We focus so much on what to say or do to make a good impression on coaches that it can be hard to remember any conversation with college coaches is a two-way street.
While knowing what questions to expect from a college coach and how to answer them is important, this is a chance for you to find out whether you’ll excel at a member of this coach’s team.
The key is to know the right questions to ask to maximize your short time with a coach.
Before we get into specific questions that potential recruits should ask a college coach, let’s go over a few basics.
What to keep in mind when you’re talking to a coach.
Prepare. Please: prepare.
While you might not know the exact time a coach will call, every recruit should recognize that phone conversations will be a significant portion of a recruiting relationship. Write down a list of 15 questions you want to ask a coach, and keep it handy!
While the conversation should flow naturally, it will only help a potentially nervous student-athlete to have a set of questions prepared ahead of time that they can always ask a coach.
A prospect should never ask if they will receive a scholarship during an initial conversation unless a coach brings up the topic.
The questions you’re asking will depend on what’s important to your situation, but no matter what you’re asking remember: these should only be questions a coach, and a coach alone, can answer. “How many students attend your school?” or “What dining hall will I eat in?” are probably in materials the school can send you or that are already on their website. Make the most of this opportunity to develop a real relationship with a coach, and to determine if this school is a good academic, athletic and social fit.
Another point to include on your list: Don’t be afraid to ask coaches about themselves. Often times, recruits only ask questions that pertain to their life and neglect to find out anything personal about the coach. It’s important for a recruit to get to know a coach
What you should ask a college coach on the phone
Check out a few topics that should be covered while you have a college coach on the phone, and some sample questions from each:
Academics are the most important part of the process. Here are some potential questions to get you thinking about what you could ask a college coach:
- What are the admission requirements for an athlete?
- Can the application fee be waived for athletes?
- What are some of the most popular majors for athletes on your team?
- Will my specific major interfere with the athletic schedule?
- Do your players graduate in four years?
- Does your team have a full-time academic advisor?
Athletics and Recruiting
These two topics overlap in many cases, as an athletic evaluation will determine how heavily the coaching staff will be recruiting a prospective student.
- What is your recruiting timeline? (Have you offered scholarships to others in my class? Have any other athletes in my class accepted the offers?
- How many players will you be recruiting at my position?
- Where will you be recruiting this season?
- What does the training program consist of at your school?
- Is there a good time to come visit your school?
Please remember it’s rarely appropriate to ask if you’ll receive a scholarship in an initial phone conversation. But you can still gauge scholarship possibilities at that school:
- How many scholarships do you have available for my class?
- What types of academic scholarships are available? What about other sorts of grants and aid?
- Would an athlete need to apply before a scholarship is offered?
- What would happen if an athlete with a scholarship offer got injured?
- Are the players on your team close with each other?
- What is the housing situation like? Do teammates typically live together?
- Do student-athletes stay on campus during the summer?
- Is it possible to work part-time in addition to playing a sport and studying?
How to finish the call with a college coach
You won’t have time to answer all of these questions in your initial phone call with a coach, but they help you get a good first impression of the school. When you’re done, be sure to thank the coach for their time.
You can also ask about next steps: “When is the next time we could speak?” or “Is there anything I can provide you that will help you further evaluate me?”
Recruiting is all about building relationships. it doesn’t happen overnight, and will consist of a number of different situations in which a recruit communicates with a college coach. The earlier you start that relationship, the more time you will have to make the best decision possible.
Our scouts can help you get ready for calls with college coaches. The best way to get started is with a recruiting profile.