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How to Gauge a College Coaches Interest During The Recruiting Process

MJP2558MJP2558 Registered User Posts: 132 Junior Member
edited November 2009 in Athletic Recruits
The following is being posted for Parents and Student Athletes who are trying to determine the real level of interest a college coach has for you during the recruiting process. It is a very accurate and candid assesment:

Coach noticed you:
. Mailed a questionnaire to fill out and return
. Mailed a summer camp application
. On the school's athletic mailing list

Coach is interested in you:
. All of the above
. Calls your high school coach
. Comes to see you play
. Emails you regularly
. Mails you a media guide and school information

Coach is very interested:
. All of the above
. Sends text messages
. Sets up phone conversation with you
. Sees you play more than once

Coach is committed:
. All of the above
. Sets up regular phone calls
. Invites you to make an official or unofficial visit
. Offers you a scholarship
Post edited by MJP2558 on
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Replies to: How to Gauge a College Coaches Interest During The Recruiting Process

  • pacheightpacheight Registered User Posts: 1,168 Senior Member
    ^^ I like it!
  • TheGFGTheGFG Registered User Posts: 6,196 Senior Member
    This is a very good assessment.

    Some caveats: D was offered more official visits than she could accept and never once got a text message from a coach. So don't worry if your athlete hasn't. Also, in timed sports like swimming or track, the coach might not come to see the athlete compete. Results are sufficient and are available online. Some coaches came to the state meets, and some didn't. Oh, and Yale x-c and track does not publish a media guide, so never fear if you weren't sent one!
  • sherpasherpa Registered User Posts: 4,094 Senior Member
    That is a gross oversimplification. This will vary by sport, school, and coach.

    By your formula, my son was never even noticed by any college coaches. In reality he was a top national recruit.

    His experience with your data points with respect to the coach at the HYP school he is attending:

    . Mailed a questionnaire to fill out and return - never happened
    . Mailed a summer camp application - never
    . On the school's athletic mailing list - I don't think so
    . Calls your high school coach - N/A; didn't have a HS coach
    . Comes to see you play - never came to our area, but watched him at National Championships, Junior Olympics, etc.
    . Emails you regularly - a few emails after they had mutually commited
    . Mails you a media guide and school information - didn't happen
    . Sends text messages - not one
    . Sets up phone conversation with you - yes
    . Sees you play more than once - yes
    . Sets up regular phone calls - a few
    . Invites you to make an official or unofficial visit - both
    . Offers you a scholarship - no, Ivy league rules

    So while this "gauge" may reflect the experience of some recruits, it would be misleading to extrapolate this gauge to all circumstances.
  • pacheightpacheight Registered User Posts: 1,168 Senior Member
    i disagree, you just need to have a little flexibility with terms/interpretation. Do the terms in () fit your son:


    . On the school's athletic mailing list - I don't think so
    (on your club or coaches visit list)
    . Calls your high school coach - N/A; didn't have a HS coach
    (calls your club or team coach or private coach)
    . Comes to see you play - never came to our area, but watched him at National Championships, Junior Olympics, etc.
    (sees him compete, anywhere)
    . Emails you regularly - a few emails after they had mutually commited
    (emails, texts, phone calls, whatever but reaches out)
    . Mails you a media guide and school information - didn't happen
    (that's odd, I've got an HYP package including all the specific sport stuff on my table)
    . Sends text messages - not one
    (text, phone calls, smoke signals, comes to the house, contact is contact)
    . Sets up phone conversation with you - yes
    . Sees you play more than once - yes
    . Sets up regular phone calls - a few
    . Invites you to make an official or unofficial visit - both
    . Offers you a scholarship - no, Ivy league rules
    (offers a LL)
  • Runners2Runners2 Registered User Posts: 308 Junior Member
    The only point of clarification I would offer applies to the last step:

    "Coach is committed:
    . All of the above
    . Sets up regular phone calls
    . Invites you to make an official or unofficial visit
    . Offers you a scholarship "

    An official visit, though a very encouraging sign, does not always result in a commitment by the coach. Coaches do offer official visits to more athletes than they have roster spots for.
  • skrlvrskrlvr Registered User Posts: 790 Member
    What I don't like about your list is that it makes the whole recruiting process look very passive in terms of what the player has to do.

