One of the things that I have always talked about to athletes, parents, and their families is that they need to take control of the recruiting process themselves. When they starting learning more about to get their son or daughter recruited and do it themselves, it is a great relief for these families that they don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to have a recruiting service help.
But one important character in the recruiting process no matter how much your family tries to include them in is the high school coach. The role of the coach varies greatly from case to case but if college coaches are inquiring about an athlete, the high school coach is the one that they talked to. This is a perfect example why have a rocky relationship with a high school coach can hurt the recruiting process no matter what sport an athlete plays.
The majority of high school coaches are going to be completely honest when college coaches ask them questions about you. These questions are not simple can he or she play. They will be about your work ethic, how much you love the game, and your character. If you have spent the season butting heads with the coach because you are not mature enough to handle him or her, do you really think they are suddenly going to be shy on the phone to a college coach?
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What this shows is the importance of the relationship that you have with your coach. No matter how wrong you and your family may think the coach is, they are the head coach for a reason. It is prudent to listen to them and do what they say. They are in charge of the team and it is not worth getting into battles with them because it could factor in later on.
The overall role of the high school coach can vary from situation to situation. I will give three examples of coaches that I have seen over the past few years and most coaches normally fit in to at least one. Let me stress that before you get mad about what your coach is or isn’t doing, realize that they have a lot going on in their lives. They have a teaching job (likely), a family, a wife/husband, kids, a social life, and a head coaching job. Throw in the number of athletes who want to get recruited and that makes it difficult.
Coaching situation #1 – The coach who recruits his players to colleges
This is the desired high school coach to have but it rarely happens. If you have a coach like this, you will know. This is the type of person who calls college coaches about you and helps to get your name out there. He or she gets your highlight video done himself (or by an assistant) and the product is finished quickly and done professionally. If you ask the coach about a certain school, they are willing to call right away for you. This coach will also tell you what schools are calling and keep you informed about the recruiting process. Again, this is extremely rare. In a state that I am familiar with that has 400 head football coaches, only two to four are like this. If you have a coach that does this, thank your lucky stars.
Coaching situation #2 – The coach who helps his players but does it on their time
If you are hoping that your high school coach will get the recruiting process going for you (which you shouldn’t do in the first place), this is the type of coach that will be extremely frustrating. He or she will definitely do some work for you but it may be calling a school because they are friends with the coach. It may be harder for them to call a new school because they don’t know the staff. As for the highlight video, they may do it but it could take months and the final copy could be bad. I know a recruit who relied on his high school coach this past year to make it and the end product was a VHS (these are like dinosaurs these days) and not well done. The athlete should have taken control of the process himself and had it professionally done (see www.highlight-videos.com for more information).
Coaching situation #3 – The coach who doesn’t care and is lazy
If coaching situation #2 is frustrating, just think about having a coach like this. They won’t call college coaches for you and won’t help with a highlight video. If mail comes to the school through him or her, it is either lost or takes weeks to receive. They are lazy and just don’t care what happens in your recruiting situation. They also know very little about the recruiting process, which definitely makes things worse for them and you as well.
If I had to guess, there are 2% of the #1 coaches, 70% of the #2 coaches, and 28% of the #3 coaches. These numbers show exactly why it is normally up to you and your family to control the recruiting process yourself. You can expect the world from your coach but realistically, unless you get really luck in that 2%, your family will be doing most of the work.
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