Part 1 – What role should your high school coach play in the athletic recruiting process?

Love them or hate them, your high school coaches will play a very important role during the athletic recruiting process.  It doesn’t matter much what sport you play but if you want to play at the college level, you will need them on your side to help you achieve your goals of playing athletics past high school.

The first thing that you need to do as an athlete is tell them what you want to do early on.  For example, say that you just finished up your sophomore season playing at the varsity level.  You had a solid year and were named second team All Conference.  Because you have that experience for playing under that coach, now is a great time to tell them your goals at the next level.

While every situation is different, the coach may have helped other players play at the Division I level.  He may know what it takes during the football recruiting process to help you get to the college level.  The coach may also know what specific areas you need to work on to get to that high of a level.  Trust me in saying that it is not going to be a walk in the park by any means.

It is important not to come up to the head varsity coach following your freshman year or basketball where you were the sixth man and tell him that you want to play at Duke.  You first have to be realistic as there are some God given limitations that cause athletes who have the talent and work ethic but not the size to make it.

In the football example I mentioned, doing it early gives you plenty of time because it allows the coach to really push you to become the best player that you can be.  There are going to be ups and downs during the process but talking to your coach about it early will help you in the long run.

Your college coach must be on your side as well because he or she is going to be the one talking to college coaches.  These coaches call asking for more information on certain athletes.  If you have an attitude, most coaches are going to be honest and tell the college coach the truth.  Why would your coach want to lie in this situation?

As mentioned here before, college coaches will talk to just about anyone when they are trying to find more information about a recruit.  It doesn’t matter if it is your Math or Biology teach, you need have few enemies.  But the person that will hear the most from college coaches is your high school coach.

A Division I basketball coach told me a few years back about a player that they ended up offering a scholarship to.  It was a small school player who was a big man at 6-foot-10.  While his prep competition was not very high, the coaches scoured the school to learn more information about the athlete.  They found out that he was just a good kid who worked hard.  He would come in at 5:30 AM everyday to lift weights because there were no other times.  It showed that he was dedicated early on to become a better athlete and he ended up getting a scholarship.  It should come as no surprise that the athlete had a fantastic career and ended up really making a name for himself at the school.

You will need your high school coach to forward letters onto you.  While I assume it doesn’t happen that often, there are some high school coaches who may have a grudge with certain college programs.  The coach may then make sure that their letters are not forwarded onto you, which eventually becomes a problem.  I would hope that happens at least a very small amount of the time overall.

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