To greatly improve your chances of competing at the collegiate level, it’s critical to understand the importance of building and sustaining personal relationships with college coaches. This is sometimes the essential separator between two equal recruiting candidates.

Because player statistics and videos don’t tell the whole story about a student-athlete if a coach is interested in recruiting you, voice to voice contact or in-person meetings are ultimately necessary.   During these moments, it’s absolutely critical to make a good impression. Always be prepared for the encounter whether over the phone or in person. The most effective way to accomplish this task is to:

1. Take time to learn about the school, the coaches, and the sports program. Go online and read about the coaching staff backgrounds along with the programs’ successes and challenges. Learn about the conference they compete in and the other teams they play against. Understand the current roster of players and where you might fit in based on your specific position, measurables or stats.  Learn about the school academically and be prepared to share with the coach why it is a top fit school/program for you. Keep notes next to the phone to help remember key things you want to discuss with the coach. Keep a journal of personal notes about your calls for future decision-making purposes.

2. Ask intentional questions. Before a call or meeting, write out a list of questions that you want to learn about the school and the coach.  College coaches always appreciate well thought out and intelligent questions.  Some things to uncover in these conversations may include the programs’ graduation rates, team GPA, team goals, in-season and off-season training schedules/expectations, team bonding events and how the coach sees you fitting in the program.

3. Be memorable – write a handwritten note. After a conversation or meeting with a coach, write a handwritten note thanking him or her for their time. At the very least, send a thank you email within 24-48 hours.

4. Introduce yourself at camps. Don’t be intimidated or afraid to walk up to each coach and introduce yourself. Let them know your name, high school, grad year, position and that you’re excited to be there. To make this first introduction even easier, send the coaches in attendance a letter prior to the camp, along with your game video so they have a better chance of remembering you.

5. Stay connected. At the end of a call or meeting, ask the coach if it would be okay to email and update each other every 1-2 months.  Also, ask what social media platform they prefer and keep in touch that way as well. Monitoring the success of a college program and or congratulating the coach shows you have a strong interest in their school/program.

Maintaining consistent touchpoints and building personal relationships with college coaches will typically produce very positive recruiting results. Results that will help you to determine your best-fit school, best coaching staff, best athletic/academic programs, best offer and the best future career opportunities.

Over the last 10 year SportsForce has helped over 1,000 student-athletes and families successfully navigate the college recruiting and athletic scholarship process while saving families on average $80,000 in college expenses.  To get a FREE scouting evaluation just click below:

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