Dear Coach Taylor – I am just starting the recruiting process and I was wondering if you could give me a few pointers about the recruiting process, in regards to how I present myself and how I communicate with coaches?
The recruiting process can be very overwhelming and difficult for student athletes. On average a college coach only has $500 to recruit for the entire year. With over 7.3 million high school athletes in the United States and countless others across the world it is important to make yourself stand out. However you do not want to make a coach remember you in a negative way, you want to present yourself as the best possible candidate to receive an athletic scholarship. Many of the things below seem like common sense but often athletes below forget these rules. Below are three places where I see student athletes falter the most often
While Facebook and twitter should be a place where you can relax, post silly pictures and funny jokes on your friend’s walls and twitter feeds, the reality of the situation is that coach’s look at these sites to see “the character” of the athlete that they are recruiting. Even if you have your page set to private there are always ways to get around that, maybe your friends page that isn’t private has pictures of you or posts from you that do not put you in the best light. I always tell athletes to think before you post something on the internet, if you even hesitate for a second to post it… DON’T. If it is not something you would want your Grandmother to see then it should not be posted. Once something is online it is there forever even if you delete it, it can always be found. Simple things like having an inappropriate default of yourself “flicking off” the camera can turn coaches off from recruiting you. Even having an inappropriate twitter handle name with crude language could potentially show a coach that you do not have the correct reputation or character that he wants on his team.
Just like your twitter handle you need to make sure that your email address is appropriate, it seems like a small thing but it could be the difference between a coach opening your email or deleting it. Your email address name is the first impression a coach will get from you. A first impression is a lasting impression, and it is hard to overcome a bad first impression. Have a simple email address usually your first and last name is best and easy to identify. Furthermore you need to have proper grammar, English and punctuation when emailing. You need to speak clearly and specifically explain to the coach why you are contacting him. Make sure you spell out all your words do not use “U” for you, or “da” for the, or “r” for are. A coach needs to know that you can handle yourself well and represent his program to the highest esteem as well that you are educated enough to write an email before he admits you to his university.
Phone Conversations/ Voice Mail
Talking on the phone can be awkward for student athletes at first but after 5-10 phone calls that athlete should begin to feel more comfortable. However even as the student athletes become comfortable they still need to be prepared for a coach’s call. Next to the phone should be a prepared list of answers to questions that coaches may ask you as well questions that you want to ask the coach about the school or the program. Talking with a coach should be a two-way street not only should a coach be getting a sense of who you are, you need to be getting to know the coach as well. It is important that you speak clearly so that the coach can understand you, just like when writing an email you need to be formal when speaking to a coach. You need to remember that you aren’t talking to your best friend. While it is important for the coach to get a sense of your personality, so do not be rigid and quiet but just remember that you need to be professional during these phone calls. Lastly make sure you have a voice mail script written out for when you call coaches. Often time’s kids will fumble their words when leaving a voice mail, by preparing a script ahead of time you will be able to leave a clear and concise voice mail.