Athletic Recruiting Coach Communication

The One Question A Coach Will Ask You — And The Right Answer

runner contemplates what questions will a college coach ask him

It takes a lot of conversations with college coaches to decide whether you’ll fit into a roster and whether, conversely, the school will be a good fit academically, athletically and socially for you.

Knowing what questions a college coach will ask

Inevitably, a college coach will ask you one important question during the recruitment process. It might happen during an official visit, an unofficial visit, or during one of the many conversations you should be having with college coaches if you want to earn an athletic scholarship.

That one question?

“What other colleges are you interested in?”

Here’s how to answer “What other colleges are you interested in?” Tweet this! Tweet: Here's how to answer

Knowing how to answer a coach’s questions

Here’s the wrong answer: Listing other colleges with worse athletic or academic programs.

This does nothing to raise your stock because it fails to tell the college coach that you are someone in contention for other scholarships.

Instead, always list universities that are comparable to or better than the coach’s university both academically and athletically. Coaches need to know that other programs are recruiting you, and that these other programs stack up. If you list a rival university, even better! The coach will be even more interested in recruiting you if it means that she or he gets to steal you from an arch-nemesis.

Of course, if the coach asks you to list your top three universities, always list that coach’s institution first. Coaches do not want to waste their time on a student who considers that school to be a back-up plan.

Coaches don’t want recruits who consider their school a back-up. Tweet this! Tweet:

Phrasing your answer well

You can also think of strategic ways to answer the question so that the coach thinks these universities are highly interested in recruiting you.

Always be honest, but instead of saying something like “I’m looking at the following colleges,” you should say something like “I’m talking with the following colleges,” or “I’m in the process of setting up visits with the following colleges.”

This will likely trigger a stronger response and sense of urgency for the coach to evaluate you. After all, it sure sounds like you are a worthwhile recruit.

Understanding variations of the question

Be on the lookout for variations of the question “What other colleges are you interested in?”

College coaches want indicators that you are someone they should be looking at. A good indication that you should be taken seriously is if colleges that are comparable to or better than their own are considering recruiting you.

So coaches will ask a few questions to try to determine this information. These questions might include:

  • “What other colleges are you visiting?”
  • “Have you spoken with other college coaches?”
  • “What other universities are recruiting you?”

While this is one of the important questions you should prepare, there are a number of aspects of communicating with coaches you should prepare for. Our scouts are here to help you understand how much interest you’re receiving from coaches and get ahead in your recruiting. The best way to get started is with a recruiting profile.

About the author
Andy McKernan

Andy McKernan is the content strategist at NCSA Athletic Recruiting. A content marketer with a background in creative writing, Andy brings several years of experience to NCSA.