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Calling College Coaches: Phone Scripts and Voicemail Templates to Use on Your Next Coach Call

Calling College Coaches: Phone Scripts and Voicemail Templates to Use on Your Next Coach Call.

In an era filled with text messages, emails, tweets and other communications, a well-placed phone call to college coaches can be extremely impactful. In fact, our research has found that the average college coach receives a mere seven phone calls from recruits each week—or fewer! Taking the time to call college coaches is a great opportunity to stand out from the crowd and get attention.

When should you start calling coaches?

The best time to start calling college coaches is after you’ve sent them a couple introductory emails. According to NCAA recruiting rules, D1 and D2 coaches aren’t allowed to answer or return the call until June 15 after an athlete’s sophomore year or September 1 of their junior year, depending on your sport. Keep this in mind as you’re calling college coaches. Even if the coach isn’t able to call you yet, they are still going to be building out their recruiting class by evaluating prospects online and at events. Before you can begin having phone conversations with college coaches, focus on your online profile and establish communications through your club and/or high school coach.

To help you make the most of every coach call, we’ve included some preparation tips, sample scripts and questions. Overall, remember to be enthusiastic and passionate about the coach’s program. Coaches look to recruit athletes who genuinely are interested in their program, and phone calls are a great time to communicate your excitement.

Insider tip: If you are having a hard time getting ahold of a college coach, ask your high school or club coach to call the college coach and schedule a phone call for you. College coaches can call club/high school coaches back at any time, which makes it easier for them to get in touch. An added bonus: When the college coach is talking to your current coach, they can ask your coach questions about you to help with their initial evaluation.

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How to get ready for calling college coaches

Calling college coaches takes some preparation, but if you put in the work beforehand, your call will go much smoother. And remember: College coaches have been through this process thousands of times. They understand how intimidating and nerve-wracking it can be for high school athletes to call them. If you go into the call armed with the right information and a plan, the coach will most likely be impressed with your effort so don’t worry about any small mistakes along the way.

Insider tip: Try calling college coaches during the summer. They tend to be less busy at this time, so you will have fewer practices, games and other commitments to work around.

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General script for calling college coaches

When you’re calling college coaches, think of the framework for your call like this:

To help you get a general concept of how a call with a coach will go, we’ve created a script for you to reference:

Introduction

“Hi Coach Brown, my name is Jane Doe and I’m an outside hitter at ABC High School. I recently sent you an email with my highlight video and wanted to follow up with you! Do you have a few minutes to talk right now?

In your introduction, bring up the specific reason you emailed the coach: Was it is to send them your highlight video, to show them your top stats and accolades or to arrange an unofficial visit? Be specific here.

“It’s not a good time”

“No problem! When would be a better time for me to call you back?”

“I can talk right now”

“Great! I’ve been following your program for a while now, and was really impressed by your win against XYZ State last weekend. I’d love to learn more about what you’re looking for in an outside hitter.

“I have to get off the phone”: “Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me! I’ll resend you the email I sent on Tuesday so you can take a look at my highlight video when you get a chance. I’m looking forward to hearing your feedback!”

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Leaving a voicemail for a college coach

In many cases when calling college coaches, you’ll get sent to their voicemail. Before you call the coach, write out exactly what you want to say if you do get their voicemail. Then, give yourself a call and leave your prepared message. Listen to how it sounds and revise your script if necessary. Here are a few key pieces of information you want to be sure to include:

We’ve included a sample script to help you get started in writing yours:

“Hi Coach Brown, my name is Jane Doe and I’m an outside hitter at ABC High School and will be graduating in 2020. I’m calling to follow up on an email I sent on September 1. I’d love to know what you thought of my highlight video and if you have any feedback for me.

“I’ll give you a call back tomorrow, September 28th at 7:30 p.m., and I’ll resend my email so you can check out my highlight video. My phone number is 123-456-7890. Thank you so much and I’m looking forward to talking to you!”

Insider tip: Try to keep your voicemail to less than 45 seconds.

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Questions to ask college coaches

When you’re calling college coaches, you need to have a list of questions prepared to ask them, which you will customize for each individual coach you’re talking to. For example, if you’re speaking with a coach at a highly competitive academic school, focus on academic-based questions.

We’ve included some questions below to ask college coaches to determine if their school is a good academic, athletic and financial fit for you, including a few overlooked questions you shouldn’t forget. Plus, we also break down what questions recruits should avoid asking college coaches.

Academic

Athletics / Recruiting Process

Cultural / Social Fit

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Questions to avoid asking college coaches

During your first few calls with a college coach, avoid asking for a scholarship. You need to develop a relationship with the coach before you start asking them for money. A way to ease into the conversation could including asking questions about academic scholarships, financial aid and what it takes to earn a spot on the team or qualify for an athletic scholarship.

Student-athletes should also avoid asking questions they can research on their own, like what division level a program is in or what conference they compete in.

Watch our recruiting experts break down more questions student-athletes should avoid asking college coaches:


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Questions to expect from college coaches

As with any conversation, your calls with college coaches will involve you asking questions and the coach asking some in return. No matter how tough the question, the best policy is honesty. If you are asked a question you don’t know the answer to, don’t be afraid to tell the coach you’re not sure, but you’ll get back to them later when you have the answer. Take a deep breath and a second to think before responding if you need it. To help you prepare for coach questions in advance, we’ve created a list of questions coaches will like to ask you during an initial phone call. We recommend that you prepare your responses to these questions before you start calling college coaches.

For more on the topic, check out this video featuring former D1 softball player Jamie Duffek and former D3 softball player and head coach Renee Barrows


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Is it bad for a parent to call a college coach?

As Coach Sartorius mentioned, coaches want to get to know student-athletes during phone calls. Especially at the beginning of the recruiting process, it’s important for athletes to be the ones calling college coaches. Later in the recruiting process, parents will get the opportunity to speak more with the college coaches, especially on the topics of financials and housing. During a Positive Coaching Alliance panel Stanford head men’s golf coach Conrad Ray expressed his views on who should be calling college coaches.

“The worst thing for [coaches] in our world is if we get a phone call and it’s the mom or dad of a high school freshman or sophomore telling me how good their kid is.” Coach Ray says. “If I had a piece of advice for parents, I would say, do what you can do to really empower your kid to be able to put themselves forward.”

A lot of parents worry their athlete is just too shy or too modest—or not driven enough—to stay on top of calling coaches. If it’s between never communicating with coaches and the parents calling, then parents might need to do a little bit of the legwork to get the process moving. However, recruits will have to talk to college coaches at some point, and with the right amount of preparation, even the shiest athlete can ace their coach calls!

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