At some point in the recruiting process, it is likely that you will end up on the phone with a college coach. Some coaches will call recruits early on in the recruiting process, while others may only call towards the end of their recruiting cycle. If a college coach gives you a phone call, it’s a good sign that you are being legitimately recruited.
A great way to stand out in the recruiting process is to initiate phone calls with college coaches. Many recruits are content to email and text with coaches, too intimidated to pick up the phone. Taking initiative and setting up phone calls with college coaches shows that you are responsible and highly interested in moving forward. Over the phone, you will be able to build a relationship with the coach and ask important questions about the college recruiting process of the particular college.
Phone Call Tips
Like any interaction with a college coach, a phone call is a great chance to make a good impression. Here are a few tips that will help you be prepared for a good phone call conversation.
1. Make sure your voicemail is professional
Make sure that your voicemail is professional. “Hi, this is James. Please leave a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can” makes a good impression if you happen to miss the coach’s call. “Yo it’s me, I’ll hit you back” doesn’t quite have the same effect. This may be a small detail, but every detail matters when trying to stand out in a competitive college recruiting process.
2. Do some research ahead of time
Having a decent overview of the program will show the coach that you’re interested. How did the team do last season? If they’re in season, who did they play last week? Who do they play this week? Telling a coach: “I saw you beat Duke on Wednesday…that’s awesome. How was the game?” shows a coach that you are following along and excited about the season. You want the coach to think that you are personally invested in their program, as this will make them more likely to be personally invested in you as an athlete.
3. Be prepared to talk about more than athletics
Typically, a college coach is calling to get to know you better, not listen to you talk about how great of a player you are. The coach is already interested, so it isn’t necessary to promote yourself over the phone. If a coach asks about athletics, definitely fill him/her in on recent and upcoming events, but try to avoid giving your resume over the phone. Every coach will ask different questions, but be prepared to talk about the school year, your family, hobbies, recent trips, etc.
4. Don’t talk about yourself the whole time
The best conversations are two-way, so do more than just answer the coach’s questions. For example, if the coach asks about your summer, tell him about the family beach vacation, your part-time job, or latest tournament, then follow up and ask “How has YOUR summer been?” You’d be surprised at how refreshing it is for a college coach when a recruit can carry on a real conversation.
5. Be honest
If the phone conversation occurs early on in the recruiting process, a coach may want an update on your college search and selection process. Tell him or her about what you’re looking for in a college and why you are interested in learning more about his or her school. It is okay to mention other schools that you are visiting and communicating with, but always reiterate your interest in the coach’s program unless you know for sure that it is not a good fit for you.
6. Have questions prepared
Most likely, the coach will ask if you have any questions. Having one or two questions prepared shows a coach that you are truly interested. The types of questions that you should ask will depend on how far along you are in the recruiting process, but if it is early on it’s good to ask questions like: What are the next steps for me in the recruiting process? Do you need to see me play more? When do you expect to be done recruiting my class? Questions like these will help you know where you stand with the coach and give you direction moving forward as well as make a good impression on the coach.
Keep these tips in mind and you are sure to have a great phone calls with college coaches. These phone calls with coaches will be a great way to stand out from the rest. For more information on the recruiting process click here.