The Student-Athlete Game Plan for Calling a College Coach

Do you know what to say when calling a college coach?

calling a coachEager to make their mark in the recruiting game, a number of student-athletes have been asking (1) when and if they can call college coaches, and then (2) when they do get the coach on the line, what it is that they should say.

“What will make me stand out in that few moments?”

While there are certainly heavy regulations regarding when coaches can reach out to prospects and recruits, many student-athletes do not realize that they can make the first move and call the coaches and schools that they have an interest in.

This initial contact ultimately depends on the sport, but starting this process early sophomore year is a good rule of thumb. Above all, be PROACTIVE.

The player calling a coach first is the one who will take control of their own recruiting process and will gain the interest that he or she is looking for.

When chatting with a coach, especially on the phone (as opposed to on social media or even in person), a student-athlete should follow the  set of guidelines below.  This is not a template and these are not specifics – I say this because, of course, no two conversations with two different coaches are going to be the same and you’ll want to go with the flow of the conversation as it progresses naturally.

The three main keys to calling a college coach are:

1) Introduce yourself. Be calm, confident, and excited to speak with the coach (which should be the easy part).

“My name is… I’m a <your position> at <your high school> in <your state>…”

From there, speak about how you’re working academically and athletically to put yourself in the best position to excel in college.

2) Express your interest.  Now you can’t simply say, “Oh coach, I’m really interested in playing for your school” or any other variation of that because 98% of the other prospects are saying the same thing! Be specific.

“Coach, I really want to be a part of your school because they have THIS major which I’m interested in pursuing.”

“I understand that you’ve had a tremendous career in coaching quarterbacks, I’m hopeful that I could play and learn under you. I’d work to be the BEST I can be.”

And lastly, “<The school you’re speaking with> is a place where I’m confident I can grow. I’ll be pushed in the classroom, I’ll give my all on the field, and I’ll be a strong representative of the school and team.  These are my highest priorities in life, and <this school> can definitely guide me to attaining each of those.”

Use variations of these talking points, but above all be yourself.  The minute you stray from who you are or what you want, that’s when you’ll stumble, get nervous talking, and fill your voids with ‘Ums’ and ‘Uhs’.

3) And lastly, gauge where the coach and team are in their recruiting process. Again, be specific and do not hesitate to ask the questions you want answers to.  If you don’t ask, the answer is always ‘No’. You can use questions such as:

“How many players are being recruited for my position?”

“What is the type of player that you are looking for? The type of player that succeeds in your system?”

“What is your recruiting timeline?”

After this discussion, be sure to follow up with a ‘Thank You’ note to the coach via email.  Thank him for his time, for answering your questions, and that you look forward to being in contact and the potential opportunity to attend his school.

Start contacting coaches early and contact them often! It may be difficult at first, and may find yourself uneasy or even awkward, but in time and with practice you’ll be adept and confident talking to coaches.

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