The importance of communication with your high school coach regarding the college athletic recruiting process

I have talked before how there are a variety of different kinds of high school coaches that you will be dealing without throughout the athletic recruiting process.  Some are extremely helpful, others push your name when it is convenient, and some unfortunately don’t do anything.

And while the type of high school coach that you have does vary from athlete to athlete and school to school, one thing that you must have between you, your family, and the high school coach is communication.  You may be able to get attention on your own in the recruiting process but without communication, things may be lost in terms of calls and letters before they even reach you.

When I talk about communication, the first thing that you must do is inform your coach of your intentions to play college athletics.  It could be for soccer, lacrosse, football, basketball, softball, or any other sport, you must let your high school coach know.  The coach can sabotage even the best efforts throughout the athletic recruiting process.

Before the spring evaluation period for football recruiting, college football coaches are limited in the amount of contact that they have with recruits.  Because of this, the college coach relies heavily on information provided by the prep coach.  If your coach isn’t calling back, forwarding your letters, and following your on tape requests, it may be tough to get much consistent interest in the recruiting process.

In that first talk that you and your family may have with the high school coach about your college dreams, it is important to get feedback and listen to what the coach has to say and what he or she can bring to the table.  Some coaches have contacts at the college level that could really help you get a foot in the door at some programs.  Other coaches won’t do a damn thing.  Again, it varies from coach to coach.

After you make it clear of your intentions, talk to the coach first about what you need to do athletically to get to that level.  Most head football coaches will help you because this shows that you want to make yourself a better player.  That initiative is a great step in the right direction that you have what it takes to play college athletics.

Once that is done, speak with the coach about an honest evaluation as too what level you can play at in college.  Tell them that you want to start marketing yourself to college coaches and a fair eval will give you a better feel of what level you should do it at.  I hate to say this but expect your coach to over evaluate your ability.  You may be a Division I-AA (FCS) type player but they think you are a Division I-A (BCS) player.  I feel that most coaches will do this not to hurt your feelings or dash your dreams.

This should give you a better feel for where your coach thinks you can play.  After that, speak with them about any connections that they have within the college coaching ranks and see what it available via those connections.  Some things may work out better than others so know that you can and should be marketing yourself to other schools as well.  When you follow The Five Steps to a Scholarship Offer, you are focusing more on what you want and need in a college rather than which programs your high school coach is familiar with.

I would then try to speak to your coach specifically about recruiting and their contact with coaches about every two weeks.  In most situations, the high school coach is likely a teacher at the school so he should be around.  If not, try to catch up with them on the phone.  I have found that coaches who are out of the building are also harder for college coaches to get in touch with.  The reason these talks should come is to tell them what you are receiving in terms of mail, attention, and visits while also picking his brain to see who is calling and requesting tape.  If a school did request tape, make sure that your coach has it taken care of.

Like just about every situation known to man, communication is vital here.  Speaking openly and honest to your high school coach can give you a better feel for what they think about you and where you stand in the athletic recruiting process.  Taking the time to do it is well worth it.

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