Recruiting the next group of student-athletes to represent his/her program and university is one of the most important tasks for a college coach. Coaches will look much further than your talent alone to determine if you are the right fit for their program. Be sure you are aware of the intangibles coaches are searching for because they could be the difference between an offer or silence.
This webinar will break down what college coaches are looking for beyond talent and how to best set yourself up for success in your process!
Watch the webinar to learn
- How to know when a college coach is evaluating you
- What on-field etiquette do coaches look for
- What sideline/post game etiquette do coaches look for
- How to approach a meeting with a college coach
How does a college coach evaluate a student-athlete?
Talent matters. College coaches need to make sure that a student-athlete will be able to compete/contribute to the team’s goals athletically. They do this by viewing highlight reels/skills videos and through in-person evaluations. However, there is so much more a college coach takes into consideration before offering a spot on his/her team. These other pieces are what we call “the intangibles”. Coaches evaluate your intangibles through in-person interactions, your professionalism when messaging a coach, the way you react to teammates, officials, and coaches, and by asking your club/high school coaches. What would your current coaches say about you? Are you a hard worker, or someone always looking for shortcuts? College coaches will uncover these things in their evaluations.
What questions should I ask when meeting with a college coach?
When meeting with a college coach, it’s not always what questions you ask, but how you ask them. Don’t ask questions simply to ask questions. Think about why you are meeting with the coach – to learn more about the program! Ask questions you are genuinely interested in: What is the team culture? What is the atmosphere like on gameday? Do teammates hang out outside of practice time? Are there current players that study my intended major? What kind of relationship do professors have with the team?
Asking genuine questions that can’t be found with a quick google search communicates your sincere interest to that college coach, and it gets your questions answered! When meeting with a college coach, be prepared with questions to ask. Remember, this meeting isn’t just for the coach to get to know you, but for you to get to know the coach.
What is “team culture” and “team identity” and how does it apply to my process?
Team culture and team identity are intangibles that exist at the college and even high school level. While difficult to nail down an exact definition, team culture/identity is essentially the attitude and mindset that makes a team unique. Any college coach or current student-athlete will be able to proudly describe their own team identity. “We are a program built on tradition.” “We are a group of girls looking to have as much fun as possible every time we are on the field.” “We are a team focused on out-scheming our opponents.” “We are a new program still looking to establish our team culture.”
It’s important for college coaches to recruit student-athletes who mesh with the current team identity/culture; that’s what keeps things running smoothly in the locker room. Asking about team culture and identity is a fantastic question to ask a college coach in a meeting or on a phone call. It’s also a great question to ask current student-athletes if you have the opportunity to speak with one. Be sure you have a good understanding of a team’s culture during the recruiting process because you could very well be tasked with upholding that identity in the future.
How can I prepare for a phone call with a college coach?
Practice! Find a friend, parent, family friend, club coach, etc. and set up a mock phone interview. Go through the questions you plan on asking that college coach. It’s one thing to see your questions on paper, it’s another to actually hear the words spoken. Additionally, do your homework on the school. You don’t need to be an expert on what that school offers, but you should know all of the basic information – coaches’ names, team mascot, etc. A quick visit to the school’s “.edu” homepage and athletics page should suffice.