Recruiting Tip: Be prepared when you talk to a college coach

Recruiting Tip: Be prepared when you talk to a college coach

Recruiting Column

Recruiting Tip: Be prepared when you talk to a college coach

The USA TODAY High School Sports Recruiting Tips are provided by our recruiting partner, Playced.com.

How you communicate with college coaches can go a long way toward earning a college scholarship. You need to be ready for your conversations and correspondence with every college coach. The best way to make sure you impress rather than depress a coach is to be prepared. Anticipate the questions he or she might ask, know a little bit about their program and be ready with your answers.

College coaches want outgoing, confident players who will represent their program in a positive light. Don’t get me wrong, one bad conversation with a college coach might not ruin your chances with a program, but a good conversation can be the difference between two recruits of similar abilities.

Here are two extreme examples of an initial conversation between a college coach (“Coach Ramsey”) and two recruits of similar abilities (Sean and Ryan). Sean really wasn’t prepared. Ryan did his homework and was ready for his conversation.

Sean’s conversation

Coach Ramsey: So Sean, thanks for taking the time to visit with our coaching staff.  I’m just curious, what are you looking for most in a college.

Sean: I haven’t really thought about that, I just want a scholarship.

Coach Ramsey: Ok, hmm…How are you doing in school?  Have you taken the SAT or ACT yet?

Sean: I’m pretty good in math.  I was going to take the SAT last month, but I got busy. I plan to sign up soon.

Coach Ramsey: As a senior, you really need to take either the SAT or ACT right away. So, what do you think sets you apart from other prospective recruits?

Sean: I’m really not sure, but everyone thinks I’m good enough to play in college.

Coach Ramsey: What other colleges are you talking to?

Sean: I got invited to a camp at Northeast State University and the assistant coach at Wentwood College was at one of my games last week. I might play for you or either one of those schools, depending on the offer.

Coach Ramsey: Those are both good schools. I think you should give them both strong consideration. Do you have any questions for me?

Sean: Not really.

Coach Ramsey: Thanks Sean. We’ll get back with you.

Ryan’s conversation

Coach Ramsey: So Ryan, thanks for taking the time to visit with our coaching staff.  I’m just curious, what are you looking for most in a college?

Ryan: Well, first of all I want a quality education and I know I can get one here. I am really interested in competing against the best and learning my sport. Based on what I know about your teams, I’m confident I’d have an opportunity to do that here.

Coach Ramsey: I agree! How are you doing in school?  Have you taken the SAT or ACT yet?

Ryan: My grades are good.  I have a 3.6 GPA and my Core Course GPA is 3.45. I have a 21 on the ACT and I’m currently taking a review course to try and bring that up a little.

Coach Ramsey: Wow, you certainly shouldn’t have any problem with our admissions office. So, what do you think sets you apart from other prospective recruits?

Ryan: First, I think my grades give me an advantage over some recruits. I take school seriously and you will never have any problems with me in the classroom. Second, I feel like I’m a leader and I think my teammates would agree.

Coach Ramsey: What other colleges are you talking to?

Ryan: I’ve talked with a few coaches from your conference and I have a two other visits scheduled, but I really want to play for you.

Coach Ramsey: Do you have any questions for me?

Ryan: Yes, I have a few:
– What do I need to do to earn a spot on your roster next year?
– Would you like my current coach’s contact information? I think he would like to visit with you if you have time.

Coach Ramsey: Great questions Ryan. Write down the contact information and I’ll give him a call. Let’s schedule an official visit and we can discuss your other questions at that time. I’ll have Coach Donahue send you some options for you to come see the campus and meet some of the players.

Based on these two conversations, which recruit do you think got the scholarship offer?

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