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Contacting College Coaches
Calling College Coaches

Calling College Coaches

Calling coaches is one of the most nerve-wracking parts of the recruiting process. We've outlined the most common topics coaches will cover and what questions you should ask.

Email is typically the best way to introduce yourself to college coaches for the first time, as it is the most professional way to start the recruiting relationship. However, coaches who have a vested interest in you as a student-athlete may want to speak on the phone or stay in touch through text to catch up and see how you are doing! Here are some tips to remember before you schedule a phone call with a coach or cold call a coach. 

Phone Calls with College Coaches

Sometimes a college coach may want to speak to you on the phone (or through video chat using Zoom or FaceTime). Feel free to refer to our Recruiting Rules and Regulations article that goes over the contact periods of when college coaches can call you, as well as you being able to contact college coaches by phone. The NCAA Recruiting Calendar for your specific sport can also be found here

We typically recommend having an email exchange with the coach before giving them a phone call. Talking on the phone is much more personal, so laying the groundwork and giving the coach an opportunity to look into your academic and athletic profile background before speaking on the phone will be beneficial. 

Remember that college coaches have restrictions regarding when they can call, depending on the student-athlete's graduation year, their division, and the sport they coach. At the NCAA DI and DII levels, coaches cannot initiate phone calls, texting, and video meetings until June 15th after your Sophomore Year or September 1st of your Junior Year. Learn exactly when a college coach can call you here.  

NCAA DIII and NAIA programs do not have calling restrictions. However, phone conversations typically happen with these coaches later on in the recruiting process. 

Can I Call a College Coach?

There are no rules surrounding a student-athlete and calling a college coach. However, depending on the sport you play, and the division you are looking to play in, a coach may not be able to answer the phone, or will need to ask your grad year before having a conversation.

If you call a college coach, and are sent to their voicemail, make sure you take the time to introduce yourself, let the coach know why you are interested and how they can get back in touch with you. 

Call Preparation - What to Do Before the Call 

Just remember to relax, be confident, and be yourself! Coaches understand that teenagers may be nervous to get on the telephone and speak with them, but a well-prepared telephone conversation shows a coach that an athlete is mature, does their homework and is proactive. Below we provide tips to think about before your phone call:

  • Do your Research: Make sure you are researching the basic facts about the program you will talk to. For example, what was their record last year? What conference do they compete in? How large is their roster? Where is the college or university located? On the call, a coach will most certainly ask you why you are interested in their program, doing this research before will help you answer that question!
  • Create a Cheat Sheet: If you are getting on a phone call with a college coach, don’t be afraid to write down some facts about yourself for you to refer back to. For example, your GPA, your class schedule, your team's current record, clubs you are involved in, etc. 
  • Practice with a parent/guardian, teammate, or sibling: Before your phone or video call, practice some of the questions listed below. This will be helpful and give you confidence before getting on a live call! 
  • Make sure you have a quiet place for the call: It’ll be important that you find a quiet place for you to take the phone call. Try to limit yourself from distractions so you can be solely focused on your conversation with the coach. 

Questions to Prepare to Answer Before a Phone Call with a College Coach

College coaches typically come in with a game plan for what they want to learn from you. Take a look at these different questions that they typically ask.

  • What are you looking to get out of playing (your sport) in college? Do you love (your sport)?
  • What will you bring to our program?
  • How well do you work with others?
  • Tell me about your high school coach
  • What are your priorities in life right now?
  • Are you ready to handle the workload of a collegiate student-athlete?
  • What are you planning to study and why?
  • Do you plan on taking the SAT/ACTs? If yes, when? 
  • How have you balanced your athletic and academic obligations?
  • Are you comfortable with attending a school far away from/close to home? What do you do in your free time?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses as an athlete?

Questions to Prepare to Ask a College Coach on a Phone Call  

Typically there will be time to ask 1-2 questions as well. Think about what you might want to learn about the program or school.

  • What is your favorite aspect of the school?
  • How would you describe the team's playing style?
  • What is the mood and atmosphere like on game day?
  • What’s it like playing (rival school) every year?
  • What have some of the previous players gone on to after college? Do you still stay in touch with any of the former players?
  • How are the relationships between professors and coaches on campus? 
  • What is the most popular major on the team? Are there any majors you wouldn’t recommend declaring if I want to be a student-athlete at your school? 
  • Will pursuing a certain major interfere with practice?
  • How many student-athletes receive financial aid?
  • What are the next steps?


It's important that you are only asking questions that can be answered by someone at that program. You do not want to ask questions that can easily be answered through a simple search online. Before you finish the call, make sure to ask what the next steps are. Most of the time this will come up organically, but if it doesn’t, make a point to ask this question. 

Conclusion 

We understand that communication with college coaches can be nerve-wracking, but remember that college coaches asking for your phone number or asking to set up a video chat means that they are interested in you! It doesn’t guarantee an offer is coming from that program, but remember that this is one of the best indicators of interest you can receive.

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