Recruiting Responsibility

Your HS Coach’s Role in the Recruiting Process


Chris-KrauseIn the past I have discussed why your high school coach cannot get you a scholarship.  As I mentioned, every high school coach has a different level of experience with the recruiting process.  Some high school coaches have played college sports and helped a large number of their athletes get to the next level while others fall at the other end of the spectrum and have zero knowledge about college recruiting altogether.  This wide range of experience will most likely dictate how much help they will be able to provide.

In order to avoid the headaches and frustrations that families experience from placing unrealistic expectations on their high school coach, it is critical to gain clarity on who is responsible for which aspects of a student athlete’s recruiting process.

Every high school coach plays a critical role in the recruiting process even if they lack experience guiding student athletes through it.  They control so many variables that will factor into a student athlete’s goals of playing at the next level that they must be involved to some degree with the understanding that they should not be expected to get student athletes scholarship.

As soon as a student athlete realizes that they have serious interest in pursuing their sport at the next level, a meeting should be scheduled.  Waiting too long to schedule this meeting will lead to trouble, so get it out of the way early!  The meeting should include the student athlete, parents of the student athlete, and at the very least the head coach if not the entire coaching staff.  Simply put, this meeting will establish accountability that will build a solid foundation for recruiting success.

Based on the ‘5 Things You Need to Do’ to get recruited, the core of the meeting with the high school coach should be focused around who will be responsible for the five requirements and how much help the high school coach will provide.
Below is a general outline of how the meeting should be conducted along with examples of questions you should ask:


The beginning of the meeting should involve the student athlete clearly stating their desire to pursue collegiate athletics and ensuring all parties involved are supportive of this ambition.  This portion of the meeting might also include a general idea of what the student athlete is looking for in a college depending on how old the student athlete is.

The beginning might also be a good time to learn how experienced the high school coach is with the recruiting process.  Here are some general questions to gauge their experience:

  • Did you play college sports?
  • How much experience do you have helping student athletes compete at the next level?
  • Will you support my goals of playing in college?


The first thing to do is to receive an objective, third party evaluation from an expert.  This evaluation might come from your high school coach assuming he is qualified to make that type of assessment.  Here are some questions to determine that:

  • Do you have position specific recruiting guidelines from college coaches for DI, DII, DIII, NAIA, and Junior Colleges?
  • Have you coached athletes who have gone on to play at all levels?
  • Have you watched film with college coaches to learn what they are looking for at all levels?
  • What variables and measurables will you base your evaluation on?
  • Will you serve as a reference to support your evaluation?

Online Athletic and Academic Resume

Second, develope an online resume in order to market the student athlete’s information to college coaches.  Student athletes need to know how much help the high school coach will be in creating the online resume.  Here are some questions to find out:

  • Have you created an online academic and athletic resume for student athletes in the past?
  • If so, do you have any examples?
  • Does your coaching staff track stats and are they easily accessible?
  • Will your staff measure sport specific athletic information that college coaches are looking for?  Examples of this could be the 40 yard dash for football or the jump touch for volleyball.

Highlight / Skills Video

Third, create an enhanced highlight / skills video.  This step is critical to being successfully recruited, and if not done properly, could greatly reduce scholarship opportunities.  Remember, the raw footage needs to be taken, edited, sequenced correctly, and spot shadowed.  Here are some questions to determine how much help the high school coach will be with the video:

  • Does your coaching staff film the games, events, matches, etc?
  • If yes, does the staff provide student athletes access to the footage?
  • How much experience do you have producing highlight / skills video?
  • Do you have position specific video guidelines that college coaches have provided to ensure the right skills are being showcased?

College Coach Contacts

High school student athletes serious about playing at the next level need to be involved with a minimum of 100 college programs.  As I pointed out in the past, the average high school coach has less than 5 contacts on average.  With that in mind, it’s crucial to find out how many contacts your high school coach has with the college coaching community and how he will utilize those to help his student athletes.  Here are some other questions to ask:

  • How many college coaches do you have relationships with?
  • What colleges have your former student athletes gone to play at and what was your role in developing that relationship?
  • Do college coaches contact you directly about your student athletes?  If yes, which colleges?
  • What is your protocol of communication when a college coach contacts you about one of your student athletes?


Finally, every student athlete needs expert guidance throughout the process.  Often times the high school coach can serve as this type of mentor, however they must be educated on all the NCAA rules and regulations if they want to be placed in that position.  Here are some good questions to measure the high school coach’s knowledge about the recruiting process:

  • Have you read the Guide for the College-Bound Student Athlete?
  • How familiar are you with NCAA rules and regulations?
  • How familiar are you with the recruiting timeline for that particular sport?
  • How much coaching will you provide on how to build an effective relationship with the college coach?

There are a number of questions that you might want to ask in addition to those pointed out above.  The most important thing to keep in mind is that communication about the recruiting process between the student athlete and the high school coach is essential.  The meeting that I have outlined is a great initial step towards opening the lines of communication which will continue throughout the student athlete’s entire career.  As long as everyone involved is on the same page regarding who is responsible for which recruiting requirements, everyone will be comfortable with what needs to get done and make for a more enjoyable experience.

To develop a recruiting game plan and learn what you need to be doing to play at the next level, call 866-579-6272 or click here for your athletic and academic evaluation from an NCSA Scout.

About the author
Aaron Sorenson