In an era filled with text messages, emails, and tweets, picking up the phone and calling college coaches is a great way to stand out from other recruits. Don’t know how to call a coach? We’re here to help you feel confident with our guide of do’s and don’ts for calling college coaches.
While D1 and D2 college coaches can’t answer or return recruits’ phone calls until the NCAA contact period begins after sophomore year, it’s still a good idea to call and leave a voicemail introducing yourself. Follow up your voicemail with an introductory email. Include a link to your NCSA Recruiting Profile. Focus on keeping your profile up-to-date throughout the year and include your competition schedule for coaches to review.
If you’re not already calling college coaches , now is the time to pick up your phone! Once the contact period begins for your sport, college coaches will begin actively communicating with student-athletes they’ve been evaluating over the past 3-4 years.
The best time of day to call college coaches is between 6-9 p.m. when they are in season. If the coach isn’t in season, there is more flexibility to call them in the morning or afternoon. This is especially true in the summer, when they tend to be less busy with fewer commitments to work around.
Not sure when to call a coach? Just ask them! Sometimes, the best thing that an upperclassman recruit can do is proactively reach out and schedule coach phone calls. You can schedule this call via introductory email, text, or social media DM.
Are you getting coach phone calls? When a college coach calls a recruit, it’s usually a good sign that they are seriously interested in them! Here are a few reasons why a college coach calls a recruit:
So, how do you know what to do when a college coach calls? Former D3 Head Coach Pam Monier and former D1 and D3 college swimming coach Danny Koenig break down what prospective recruits should expect during their first phone call with a college coach, including:
Calling college coaches takes preparation. If you put in the work beforehand and go into the call prepared with the right questions to ask a coach, they will most likely be impressed with your effort.
Here are good ways to prepare 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 coach phone calls will go, we’ve created a printable script for you to reference.
What you should do:
What you shouldn’t do:
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. Here are a few key pieces of information you want to be sure to include:
To help you write a script, we’ve created a printable sample voicemail for you to reference.
Insider tip: Try to keep your voicemail to less than 45 seconds.
Remember, the NCAA says when a coach can – and cannot – call a recruit directly. If you call a coach and reach their voicemail, always include a contact number or email for your high school or club coach so they can help coordinate a phone call.
If you haven’t heard back from calling college coaches after a few days to a week, consider making a follow up phone call. Here are few things you can try before placing a follow up phone call:
Don’t worry if you don’t hear back immediately. Coaches are extremely busy, especially during season. However, after multiple email and follow up phone call attempts it may be time to move on or just leave the communication to the coaches to continue.
Continue moving down your list of schools and keep calling college coaches! NCSA’s Match Analysis can help you find some more schools that could fit or this might be a great time to talk to an NCSA recruiting coach.
Learn more about following up with college coaches.
When you’re calling college coaches, you need to have a list of questions prepared to ask them. 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.
Do you offer majors I’m interested in? What are the most popular majors for athletes on your team?
Are there any specific majors that would interfere with the athletic schedule?
Does your team have an academic advisor and/or tutoring available to athletes?
Are team study halls required or recommended?
What are academic goals I should strive for to meet the criteria of your university?
What is the typical class size on campus?
What are the admissions requirements for the school and/or for student athletes?
Do most of your players graduate in four years?
How is your recruiting class looking for my graduation year?
What’s the best way to update you on my progress?
Are there any camps, combines or showcases you’d recommend I go to?
Will you be coaching at any camps this year?
Where do you typically evaluate recruits?
Are athletes on your team allowed to participate in more than one sport?
What are your expectations of your student-athletes in the off-season?
Does the team travel? How does the team travel? Will I travel with the team my freshman year?
If I come to your school for an unofficial visit, would you be able to meet with me?
How many players for my position will you be recruiting in my grad year?
What goals do you have for the team?
How do the athletes on your team interact with each other? Do they hang out together outside of practice and games?
What is housing like on campus? Is the housing situation different for athletes?
Are student-athletes required to live on campus all four years they attend school?
Do teammates typically live together on or off-campus?
Do athletes stay on campus during the summer? What about winter or spring breaks?
Is it realistic to have a part-time job, volunteer or get involved with other clubs during the off-season?
What are the biggest challenges your student-athletes face at school?
What is campus life like?
What does it take to earn a scholarship with your program?
How many scholarships do you have available for my graduation year?
What happens if I get injured? Will I lose my scholarship?
If freshmen aren’t eligible for scholarships, will I be eligible for scholarship money next year?
Are there work – study programs I can sign up for? Is it possible for student-athletes to have a part time job or work- study position on campus?
What type of academic and athletic scholarships are available for student-athletes? Are my GPA and test scores on track to qualify for a merit-based scholarship or grant?
Does the school offer additional financial aid?
Who is the main point of contact in the financial aid office that my family can talk to if we have more questions about paying for college?
During your first few coach phone calls, avoid these questions and behaviors:
Read more: 19 Questions College Coaches Hate the Most
Watch our recruiting experts break down more questions student-athletes should avoid asking college coaches:
To help you prepare for coach questions in advance, we’ve created a list of common questions coaches will ask recruits during an initial phone call. We recommend that you prepare your responses to these questions before you start calling college coaches.
Remember, no matter how tough the question, the best policy is honesty. Never oversell or lie about your athletic or academic abilities. 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.
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:
Making a phone call can always be intimidating but calling college coaches is one of the most effective forms of communications during the recruiting process. Picking up the phone gives you an opportunity to stand out from the competition. Coaches aren’t always available to pick up the phone, so it’s important to know how to email and text coaches, as well. Check out our other guides on emailing, texting and even DMing college coaches.