Athletic Recruiting Chris Krause Coach Communication Special Contributors

Fearing How To Talk to College Coaches Is Like Being Afraid Of The Sun

chris krause discussing how to talk to college coaches

The following is written by our founder and CEO, Chris Krause, who regularly contributes to the blog. Chris played high school football in North Chicago, and received a four-year scholarship to Vanderbilt. He realized that there were other players on his team who were good enough to also play in college, but that they missed out. NCSA Athletic Recruiting is based on the principal that everyone can find a place where they belong and can play their sport in college.

How do I talk to college coaches?

That’s one of the top questions our scouts and recruiting coaches hear on a daily basis. It’s at the very heart of playing your sport in college, and it’s–understandably–one of the most stressful things on a young student-athlete’s mind, as well. It’s like the sun: the source of every possibility you’ll have to play your sport in college. How do you talk to college coaches and make a good impression?

I read an interesting article this week, based on a study from the National Business Research Institute, that said that the one problem people most often report in their working relationships is a lack of communication.

As an employee, employer, father, friend – I quickly realized this finding rang 100% true for me personally when it came to hitting the various relationship bumps or roadblocks that happen in life. Lack of communication can sink any partnership fast.

Failing to communicate is not an option.

Like me, have you found yourself in a tough spot in a relationship – at work, at home, at school, on the team – without knowing how you got there, or how to get out?

On the one hand, you’re not alone in feeling nervous about talking to coaches.

On the other, communication builds trust, fosters transparency, and once you’re good at it, makes those around you feel safe and aware of expectations. If you can figure out a way to become a gifted communicator, you’ll be way ahead of the game.

I’m not talking about just communicating with coaches. If you know how to present yourself as someone who has the gift of the gab, you’ll succeed through college and beyond, no matter where you become a pro.

The tricky thing is, being a good communicator doesn’t mean talking until you’re blue in the face. It means being respectful of the other person, speaking from the heart, and encouraging open communication back – and this takes practice.

How can you be better at talking to college coaches?

If you read the article I linked to above, you’ll see that they break it down into five suggestions: share knowledge, engage in small talk, listen more, think about your preferences and keep feedback constructive.

But to me, it all boils down to a golden rule: listen deeply to what coaches are saying to you. Strive to understand what they’re saying, and not saying; what they aren’t allowed to say because of NCAA restrictions or because they don’t want to get your hopes up. Trust that the people you’re talking to will give you the same consideration and care when you speak to them.

Because if they don’t, they probably aren’t the right coach for you.


Our scouts are great at listening, too. We’re always here to chat about your recruiting and answer any questions you may have. The best way to get started is by building a profile.

About the author
Laura Chmiel

Laura Chmiel is a marketing coordinator and a lead writer for NCSA Athletic Recruiting. As someone with a passion for athletics and education, she graduated from Indiana university with a B.S. in Elementary Education. After school, she gained first-hand experience helping student-athletes and their families get to college.