    In some sports, it is true that coaches do a lot of reaching out.

    In other sports, like soccer, the player has to do most of the reaching out, especially to out-of-area coaches. If you are known to the local college or university, then that coach may get in touch with you, but if you are out-of-area, you need to contact the coach first. Yes, there are a very elite few who all the coaches know about, and go after, but for the vast majority of players, even those that will be offered scholarships, go to Ivys etc., the player himself has to start the process with the specific schools he is intersted in.

    There may be times when a player gets noticed by coaches at specific events that a player did not contact, but most players don't leave it up to chance that a coach at a program they are interested in would 'find' them at a national event and watch them play.

    My son started the whole process with the school he eventually committed to, with emails, requests to come see games, updates about his academic and athletic progress, etc. There was an exchange of emails over several months. It was not like he was noticed by the coach at some event and then the coach started contacting him. The coaches did make it a point to see him play at the national events he attended after he sent them a schedule etc. And they did ask him to make an unofficial visit. But he never got any media guide mailings, text messages, phone calls, (only after he commited, and only a maybe 1 or 2 so far), no scholarship offer (but a special application to let admissions know he was a recruit). They did contact his club coach (who was an assistant coach for a local U). As for camps, almost all coaches asked him to come to their summer camp, without even seeing him play at all, because camps are where coaches make money--the more kids, the more money. If he turned out to be a good player they wanted, all the better. So being asked to attend camp is not that good a sign that a coach noticed you or wants you.

    It was a great deal of work for my son to get coaches interested. Your list makes it seem like the player simply waits for contact and mailings, and that if you don't hear from a school, it means that a school doesn't want you and you won't be playing there. That is not true for all sports.
  • ihs76ihs76 Registered User Posts: 1,842 Senior Member
    Speaking as a D3 minor sport parent, our experience has been much more low-key.

    The extent of our contact with the coaches have been

    e-mails instigated by DS with his stats (academic and athletic) to start, couple of exchanges to set up a meeting when we visited (of the we're coming, can we meet with you variety), couple of hours spent between meeting coach and watching team practice, coaches offered their full support for his app. Done. No wooing, hardly any contact/back and forth, little drama.

    These are top schools (T10/T20) with middling programs in DS's sport, but in at least one of the cases, I believe we were essentially offered an admission.

    This is just to say to those who are not at the very top of the national recruiting pool, esp in minor sports, that effective things can be done with minimum of fuss. Don't be discouraged if the coach isn't knocking down your door.
  • sherpasherpa Registered User Posts: 4,094 Senior Member
    I think the most accurate way to gauge a coach's interest is through direct communication with the coach. Five minutes of frank discussion will tell you much more than a "one size fits all" checklist.
    What I don't like about your list is that it makes the whole recruiting process look very passive in terms of what the player has to do.
    Don't be discouraged if the coach isn't knocking down your door.
    These quotes are so, so true. Again, it varies by sport, school, and coach. I believe that the student athlete should take a proactive approach to the process beginning no later than the junior year. That approach worked well for DS, and it appears to be working well for DD.

    Good luck to all your kids. And parents, keep up the postings. The amount of information and support in this subforum amazes me. Please click on this link
    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/community-forum-issues/800584-moderators-thanks-athletic-recruits-subforum.html
    to go to the Community & Forum Issues subforum and join me in thanking the moderators for creating this subforum.

    Thanks
  • keylymekeylyme Registered User Posts: 2,825 Senior Member
    People keep referring to the criteria as "your list". I think the op got this information from the site berecruited.com. They sent out an email today of the same title. So, I believe it does have some merit.
  • 10scholar10scholar Registered User Posts: 589 Member
    It's unclear the exact rules because I did get two texts in the process, but I'm almost positive that coaches aren't allowed to send texts to recruits. I think this was because of kids not having plans and because it allows coaches to inundate players. Also, I agree with those who say that the player has to do a lot of reaching out in some sports. And I'd say that any coach who calls you without provocation is very interested.
  • FauxNomFauxNom Registered User Posts: 1,220 Senior Member
    OP's list is fine, for what it is. I trust that anyone reading it will realize that's not the only way things happen.

