Recruiting Tip: Be prepared for your first conversation with a college coach

Recruiting Tip: Be prepared for your first conversation with a college coach

Recruiting Column

Recruiting Tip: Be prepared for your first conversation with a college coach

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

Your initial conversation with a college coach sets the stage for your recruiting experience with that coach. A good way to prepare yourself for that conversation is to anticipate the questions a coach might ask and be ready with your answers. College coaches look for confident players who know what they want and are ready to make it happen. Don’t get me wrong, one bad conversation with a college coach might not ruin your chances with his or her program, but a good conversation can go a long way toward earning a college scholarship.

Here are two examples of an initial conversation between a college coach (“Coach Henderson”) and the same prospective recruit (“Mike”). In the first conversation Mike is not prepared and in the second one he is.

The Conversation when Mike isn’t prepared

Coach Henderson: So, Mike I know you mentioned you are interested in our program, what are you looking for most in a college?

Mike: Well, I’m not really sure, I just want a scholarship.

Coach Henderson: Ok, hmm…What do you think are your strengths and weaknesses as a player?

Mike: Everyone tells me I’m really good and I try hard. Oh yeah, I got All-District last year.

Coach Henderson: That’s great, congratulations. So, what do you think sets you apart from other prospective recruits?

Mike: I’m really not sure, but my coach tells me I’m good enough to play in college.

Coach Henderson: What other colleges are recruiting you?

Mike: I got invited to a camp at XYZ State University and the assistant coach at Jackson College called me last week. I’d like to play for you or either one of those schools, depending on the offer.

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

Mike: Not really. I was just wondering how big of a scholarship you might offer me.

Coach Henderson: We’ll get back with you Mike. Thanks for your time.

The Conversation when Mike is prepared

Coach Henderson: So, Mike I know you mentioned you are interested in our program, what are you looking for most in a college?

Mike: 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’ll have an opportunity to do that here.

Coach Henderson: Great! In your opinion, what are your strengths and weaknesses as a player?

Mike: I am constantly trying to get better, but I think my strengths include my foot speed, my attitude and I believe my teammates view me as a leader. I am still working hard in the weight room to improve my strength and it’s paying off.

Coach Henderson: Good answer. So, what do you think sets you apart from other prospective recruits?

Mike: First of all, 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 hard worker and I think Coach Ryan will tell you I am very coachable.

Coach Henderson: What other colleges are recruiting you?

Mike: I’ve really just started the recruiting process and I’ve talked with coaches from several colleges, but I really want to play for your team.

Coach Henderson: Do you have any questions for me?

Mike: Yes, I have a few:

– What do I need to do to earn a spot on your roster next year?
– What is a typical schedule for a player on the team?

Coach Henderson: Great questions Mike. Let’s schedule an official visit and we can discuss those at that time. I’ll have my administrative assistant send you some options to come see the campus and meet some of the players.

Which conversation do you think paid off??

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Recruiting Tip: Be prepared for your first conversation with a college coach
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