Relationships are everything. We have all heard the saying "it's not what you know its who you know," and as much as we despised the adage, it's true. It is most certainly the case when it comes to college recruitment. With that being said, building a relationship with a coach at your target university should be your a top priority.
Taking the time getting to know your coaches and building a strong relationship can be the difference between 100% or 60% scholarship. If finances permit, we always recommend that our South African athletes fly to the USA and meet the coaches. This will ensure you and the coach have the same goals, your visions are aligned, and you show how committed you are to studying at their college. This can make or break your sporting career as you are going to be spending the next four years with them.
Demonstrating your interest in the sporting program and having constant communication with your dream college coach is vital and there are a few ways in which you can do it.
We no longer live in the stone age; communication has never been faster or easier at any other time in history. Coaches, kids and parents all have phones, ipads and laptops keeping us connected constantly. Using the excuse that you are "too busy" to contact coaches, is not an excuse. Should you find yourself saying this, it might be time to re-evaluate if the USA is something you truly want because firing off a quick email or WhatsApp to a coach will take five minutes.
Not all methods of contact are equal and knowing which method to use will greatly change the nature of the relationship.
You should look at some of the athlete's social media pages who are currently at the universities you want to attend, and if your page is not similar to theirs this could impact your chances, so clean up the page, remove the party pics and build your brand accordingly.
How to Prepare for Video Calls and Questions to ask Coaches
Before you chat with the coach, do your research into the college and sporting program. Know where the college is, what you want to major in and check out how the team is doing on their sporting website. You will also want to prepare a list of questions to ask the coach when chatting, take a look below at some of the questions you may want to ask;
24 Hour Rule:
Be consistent and respond to coach in a timely manner. By responding promptly, consistently and professionally, shows coaches that you are committed and reliable. Coaches love this because they see your interest, commitment and dedication. Keep a coach waiting for more than 24 hours is disrespectful, and they will move on to other athletes. Check your messages, email and junk mail regularly.
The reality is that if you want your sporting career to the next level and win a sports scholarship to your dream university, you can never stop working on the relationships. The relationship-building process does not stop when you sign your scholarships contract (NLI) nor does it stop when you arrive at university. It never stops.
If you follow the communication guidelines above you will be on the right track to taking your sports career to the next level.
All blogs are written by former student-athletes. If you would like to learn more, please leave a comment below and the author will respond to your questions.