart from other players in a good way.

    My advise to you is do your research & go to the best doctor  in your state. It makes a big difference. I wish the best of luck to you. Keep my posted on facebook. You can see all my videos on UTube Autumn Christenson.