    For my D and DIII recruiting, the process has been more analogous to applying for a job. It seems that she skipped a few of OP's steps, as the process was quick and it was very easy to gauge the coach's interest level. Her process:

    -potential recruit sends out inquiries (film, profile + letter), fills out online questionaires
    -coaches respond indicating interest, either by phone or email
    -recruit pursues the leads, or not, depending on what else is happening, by responding to email or phone call
    -coaches invites recruit to visit
    -recruit visits 1 or more colleges and has frank discussions with coaches
    -coach follows up visit with emails, calls and offers to speak with parents. Coach urges early app and makes predictions about admission
    -recruit shows commitment and undying faith by applying early, and - with any luck - gets in

    I agree with Sherpa that this forum has become a great resource for parents and kids alike. Thanks to all!
  • riverrunnerriverrunner Registered User Posts: 2,715 Senior Member
    I will add that if you live in a small population state, off the beaten path, self-recruiting becomes key.

    College coaches from outside out state NEVER come here to recruit or observe athletes. If their plane is rerouted due to bad weather in January, they may stop over by accident :)

    This means the student/athlete must work hard to get to national competitions, and communicate with coaches they are interested in to see if they can connect. This can work pretty well for kids in individual sports like running, swimming, tennis, skiing, etc.

    Alternatively, most top athletes from our state who play team sports try to guest play for elite travel teams based in larger states, so that they can attend showcase tournaments and be on a team that will have some success and make it into final rounds coaches may be watching.

    So step one for our athletes is not so much a college coach noticing them, as it is drawing attention to themselves, and taking sometimes extreme efforts to be seen. The rest of the steps follow as you outline.

    And here's a sidenote about this forum. THANK YOU CC!!! It is so pleasant this year to visit the Athletic Recruit section, have a civilized exchange, and not be flamed by athlete-haters. A year ago, some great conversations were completely shut down by a few people with a different take on things, and no hesitation in telling us how worthless the pursuit of sport is, in their opinion. Having our own little corner has been wonderful!
  • keylymekeylyme Registered User Posts: 2,825 Senior Member
    I checked, and yes, this list did come from "berecruited.com". There was also an excellent article with the list. Of course not everyone will have the same experience; it is just meant to be a guideline. With two kids who were/are being recruited, they did experience many, if not most, of the things on the list. My daughter and all of her teammates were texted by the coaches. It is allowed - daughter's school is scrupulous about following ncaa regs.
  • TheGFGTheGFG Registered User Posts: 6,196 Senior Member
    Someone correct me if I'm wrong about this: Initially texts were not regulated since they were a newer technology. Coaches could inundate the athletes with them. But the NCAA soon caught on and now a text is considered a phone call, so only one is allowed per week.
  • TheGFGTheGFG Registered User Posts: 6,196 Senior Member
    Coaches of even small programs receive nearly a thousand e-mails from prospective athletes. Imagine how many the larger schools receive! Therefore, self-promotion is key and e-mails may not be enough. My D first researched schools to come up with a list of those which were appropriate both academically and athletically. She then planned unofficial visits to those schools, and participated in the regular campus tour and info. session. She also always set up an appointment to meet with the coach while there. Once on their radar, she started sending occasional e-mails to update them on significant accomplishments, including her SAT scores. This got the ball rolling, and then the process looked more like the list above.

    One note: beginning sophomore year she had been receiving recruiting mail sent to her high school for her. She filled out a few of these questionnaires, but not many. In general, the schools that contacted her this way were not the top programs either athletically or academically. If she had just relied on these schools as a starting point, she would probably not have the terrrific options she now does. We can't know how many of the schools on her current short list would have pursued her if she hadn't pursued them first, but I'm guessing some wouldn't have.
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