Any relationship/friendship if it is to be beneficial to both parties must be based upon trust and loyalty. This quality definitely applies to your relationship with the coach that is recruiting you. Even as a young person you need to “get a feel” for the coach who is attempting to attract you to his or her school. Basically this is an initial instinct as to how comfortable you are with this individual.
Recruiters are as diverse and different as all people are different from each other. Initially parents or guardians need to interact with the recruiting coach. When they are comfortable with the recruiter and the young person is ready, they can turn the brunt of the relationship over to the recruit and watch from basically role as a moderator.
Being comfortable with the relationship, it can mean that the conversations with the recruiter are not just based upon a hard sell for their school, but are actual conversations concerning academics, friends, life goals and other topics. The constant hard sell can become annoying, and indicative of a recruiter who is inexperienced, or who is “not doing their homework.” The best recruiters that I had the pleasure of working with knew their respective recruits almost as life long friends. Again, “the best”
recruiters I worked with. It really sent up a red flag for me when on our recruiting call evening I would go down the hall and hear one of our coaches begins the conversation with, “So how is it going big guy, who do you guys have this weekend,? Great, I will call you next week!” I could only think about what the young person on the other end of that call thought of such an impersonal call.
Permit me to digress a bit. When I say recruiting coach, I am referring to the coach who is the primary contact with the recruit. Initially it is usually a coach who is assigned to a geographical region of the prospective student athlete. The recruit may also hear from the coach of a particular position on the team assigned to that recruit, the recruiting coordinator or even the head coach as the process continues.
The coach assigned geographically to the area is usually the initial contact and usually the main conduit to the athletic program for the recruit and the family. This is usually the relationship that becomes the strongest and most lasting. And this is usually the coach that will “have the recruits back” as the young person moves from prospect to recruit to signee, to team member to college graduate. And in all candor, this is the coach who if he or she leave the school for another position at another school will have the biggest affect on the athlete.
And, if this individual should move on during the recruiting process it is critical for the family to immediately call the head coach to determine the status of the recruit in the process with the main contact in the program no longer in the picture. It is an honor to be recruited, it is indicative of hard work and dedication, but remember this is a two way street. It is also an honor to be called ‘coach.” And as you are moving through the process remember that you have a lot to bring to the table, and that as you are being evaluated, you are also evaluating the coaches and schools that are recruiting you. It is critical that once again you “get a feel” for these individuals.
Can you live with these people during the next four years of your life that will determine the next forty years of your life? And when I say “live with” it is just what I mean. A commitment to a school is huge undertaking. Hours, days, weeks, months, years of practice, being coached, competing, and every athletic moment along the way you will be in the charge of the coaches who have recruited you. It sounds like a long road and it is, but it can be just so rewarding, and the ride of a lifetime. Make sure that the coaches who will accompany you on that ride are people,” that you can live with.” Go for it! And always remember that you will be going through this process only once. At NCSA you will be dealing with people who have gone through it so many, many, times. And remember that we are here to assist you. No question is too unimportant; it is about you and about your future. Use us to make that future as bright and as profitable as possible.