In the not-so-distant past, college recruiting centered around mail and phone calls. Today, the recruiting world looks vastly different - text messages, emails, tweets are just a FEW of the tools at an athlete's disposal.
While we have talked about a lot of these other communication tools (i.e. social media) and its benefits, a well-placed phone/video call to college coaches can be extremely impactful. Taking the time to call college coaches is a great opportunity to stand out from the crowd and get attention.
Calling and video chatting college coaches takes some preparation, but if you put in the work beforehand, your call will go much smoother. Remember: College coaches have been through this process thousands of times. They understand how intimidating and nerve-wracking it can be for high school athletes to call them. If you go into the call armed with the right information and a plan, the coach will most likely be impressed with your effort so don’t worry about small mistakes along the way.
TIPS for Phone/Video Call Success
Practice . Before calling college coaches, role play the call with a friend. Have them play the part of the coach, and make sure they ask you tough questions (we have a list of potential questions coaches will ask you outlined below) that you will receive when you’re calling college coaches.
Do Your Research . Make sure you have a few key facts about the school and the team at hand. Good sources of info include the school's website, some articles about the team and the team roster, and the team or school's social media pages.
Avoid Disruptions. Coaches want to have a good, personal conversation. If your family wants to listen, that’s fine, but make sure that you aren’t distracted. If you feel more comfortable taking the call alone, let your family know you need to be in a quiet room without distractions and fill them in on the call afterwards.
Choose the RIGHT Time. Schedule calls that make the most sense for you. When scheduling calls, consider what times throughout the day and week work best and when you have the most availability. Be sure to consider the coach's availability and make the call a priority!
Questions to Expect from College Coaches
As with any conversation, your calls with college coaches will involve you asking questions and the coach asking some in return. No matter how tough the question, the best policy is honesty. If you are asked a question you don’t know the answer to, don’t be afraid to tell the coach you’re not sure, but you’ll get back to them later when you have the answer. Take a deep breath and a second to think before responding if you need it. To help you prepare for coach questions in advance, we’ve created a list of questions coaches will likely ask you during a phone or video call. We recommend that you prepare your responses to these questions in advance.
The NCAA Eligibility Center is the branch of the NCAA responsible for determining the academic eligibility and amateurism status for all DI and DII student-athletes.
The most important thing to understand as a prospective student-athlete is that the NCAA is there to determine your eligibility, not to provide guidance on how to get or maintain your college eligibility.
It is the responsibility of the student-athlete to understand the academic and amateurism requirements and make sure they are on track to meet those requirements with the help of their high school guidance counselor, parents and coaches.
What is the purpose of the NCAA Eligibility Center?
The NCAA Eligibility Center is the part of the NCAA that will ensure you meet the minimum academic requirements and are considered an amateur athlete. It does this by reviewing your high school transcripts , SAT/ACT test scores and reviewing the answers to your amateurism questionnaire. In rare situations, the NCAA will require additional information surrounding your high school classes or athletic competition, but most athletes pass through the NCAA Eligibility Center without incident.
How do I register for the NCAA Eligibility Center?
The NCAA has a very user-friendly website at the NCAA Eligibility Center.. Give yourself at least 15-30 minutes to complete the initial registration. Before beginning, make sure you have a valid email address you will have access to after high school. If you are creating a Certification Account, you will need a method of payment for the account.
How long does the NCAA Eligibility Center take?
You are not officially done with the NCAA Eligibility Center process until you are done with high school and officially declared eligible at your DI or DII institution. There are three phases to the NCAA Eligibility Center process you will need to check in to make sure you are on track:
Click the picture below to Learn more about the NCAA Eligibility Center .
How to Find Your College Home
Choosing the right college can sometimes seem like an overwhelming process. With so many choices and can be difficult to narrow down choices.
Below are some main things to consider when making a college choice.
Know What You Want. No one, not a coach, not a parent- NO ONE- knows you better than you! You have to know what you want in a school and program. Does this school offer my major? Does classroom size matter to you? Do you care about off-campus things to do in the community, or perhaps what the cafeteria food is like? Learn what you want, what you need, and then make a list. Websites such as Niche have student reviews on most universities already available. The school’s website should provide answers to many of your questions.
Learn What the Program is About. Learn about the school, financial aid offerings, clubs, and track program by visiting their respective websites. Familiarize yourself with their coaches, recent school performances, and roster make-up (does this school recruit Florida athletes?). Coaches are always impressed when a potential recruit has already taken the initiative to learn something about a school.
Be Realistic. Be realistic about where your talents are and if you are a good fit for a particular program. It’s important to find programs that fit your athletic abilities. Use the school’s website to review their Recruiting Standards and past performance list to see where you fit in with the existing talent on the team. Websites like TFRRS allow you to search individual schools and compare your best with current collegiate runners. which gives an athlete an idea on whether their talents align with a program’s philosophy. College Conferences is another useful resource.
Make a list! Once you know what you want in a school, make a list and begin making contact. Visit your school’s athletic page and find those recruiting questionnaires. In addition to the questionnaire, athletes should send emails to the college staff (staff directories are easily found) as a follow-up. Emails should include basic contact and academic info, in addition to a link to your Florida Runners page. Click here for an Email example. Once communication is established between you and a program, be sure to nurture that relationship by returning texts, phone calls, and emails regularly.
Remember, communication works BOTH WAYS! Coaches love when recruits initiate the contact. It shows real interest and you are in control of the narrative. Meet updates or new test score results are things that should be conveyed when possible.
Missed our first discussion on all things Recruiting? No worries- read through our presentation and get a sense of the general recruiting landscape and how it impacts today's athlete.
Over the years, we have gotten several phone calls/text questions asking HOW to respond to a college program's recruiting event invite or email and many questions wondering if it was o.k. to email the coach directly.... The simple answer is YES!
I covered "Sending Emails" in the recruiting guide but at a special request I have taken the time to create a response for this is well. Please use the link to view it: UCF Response
Be sure when emailing coaches during your recruiting journey to copy firstname.lastname@example.org so we can be kept up to date on your recruiting activities.