Your Role Communicating with College Coaches
By: Andy Partin
What fails to be observed by many student-athletes is that communication is a two-way street. College coaches work to make phone calls, send emails and texts, and even mail letters in order to open the door of communication with a recruit. The majority of the time a recruit will just sit back and wait until he hears from the coach again to respond. The recruiting process is not just to try and win your commitment for a coach. There is a ton of information that is sought out prior to making that scholarship offer. Coaches want to understand who you are as a person.
I’ll give you two scenarios to consider:
Johnny is being recruited by University. They start recruiting him early in the summer. The coach calls him once a week and they talk for 5 minutes. Johnny is fairly timid on the phone and the phone conversation consists of him answering the coach’s questions with yes or no answers.
Now, Timmy is also being recruited by University. Again, the recruiting communication begins in the early summer. The coach calls him once a week and they talk for 15 minutes. Timmy displays a mature personality by being able to comfortably maintain a conversation with the coach. Not only does Timmy answer the questions in full, but he also asks his own questions that keeps the conversation rolling. Timmy sends the coach an email every week that updates the coach as to the playing schedule for that week. He recaps the previous week and how it went. The coach stays well informed about what is going on with Timmy. Timmy is aware of when the coach will attend his games because they communicate over email regularly. If there is ever a change such as a pitching rotation the coach knows this because Timmy will text or email to keep the coach posted.
Now, September rolls around and it’s time to make the scholarship offer. College coach at University has got 30% to give to an incoming 3B. Both Johnny and Timmy play 3B are equally talented. Let’s say it costs $30,000 to go to University. That means coach is going to offer $36,000 over the next 4 years to either Johnny or Timmy. I think we can all pretty much assume who the first offer will go to.
When talking about a kid that a college coach is pursuing for a scholarship offer, I can’t tell you when I’ve heard about a recruit contacting the coach “too much.” There are a lot of times when a kid didn’t contact the coach enough. Coaches evaluate you on the field to know you as a player. They evaluate you through the recruiting process to know you as a person. If both those characteristics match up to make a good fit for the program then an offer will come your way.
Coaches appreciate players that keep them informed. They appreciate knowing that a player is genuinely interested in their program. The player that sits around and waits for the coach to ‘once again initiate any form of contact’ is not very fun to deal with for a coach.
Make sure you do your part in keeping the coach informed about what is going on in your life athletically, academically, and even socially if it’s relevant. That’s the key term. If it’s ‘relevant’ then the coach would appreciate knowing about it. There may be a week that you need to contact the coach 2-3 times via phone. The next week might not require you to do so once. Always make sure you initiate contact at least one time bi-weekly. That could be by email or phone. Even if it’s a short email thanking him for coming to watch you play will mean a lot.
This spring when the program has a good weekend, shoot the coach an email Sunday night and congratulate him. When he rolls into the office on Monday morning and sees an email from you he’ll appreciate it. It will keep you on his mind and assure him that you’re paying attention and interested in their program. When it comes time to offer scholarships you’ll be much more of a Timmy than a Johnny!