While there are a lot of different topics that can be talked about this time of year, I recently received an interesting email from a parent who was looking for help in the recruiting process. While this site does focus on football and basketball, her son plays a completely different sport and yet is still able to find use out of all the articles that are brought to readers daily. Anyways, here is what she said in the email:
We are at a new step in the recruiting process. My son has been sending a coach at a college (“Ideal College” we’ll call it where he would LOVE to go) information about himself since the summer before his Junior Year. He has also met the coach briefly when we attended a college tournament. Recently, my son e-mailed the coach, telling him that he is coming to the college for a tour and information session, and my son asked to meet with the coach at his convenience. The coach has responded with a date, time, and asked my son to bring his PSAT and SAT scores (which are very good!) and his transcript (also excellent!), which we have. My question is – I want my son to prepare to answer the coaches questions. What do you think he will ask? My son is a Junior, and although “Ideal College” has always been #1 on his list, he has been in (e-mail) touch with another coach at another good school. Will the coach at “Ideal U” ask him what other schools he is looking at? Will my son have to list them in order? I’m not sure he’s ready to do that, although this is probably his number one pick so far. I just printed out the “What questions should I ask…” article but I think I need to find the “What questions might the coach ask…” article!
Before answering the question, let me stress to this parent and others out there that in order to get a scholarship or a roster sport in a program, all you have to do is impress one coaching staff. So if Ideal College (I love that name by the way) is showing a great deal of attention and that is it, I wouldn’t worry about it. The biggest thing I would do during the recruiting process is be completely honest with the schools.
If you expect it from college coaches, be honest with all of the questions that they are going to ask. The last thing you want is your family getting caught in a trail of lies regarding which schools are recruiting your son. One thing I know is that assistant coaches at a lot of schools in the same conference talk and are friends so keep that in mind before telling them that a rival is recruiting your son if they are really not.
Just be honest if they ask something, even if it is a tough question to answer. They obviously care about your son to at least show him some early attention. It doesn’t mean a full ride scholarship will certainly come but it does show that they are going to evaluate you son more before Signing Day of his senior season. At this point in recruiting, that is what you are looking for.
Let me state that when taking visits, most college coaches will be trying to sell their program and what they have to offer. There will be questions but on a campus visit, those actually don’t come up all that much. So outside of a little chit chat and the usually things, here are some questions that a college coach may ask when you are on a visit (note: coaches ask more questions on the phone than in person):
What fields of study are you interested in?
What are the things that you are looking for most in a school?
What are you most interested in about our school?
What other schools are you hearing from?
Do you have a leader now?
What types of grades are you getting now (which may be an early way to ask for your transcripts)?
What position do you want to play on the team?
How do you see yourself possibly fitting in here?
Have you taken your ACT/SAT?
Have you made a highlight video?
Are you playing on a summer team?
What is the single most important factor in your college decision?
What extracurricular activities are you involved in?
What do you think about your high school coach?
Is your parent going to call me every day if you aren’t starting (this is a joke question, hopefully)?
For the most part, a lot of these can be answered in the questionnaires that they send out to potential recruits. Like I said before, the key to college visits in the eyes of coaches is to sell the players on the school and what they have to offer. Even if it is an unofficial visit during the junior year, they are mainly going to be in selling mode. If you turn out to be good enough to play for them, then they will have already sold you on the program.
When coaches want to find out about a player, they normally ask the high school coaches, any sources they have in the area, and other people around the school. These give them the best feel for a recruit that they can get. So going into unofficial visits, it is something not to stress about. Just be honest and go in looking to learn more about the coach and the school itself.
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