One of the biggest misconceptions – and most frequently asked about topics – for student-athletes and parents when going through the recruiting process is the role your high school coach should be playing in a student’s college recruiting.
And when we reply that it’s not your high school coach’s job to get a student-athlete recruited, it can come as a bit of a surprise.
Some high school coaches have relationships with several college coaches, and there are many ways that your high school coach can help you find the right school for you. But in no way shape or form is it up to the high school coach to get any student-athlete on his or her roster a college scholarship. In other words, your current coach is a crucial ally in your hunt for an athletic scholarship, but they aren’t responsible for getting you one.
Below are the top three questions our recruiting experts have been asked by high school student-athletes and their parents about the ways a student-athlete should look to their coach for support and guidance.
What can a high school coach do to aid in a student-athlete’s recruitment?
Your high school coach is busy. Not only are they trying to successfully coach and run your entire team, but more likely than not, he or she also has an additional job outside of their duties in your high school’s athletic department, whether it’s as a teacher or administrator at the school or a job in your community. His or her top responsibility as a coach is to support you and your teammates.
When it comes to your recruitment, you should be sure to ask your coach for a recommendation when a college coach comes to ask about the kind of person, student and athlete you are. But there’s a catch. It takes two for you to get that glowing recommendation.
How can your coach say that you’re an exemplary leader on the field if you haven’t been? How can they say that you show up wholeheartedly at practice, every practice, and work as hard as you can every day, if you’re not? Or that you’re balancing school, practice and your social life?
Be an exemplary student-athlete on your high school team, show gratitude for your high school coach, and if you have a rocky or weak relationship, make it right as quickly as you possibly can. What your coach says about you to a college coach will go a long way.
How many college coaches should my high school coach be in contact with?
While it’s not up to your high school coach to be reaching out to college coaches on your behalf, he or she may have a friendship or rapport with local (or even out-of-area) college coaches.
Oftentimes, it’s of more of a benefit for the college coach to build a relationship with a high school coach as opposed to the other way around, because a college coach may be more likely to want to leverage that relationship at some point for a particular player. (There’s an interesting article about high school and college coach relationships in Texas.)
To a high school student-athlete, here’s how you can approach this:
- Meet with your high school coach and detail the schools you have interest in or have been talking to.
- If your high school coach knows the college coach at a particular school you mention, they might offer to make a call or get more information for you. In many cases, high school or club coaches will call a college coach on behalf of an athlete, even if they don’t know that college coach personally.
- Even if your coach isn’t comfortable calling a particular school, talking about your progress and maintaining a great relationship will be helpful. Imagine a college coach calling for a recommendation and hearing, “Oh, yes, I knew they were interested in your school — we were just talking about the benefits of your program.
On what level should I keep my high school coach involved in my recruitment?
Here’s where paying attention to social cues will go a long way. Absolutely keep your high school coach informed about your recruiting process — especially so they can handle any calls from college coaches accordingly.
But depending on your current relationships — or how busy your coach is — your schedule might not match up with their schedule.
You can start out the conversation by saying, “I’ve made some great progress on looking at college programs.” If your coach asks you questions about your progress, they might be free to chat. If they’re busy, it’s not a personal slight. High school coaches are busy people.
You’ll still have begun the conversation that you’re interested in playing in college, and you want to keep a trusted coach and mentor in the loop about it.
We work all day to help people just like you get to college. The best way to get started is with a recruiting profile.