How to Carry Yourself When Approaching Coaches
As you prepare to contact schools, realize that you need to present yourself in a polished way when speaking to college coaches. College coaches are professionals; they may wear sneakers and t-shirts at practice but most of them wear ties or polos at work, and slacks and dress shoes in the office.
I would get weekly phone calls from players saying, “Aye, aye…. Write this name down. Yo, John Smith. Write that name down.”
Just so you know, I don’t even pick up a pen. If you’re THAT good, we already have your name in the system and are trying to get in contact with YOU. Or my favorite, “Who’s the head coach? Yeah, yeah… Coach Jefferson, let me talk to Steve…”
That extra attitude, ego and unprofessionalism will get you nowhere!
First off, you called us and you shouldn’t EVER refer to a coach by their first name. Ever. If you’re really interested in a school, look up the head coach’s name before you call. Your first goal is to have the person that answers the phone take you serious, and that starts with being polite and organized.
When you contact schools, make sure that you:
• Speak up , speak clearly and don’t mumble
• Know the head coach’s name before you call or even better, have a list of all of the coaches in front of you so you can make sure you get the name right. Never ask for them by their first name.
• Ask which assistant coach recruits your area and get their name, direct office number and email address. Double-check the spelling and keep notes!
• Spell your name out if leaving a message and repeat your phone number twice. If we can’t understand the phone number, nobody can call back!
• If necessary, set up a different email address for recruiting purposes. I can’t tell you how many inappropriate email addresses (and Twitter names) I’ve come across over the years, and ladies, you are just as bad! Keep it simple with your name and jersey number. Also, no mascot names in your email address. If you are Gamecock17@recruit.com, do you think the Clemson and North Carolina coaches will take you serious? Keep it simple: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
• Depending on your grade, understand that a coach may not be able to respond to you. Rules vary for each sport as far as when coaches are able to contact you so check NCAA.org for that information.
• When you are using form letters, triple check that you have changed everything. I can’t tell you how many letters I have received from prospects who in the first line confessed that they were “dreaming of” playing for our biggest rival. We all know coaches AND recruits send form letters, just make sure to check that each separate packet is correct before you mail them!
• If you are meeting a coach, dress appropriately. Nothing will make a coach take notice quicker than if you are wearing a tie and collared shirt or polo. Same for the ladies—cover up and dress for church instead of dressing for the club! Sure, it’s okay if you wear something more casual, but coaches will take ANY player serious if they present themselves in a professional way.