What Are Some Questions To Ask A College Coach?
You may be planning to talk to a college coach but are unsure what to ask them. Asking questions is an essential part of learning about a program and a coaching staff. So, what should you be asking college coaches?
You should ask a wide range of questions while talking to college coaches. Subjects you should cover are sports, academics, student life, travel, coaching staff, and playing time. During the recruiting process you will be in contact with many coaches so it is crucial you learn as much as there is to know about each of their programs.
Coaches love to engage with athletes who take the initiative to ask questions and show genuine enthusiasm to play at the next level. Below we have put together some questions you should ask college coaches while going throughout your recruiting process.
Since your sport is a huge reason for getting you to the school,you will want to be sure you will get the most out of your athletic experience. Being honest and upfront about each of your expectations and goals regarding your athletic performance is the best way to know if you want to play for that particular program. You might want to ask questions like:
- What potential role could you see me playing?
- Do you see me having an impact?
- What skills do you want me to improve on?
- How would you describe the team culture?
- How has the program grown since you have been the coach?
Even if you haven’t been offered a spot or a scholarship, don’t be afraid to ask coaches where they could see you contributing to the program. The fact that you are having a conversation with them reveals that they know who you are and what your skills are.
While you may not be particularly motivated to focus on academics yet, your education is equally as important when searching for the right program. In many cases, despite your athletic success, if you don’t have the right academics, coaches will automatically turn you down. You need to ensure that your academics are solid in addition to understanding what the expectations are. Below are some questions that could help you do just that.
- What test scores should I be aiming for?
- How does the team do in the classroom?
- What do you require academically?
- Will my major be a problem?
- What are the study hour and tutor requirements for freshmen?
Remember, you are a student first and an athlete second. Coaches want to know that they can trust you to take care of your academic duties without taking away from your athletic requirements.
Student Life Questions
Many athletes underestimate the adjustment from high school to college. The transition from being a high school student-athlete to a collegiate student-athlete is difficult for anyone. Athletics are not the only thing that you will have to adjust to. Here are some questions you should consider.
- How has the team adjusted to college life in the past?
- What is the balance between sports and social life?
- What is the housing/dorm situation?
- Can I participate in extracurriculars (clubs, sorority/fraternity, internships, etc.)?
If you want a solid balance between your sports life and social life, it is important to communicate that with the coach. Athletics are the most important to every coach, but in most cases, they also want their athletes to be content with their lives outside of athletics.
You may feel uncomfortable talking about your financial situation with a coach and you should know that is completely normal. However, it is important to keep in mind that you should wait to talk about financials until your relationship with the coach is already established. specifically, regarding their decision to give you a scholarship. However, these are some questions regarding financials that can be asked at any point.
- Do you give performance-based scholarships?
- What kind of financial support is available for student-athletes?
- What types of support are provided for all athletes from the athletic department?
When discussing financials, it is key that you do not ask for scholarship money. Depending on the school and the division you want to play in, the financial support differs. Focus your financial questions around all of the supports available to athletes, and let the coach take the lead when it comes to the scholarship conversation.
Although you do not want to get too personal, it is important to get to know the coach on a personal level. If you are seriously considering a program, you will want to like the coaching staff. They will have a big impact on your student-athlete experience so you’ll want to be sure you can be on the same page as them. Here are some questions that will help you to get to know the coach.
- How would you describe your coaching style?
- What is your relationship like with the team?
- What do you want in an athlete that is on your team?
- What are the core values of your program?
Coaches appreciate that you want to know about their coaching style. Get to know the coach as best as you can early on so you can decide if you would like to play for them. You should be in a space that allows you to grow as a person and an athlete. Having a coach that you get along with can help make that happen.
Questions You Should Not Ask
In some cases, athletes ask inappropriate questions. Any question that demands something or gives off the inclination of entitlement increases the chance that a coach will turn you away, no matter how good you are. It can be ambiguous to know what things you should or shouldn’t say. Therefore, we have composed some questions that you should not ask.
- How much scholarship money can you give me?
- When are you going to offer me?
- How much gear does the program provide?
- Will I play immediately?
You should wait to talk about scholarship opportunities until you have an established relationship with a coach. Be aware of the boundaries that exist between the two of you and be respectful. You should also stay away from asking any obvious questions that you could easily answer yourself by simply doing your research. Coaches want to see that you are prepared and organized.
How Should You Prepare Your Questions?
As you are preparing to talk with a college coach, you should compose a list of questions so you don’t forget them.
Prioritize Your Interest: You should think about what you are most interested in and what particular aspects are most important to you. Make sure you do your research beforehand so that you have a solid baseline of knowledge about the program (win-loss record, roster, camp information, etc.).
Tailor To The School: After you have done your research, make sure you personalize your questions to the particular college/coach you will talk to. Instead of asking, “what is your gym like”, ask “What is [insert gym’s name here]”. Admittedly, it is easier to ask every coach the same list of questions, but by taking the time to tweak questions with personalized information about the school you’ll be sure to stand out.
Consider The Context: It is also important to keep in mind the context in which you are speaking. For example, if this is the first time you are speaking with the coach, your questions should consist of getting familiar with the overall feel of the program and the coaching staff. If you already have an established relationship with the coach, your questions may be deeper and consist of subjects like scholarship, playing time, travel requirements, etc.
By taking the time to prepare, you show coaches that you are self-motivated and attentive to detail.
Things To Keep In Mind
Show Who You Are: The questions you ask reveal a lot about who you are and the type of athlete you want to be. Coaches will get a good handle on what is most important to you and will try to inform you in the best way possible. Be sure to ask questions that are specific to you as a person, such as, being able to pursue your interests outside of sports.
Be Honest: Coaches respect honesty and transparency. To avoid wasting the time for either of you, be upfront about your goals and what you want your collegiate experience to consist of. Do not express interest or time into a program if you know you are not seriously considering it.
Keep Track Of The Different Coaches You Talk To: You will talk to many college coaches throughout your recruiting process and it can be easy to mix up the information you are learning. Creating a document or journal to keep track of the different information you learn from coaches can help you stay organized.
You Never Know Until You Ask: Do not be afraid to ask a question you are genuinely wanting to know. You never know, you may be surprised by the answer. Your goal is to learn as much as you possibly can about a program and the coach. As long as you are respectful, ask the questions you want to know.