If there’s one thing recruiting experts can agree on, it’s that student-athletes must be proactive. And as much as technology has made phone calls feel like a thing of the past, the proactive step of calling a college coach can have a very positive impact on your recruit’s future. But how do you know when it’s time to call? We’ll help answer that and share a few tips for the call itself.
Why calling is important
Direct, real-time communication with college coaches is invaluable. Your student-athlete can convey their interest in the program, get their questions answered and build rapport. College coaches are considering hundreds of potential recruits, many of who are on the same level as your student-athlete; a phone call can be a great differentiator.
When to start calling
Technically, student-athletes can initiate contact with college coaches at any point in their sports career; however, phone calls should be made strategically. For example, there’s no point in calling college coaches if your student-athlete is an underclassman without varsity experience. Thus, the majority of student-athletes will want to wait until their junior year to pick up the phone.
By the time calling coaches is appropriate, student-athletes should have narrowed down their target list of schools to those they know they are most interested in. It’s also important to note that calling should not be the first point of contact with the coach. Your student-athlete should have sent at least an introductory email to the coach with their athletic resume and letting them know to expect a call.
What time of year to call
Coaches are always busy, but they are generally busiest during the season. If you’re calling for the first time, try to catch them in the offseason or the summer. Research the NCAA DI and DII recruiting calendars for detailed information about when coaches are most accessible by sport.
What day of the week to call
This depends on the sport. The biggest tip would be to have your student-athlete look at the team’s schedule and be sure not to call on a game day, or even a couple days before. From our research, coaches say Mondays or Tuesdays typically work best.
What time of the day to call
If you’re able to call early, 8 p.m.–10 a.m. during the week, you might catch them in their office; otherwise, it’s best to call between 6 p.m.–10 p.m. They will likely be done with practice by this time. If it’s the offseason, your student-athlete might have more luck calling during the day.
Insider Tip: Make sure your student-athlete lets the coach know the day before that they are going to call him or her at a certain time.
When coaches can contact you
Coaches at the Division I and II levels have strict rules around when they can initiate contact. So, if you were unable to connect with a coach on the phone and they didn’t call you back, it might not be because they aren’t interested; they just might not be allowed to. For most sports, college coaches can begin calling recruits starting September 1 of the student’s junior year of high school. Check out the contact rules on the NCAA website. DIII coaches can call at any time
Tips for the call
- Do thorough research on the school and program before you call. Know the coach’s name, background and roster attributes.
- Be confident and speak clearly. State your name, graduation year, where you’re from and remind them of any communication you’ve previously had.
- Prepare questions so you have something to talk about.
Calling coaches is a very important part of the recruiting process. Hopefully, you can utilize these tips to your advantage.