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Questions You Should Ask College Coaches

Questions you should ask college coaches

Many athletes and their families will tell you campus visits really made the decision process much easier. Some schools shined while others that looked great on paper just didn’t live up to expectations.

At the end of your recruiting journey you should feel confident about your college choice, knowing you’ve picked a school where you can thrive athletically and academically.

How can you be sure? Ask a lot of questions. Just as a college coach evaluates an athlete, an athlete needs to evaluate a school.

First, research

Generic questions will only get you so far. Before you start creating a list of questions, you need to research each school and program. Not only will you learn more, but it also shows coaches you’re seriously interested.

Here are some things you should read up on:

  • Knowledge of the university (majors offered, life on campus, academic advisors, etc.)

  • Knowledge and history of the program

  • How they did last season and even how they did last week

  • Upcoming games

  • Notable athletes and success they’ve had on or off the field

Read more: How to find your best college match

Questions to ask when calling a coach for the first time  

Initial contact with a college coach is all about level-setting and finding out if everyone is on the same page. The answers to these questions will give you an idea of where the coach is at in his or her recruiting and if you’re on (or near) their list of top prospects:

  • How is your recruiting going for the [your graduation year] class? College coaches may not disclose specific details about who they’re recruiting, but their answer will help you figure out where you stand and if your position is being filled.

  • What does it take to earn a scholarship for your program? This is a good time to be upfront about scholarship opportunities and learn if you have a chance at landing one. This is not the time to ask for a scholarship, however.

  • Are there any specific camps, tournaments or showcases you think I should attend? Knowing where coaches will be boosts your chances of being evaluated.

  • What are good academic goals for your school? It’s important that you stay on track to qualify academically.

  • How can I update you on my progress? Every coach has a preferred method of contact, whether it’s calling or emailing. If coaches give you their personal cell phone number, that’s another indication you’re higher on their list of prospects.

Read more: How to contact coaches for the first time

Questions to ask to see if the school is right

At this point, you know the college coach is interested in you. Now, it’s time to gauge whether the school is a good fit. Here’s what you can ask to tell:

  • What kind of academic support will I receive? Some schools have academic counselors specifically assigned to athletes, while others have mandatory study hours carved out each week.

  • What are the most common majors on the team and what is the team’s average GPA? You should make sure you can balance your major with your athletic career.

  • What are offseason and holiday commitments? Training happens all year long. Some coaches require the team to stay on campus during break.

  • Can you run me through a typical week of practice? You should learn about the coaching style and try to get a sample schedule.

  • Are there any current athletes on the team I can talk to? You will spend most of your time with your teammates — you’ll probably even live with them. The best chance to meet with your potential teammates in person is on an unofficial or official visit.

  • What goals do you have for this upcoming season? This will help you gauge the team’s level of success.

Doing your research and asking thoughtful, fact-finding questions for college coaches will go a long way in helping you decide what school and program is the right fit. Of course, that’s only part of the equation. Many athletes and their families will tell you campus visits really made the decision process much easier. Some schools shined while others that looked great on paper, just didn’t live up to expectations.

Read more: A recruit’s guide to unofficial visits

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