Do Coaches Look At Recruiting Questionnaires?

Many schools send out recruiting questionnaires every year. Recruits from all over the country receive these brief, general question pamphlets prompting them to fill out the information and mail it back to the coach. But do coaches look at recruiting questionnaires?

Coaches do look at recruiting questionnaires, but they are certainly not the only thing they will look at when evaluating recruits. Recruiting questionnaires allow coaches to sift through a large pool of recruits by analyzing your answers on the questionnaire. It’s often one of the very first steps in generating the coach’s list of potential recruits. Coaches look at recruiting questionnaires to gauge interest in their program and help them build a database of student-athletes to refer back to.

Recruiting questionnaires are usually not sent out by the coach personally. Their program sends them out to hundreds or thousands of eligible student-athletes. They can be mailed directly to your house or available online. The goal is for schools to see which high school players are interested. As the recruiting process continues, your communication with coaches will become more personalized and less general. Filling out a recruiting questionnaire is an excellent start to the recruiting process, as it provides your athletic and academic data to coaches in the format they prefer.

What Are Recruiting Questionnaires?

The NCAA has some regulations on when colleges can send recruiting materials to student-athletes. Depending on the sport, schools can’t send recruiting material to a potential recruit before June 15 of their sophomore year or September 1 of their junior year. However, recruiting questionnaires are not considered recruiting material, so they are a tool for many schools to gauge interest early on.

Basic Introduction: Recruiting questionnaires are a way for you to introduce yourself to the coach. Questions include necessary information gathering, like contact information for you, your parents and your high school or club teams. You will also be able to link to an online profile or your highlight video. Other questions will require you to include your NCAA eligibility number, standardized test scores, athletic statistics and even your potential major.

Division I And II: Division I and II colleges tend to send recruiting questionnaires to underclassmen to gauge their interest in the athletic program because NCAA rules prevent coaches from reaching out in other ways. If you’re an upperclassman who is receiving recruiting questionnaires from a Division I or II schools, it’s less likely that the coach is seriously interested in you as a potential recruit because they are free to email or call you. However, your sport may have a later recruiting timeline.

Division III: Division III schools are not subject to NCAA rules, and they can send recruiting questionnaires at any time. They generally send material out around the same time as Division I and II schools to catch the attention of student-athletes who might not consider a Division III school right away.

Take your time to fill out the questionnaire thoughtfully. It helps gather all your information beforehand so you can be more efficient when filling in the questionnaire. Coaches look at recruiting questionnaires to assess how well you might fit at the school based on a set of filters. By filling it out, you are taking one of the first steps in the recruiting process. Questionnaires can also help you learn more about the school and its recruiting standards.

How To Use A Recruiting Questionnaire

It may seem like filling out a questionnaire is too much effort for the results. But taking the time to do the questionnaire may help you out in the long run by getting you on the coach’s radar. It will likely only take you 15 minutes, and it could pay dividends in the future. Here are some ways to use a recruiting questionnaire to make an impact and move forward in the recruiting process.

Update It Regularly: As your academics and athletics change, you should continually update the questionnaire. Your GPA is likely to increase as you take more classes, and standardized test scores may also increase. Sharing your athletic accomplishments is also essential, and can even change the coach’s opinion of you for the better. If there’s a coaching change, you should update the questionnaire.

Conversation Starter: A recruiting questionnaire is not only helpful after sending it to the coach. It can also provide a natural conversation starter when emailing a coach or meeting them in person. It’s appropriate to say that you filled out the questionnaire after learning more about the school and expressing your interest. This way, the coach has all your information in one place, too.

Research Schools: A questionnaire can also be a good way for you to learn more about the schools you want to consider. It’s a good idea to take a look at which schools send you questionnaires and what their athletic programs are like. It’s likely that you meet the qualifications for admission if they sent you a questionnaire, so keep this in mind as you build a list of schools to target going forward.

Filling out a recruiting questionnaire for multiple schools keeps your options open and encourages coaches to continue recruiting you. It’s one of the earliest forms of recruiting attention, but as you advance in your high school career, you will make genuine connections with coaches and have more personalized communication.

How To Get A Coach’s Attention

Usually, student-athletes receive recruiting questionnaires in their freshman or sophomore year. It’s one of the earliest phases of the recruiting process. Here are some ways that you can advance that process along, besides filling out the questionnaire.

Send In The Questionnaire Online: Filling out a questionnaire online can save you a lot of time. Most schools would have their questionnaires on their website, even if you didn’t receive it in the mail. If it was mailed to you, you could mention that you received the questionnaire in the mail in the comments section to ensure the coach knows.

Build Your List Of Schools: One of the first steps in the recruiting process is thinking about which schools to target. You can use recruiting questionnaires to help you build this list, but you should also think about what qualities are important to you when attending college. You may want to target large Division I schools, or you may be more suited for a smaller Division III school with a more balanced athletic and academic environment.

Contact Coaches: One of the best ways to get a coach’s attention is to reach out and email them. After filling out a recruiting questionnaire, you have the perfect excuse to email a coach and introduce yourself. You can explain why you’re interested in their school and give a better introduction than what was on the questionnaire. This allows coaches to gauge your personality as well as your statistics.

Plan A Visit: If you’re seriously interested in a school, you can plan an unofficial visit. This is a great step to take after talking with a coach building a relationship with them. Visits can help you assess whether or not the campus is the right fit for you.

To secure a spot on the roster at your dream school, you’ll have to put in some work. By thinking critically about what schools you want to attend, you can start looking for opportunities that fit your criteria. Recruiting is all about relationships, so connecting with coaches, either online or in-person, is one of the most important ways to land an offer from your target schools. Recruiting is a long process, but it will bring success if you commit to it and break it down into manageable steps.

Things To Keep In Mind

NCAA Eligibility: The NCAA Eligibility Center requires student-athletes to create a profile to gain athletic eligibility. It includes necessary athletic and academic information and is required to be admitted to a Division I or II school.

Social Media: Filling out a questionnaire might mean you get more traffic on your page. Check your social media pages before you send in a questionnaire to verify that your pages don’t have anything that wouldn’t make a good impression on a coach.

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