The USA TODAY High School Sports Recruiting Tips are provided by our recruiting partner, Playced.com
Teacher, Leader, Motivator, Role Model, Mentor. These are the qualities of a great coach. Nearly every athlete has played for at least one coach who possessed these attributes. You might have noticed that “personal college scholarship finder person” isn’t on the list. Although finding your college scholarship isn’t on the list, a coach who is willing to help can have a very positive impact on your chances of landing on a college roster. In fact, there are many reasons why having your current coach involved in your recruiting process will pay big dividends. Here are my top 3.
1. You need a credible recommendation
The college recruiting process is very similar to the process of searching for a job. In a job search, a good reference from a previous employer or college professor can go a long way in securing employment. The same holds true in college recruiting. If your coach is willing to vouch for your character, work ethic and abilities, then a college coach is much more likely to be interested in you for his or her program.
You really need to be sure that a great recommendation will come from your current coach. I’m not telling you to be the coach’s pet, but he or she needs to be in your corner. And how can your coach give a glowing review if you’re consistently late for practice, aren’t a hard worker or you aren’t a team player? Your coach sees your effort in practice every day, sees how you react to game situations and is the best source for a college coach to gain insight on you as a player. You better earn that recommendation!
2. Your coach can provide a realistic evaluation of your abilities
In my opinion, contacting inappropriate colleges is the #1 source of frustration for college recruits and their parents. There is nothing worse than sending multiple emails to numerous college coaches and receiving no responses. If this is happening to you, you’re probably contacting unrealistic colleges. If that’s the case, you’re wasting your time! To avoid this frustration in the recruiting process you have to know which colleges are the right colleges for you. That’s where your current coach can be very helpful.
Identifying the right schools is not simple, but it’s not really that hard either. The first step is to understand which level colleges match your athletic abilities. To do that, have a candid conversation with your current coach. Just ask for an honest opinion on how you stack up with other players in your sport. Once you have an accurate evaluation, identifying the right colleges isn’t that hard.
3. College coaches will listen to your current coach
Here are a few quotes from our previous interviews with college coaches discussing the importance of your coach’s opinion. These quotes make it obvious why having your coach in your corner will make your recruiting journey much easier.
“A great way to let us know you are interested in our program is to have your coach reach out to us, on your behalf. Have them send us an email with a link to some video highlights.”
-Steve Gomez, Lubbock Christian Women’s Head Basketball Coach
“Bottom line, the alpha and the omega of the list of people we trust regarding a recruit is the high school coach or high school coaches.”
-Mark Henninger, Head Football Coach of Marian University
“For our program specifically, I would advise a young man to have his high school coach or AAU coach reach out to our staff, on his behalf. If that recruit truly has the ability to play at this level, it is going to take a personal conversation with his coach for us to even consider taking the next step.”
-Billy Kennedy, Head Basketball Coach Texas A&M University
“Really we didn’t trust anyone other than our coaching staff and the player’s high school coach. Our coaching staff handled all aspects of recruiting. We didn’t rely on anyone else, but if a high school coach had any hesitation about a player, we were out!”
-Mack Brown, Head Football coach at University of North Carolina
Here’s the deal
The basic responsibilities of a high school coach are to teach the fundamentals of the game. This might include how to field a groundball, make a tackle or shoot a free throw. He or she should also teach you the rules of the game and how the game is played. These are the basics and you should expect no more.
That said, most high school coaches are ready and willing to do more than just the basics. They truly want to help their athletes make it to the next level. If your coach is willing to help, take advantage of the opportunity and make sure you thank them. Also, be mindful that you’re not the only player on the team and try to make it as easy on them as possible!