Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The College Decision Process - part 1

Georgetown – 22 years – Advice for contacting coaches for recruiting..
Part 1

Above all else – the student-athlete must be the one to contact the coach first. There is always a “yellow flag” that goes up when the parent calls or e-mails first. I am sure you can think of some of things a coach may conclude:

The player is not really interested – just the parent.
The parent does everything for the player.
The player does not have good interpersonal habits, so the parent is covering.

A player making the first contact is much more impressive. We will be coaching and mentoring the player, not the parents (or not supposed to mentoring the parents). You only have one chance to make a good first impression. Almost no matter what, that is best done by the player. Common excuses are that “I am calling for my son because he is in school and can’t call you from there. By the time he is home, you probably wouldn’t be in the office.”

Obviously, if the player tries to call after school, then he may find the coach is in the office. We don’t work 9-5s – much more than that. We all have voice mail – even if you just leave a message that I am trying to contact you and will call back is better than the call from someone other than you. If you leave your number and ask the coach to call you back, then you are also finding out how interested they may be in you and/or how professional they are.

Remember NCAA rules prohibit a coach from calling you until after July 1st prior to your senior year of HS. So if you are calling before that and leave a message, then you will not (or should not) receive a call back.

After the initial call it would not be improper for a parent to touch base. However, if it now becomes just the parent, then the same conclusions as above may apply. Parents are an important part of the process and can affect things. Obviously a parent should do all he/she can to allow the process to work for the student-athlete. Too much or none at all could spell out certain cautions in the mind of the coach.

Remember that we recruit players whom we feel will help our programs on and off the field and, obviously, fit into the academic profile of the school.

To find out more information on NCAA rules for the College Bound student-athlete you can go the following site:


Anonymous said...

Coach - thanks for the very helpful recruiting guidance.

My son, who will be a Junior in High School this Fall, will be attending the July 4th Elite 300 Camp. I understand that there will be a number of college coaches working this camp. Seemingly it would it be a good idea for my son to contact these coaches and introduce himself (via e-mail) before the camp starts. Do you agree?

Also, on the Elite 300 web site, there seems to be two different lists of coaches that will be in attendance. Any idea on how to confirm what coaches will be at the camp?

Thanks again for all your gudiance.

ktsoccerworld said...

I would defintely have your son contact the coaches attending prior to the camp. I would also have your son be sure to introduce himself to those coaches on the first day of the camp so a face with the name can happen.
I will try and get the list of which coaches will be at which session and post it. Most coaches listed will be at both but there are a couple exceptions I think.
The camp also gets several coaches who are not working the camp that come by to watch evening games.

ktsoccerworld said...

Elite 300 Staff as of 6/17/09
Session 1 includes coaches from:
Washington College
Goucher College
Carnegie Mellon

Second Session includes the above plus:
U of Chicago

Naturally subject to change for unforseen reasons.

Anonymous said...

Coach - thank much for the info on the College coaches at the Elite 300 camp, which I've passed on to my son -- A great opportunity for my son to work on his social skills by introducing himself to the coaches!

Anonymous said...

Any advice for very intelligent goalkeepers? (top 20 in class of 750+ students, Division 1 keeper). Mom tells me I need to think about contacting coaches, but I have no idea what to say or do. Can I send video clips or post to youtube and send links? I am going to be in the 10th grade next year. And shuold I plan on graduating early to take advantage of the spring semester start that seems to be popular with swimmers and for women's volleyball?

ktsoccerworld said...

Good questions. If you are going to be in 10th grade, then there is no need to panic right now. It would be a good idea to start to get information on schools and prgrams you may be interested. Perhaps try and get in touch with 10-15 schools now with a goal to narrow that down to under 10 by end of year.
Put a short resume with yuor academic stats; most important soccer honors - individual and team and list any tournaments you ay be going to this year. What you are trying to do is get on their "radar screen" so they will try and see you play at a tournament.
Regarding graduating early --that is a personal choice that would be betwee you and the school you might go to. Letting a coach know now that you are considering it is probably a good idea.
Also - when you contact a coach be sure to personalize your letter or email. Know his name and use it... do not say "Dear Coach" only.
PS - Good video clips/utube is a good way of getting in front of a coach now a days. Gotta be quality filming. Coaches watch a LOT of soccer and are not going to watch poor filming.
Good luck.