Q: When should I contact a coach about walking on to the team?
A: Within many programs, walk-on slots are just as competitive as scholarship spots. Many teams have children of former players, boosters and university staff on their roster as walk-ons.
If you think your opportunity will come as a walk-on, it’s best to approach coaches in the same way a scholarship player would with game film and their Student-Athlete Resume, and be clear that you are interested in WALKING ON instead of looking for a scholarship.
After your junior year get your Student-Athlete Resume and film together and begin contacting coaches. If there are specific schools that you are interested in, approach your prep coaches about reaching out to those colleges for you.
Walk-ons join the team in one of two ways – as an invited or preferred walk-on or through a tryout. An invited or preferred walk-on doesn’t have a tryout and is usually recommended by their prep coach or invited because of their film or connection to the program.
If you must tryout, you must already be enrolled at that school and taking classes fulltime in order to tryout. You’d have to take your chances and enroll in the school on your own, with only the possibility of making it as a walk-on.
Walk-on slots are often determined by position needs, like scholarship spots. If you aren’t interested in one particular school, look around at schools who may be lacking depth at your position. It’s easier to make a team if they are looking to add depth or practice players at your position.