Plan For College

Friday, May 6, 2011

14 Things to Avoid When Meeting with College Coaches

Seasoned college coaches are very good at evaluating student athletes’ demeanor, character, as well as athletic abilities during the recruiting process.  College coaches are constantly evaluating potential recruits.  They will be evaluating student athletes from submitted films or watching the athlete play in person.  They will talk to the athlete’s coaches, guidance counselors, as well personal acquaintances that are familiar with the student athlete. 

Therefore, during the recruiting process student athletes should always put their best foot forward.
Below are a few things student athletes should AVOID doing during the recruiting process.

1.      Avoid - Showing disrespect toward high school officials, coaches, teammates and parents

2.    Avoid - Answering questions with one word answers during face to face meetings or on the phone.  This could be very frustrating to college coaches and could give the coach the impression the athlete is not interested in their college

3.    Avoid - Asking about scholarships opportunities to early in the recruiting process.  Give the coach a little time to evaluate your abilities 

4.    Avoid – Never show cockiness or give the coach the impression you are too good to consider their college because it is not a Division I college.  I don’t care how good the athlete is.  Word will get around to other coaches

5.      Avoid - Not being familiar or being unprepared during a visit with the college coach.  Make an effort to learn as much as you can about the team (their successes, division, etc.)  and the college’s background

6.      Avoid – Making or giving false representation of your interest in attending the coach’s college.  Be upfront with the coach and always be truthful

7.      Avoid – Calling or emailing the college coach too often.  Sending the coach annual updates at the end of each season or contacting the coach when you really need an important question answered  is appropriate

8.      Avoid - Acting inappropriately on a recruiting visit.  It is OK to have fun and party a little.  However, avoid unlawful drugs and alcohol consumption

9.      Avoid – Letting your parents control the marketing process.  Remember the college coach is recruiting you not your parents.  It is OK for the parents to give guidance and encouragement

10.  Avoid – Giving false information about your athletic achievements, GPA, or awards.  This information is very easy to verify

11.  Avoid – Not responding to a college coach’s inquiries on a timely basis

12.  Avoid - Not submitting necessary information that is requested by the college or the college coach in a timely manner.  If they ask for you to complete their questionnaire or send them your high school transcript, or send them a video, don’t drop the ball.  Submit the requested information as soon as you can

13.  Avoid – Being too general in your communications with the college coach.  Avoid addressing your letters or emails with “Dear Coach”.  It would be more appropriate to use the coach’s last name, i.e. “Coach Smith”.  This shows respect

14. Avoid – Scheduling a campus visit (official or unofficial) and not showing up.  If the visit needs to be postponed to a later date due to a family or individual crisis, let the coach know as soon as possible.  If the athlete or their parents cannot notify the coach personally, have a trusted family member or high school official contact the college coach to explain the reason for the cancelation.  However, it is ALWAYS best for the athlete to do it personally, if at all possible

The list above is not all of the mistakes many student athletes make.  Just use common sense when marketing yourself to college coaches.  If it does not feel right, AVOID doing it.  Many athletes and families make mistakes throughout the recruiting process and more than likely you will make mistakes also.  Just use common sense and think before you act. 
Remember, most college coaches are looking for athletic, well rounded, mature, centered, and humble athletes that have the ability to play intercollegiate athletics and succeed academically.  Avoiding the mistakes listed above could give you an edge over other athletes (of equal ability) that make these mistakes. 

To learn more about the college planning process beyond athletics, download our free college planning timeline:


42 comments:

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