How To Speak To A Coach 101

With spring just around the corner, collegiate athletic programs both here in Canada and in the United States are beginning to fill out their rosters with incoming prospects. Coaches are ramping up their recruiting process, reaching out to student athletes on a regular basis. It can be an intimidating and overwhelming process where many athletes do not know how to conduct themselves. Do I act more professional, do I act like myself, do I ask questions, these are just some of the thoughts that cross the minds of recruits when talking to a coach. In today’s installment on THE BLOG we will go through some of our key tips and tricks when it comes to talking with a coach.

Tip #1: Assess The Situation

One of the first things you must do when getting an email, social media message, phone call, or in person conversation with a coach is assess your situation. If it is a coach that you have previously met or conversed with, it is totally ok to be yourself! Open up with a line such as “hey coach great to hear from you again, how is your season going?”, coaches who have made multiple efforts to reach out to you typically enjoy more personable styles of conversation to get to know you better. If it is your first time conversing with a coach, you can never go wrong with being professional in your tone and style. A lot of the time the coach will drive the conversation so being a great listener and being confident in your answers will help the conversation go much smoother! The more you get comfortable with the coach the more you can ease more and more of your personality into the conversation.

Tip #2: Be Honest With Yourself and With The Coach

The phrase “honesty is the best policy” is something that is important when it comes to talking with coaches. Not only are coaches dedicating their time to communicate with you but you yourself are also committing your time! Coaches do not want to waste time with prospects that are not interested in their program and would much rather appreciate clear honesty with them. Being up front with coaches shows respect and honesty and that can go a long way for you as a prospect as coaches do talk! 

Tip #3: Research The School and Team That Is Recruiting You

Having some knowledge about the team and school that the coach you are talking with is a great way to show your interest. Simple knowledge such as last year’s record, programs at the school you like, a latest game result, all show the coach that you are interested in their program and are invested in learning more. This can really move yourself up the totem pole in terms of ranking in a coaches’ recruiting list, coaches want athletes that care!

Tip #4: Ask Lots of Questions

One of the most common feedbacks we get from coaches across the continent revolves around athlete’s willingness to ask questions. Coaches love when athletes ask them questions! It doesn’t have to be about their team, the school, or even the coach themselves, coaches see questions as an interest level by an athlete as they are wanting to learn more about the program, school, or just things in general. Questions can be a great way to drive a conversation as well. If carrying out conversations aren’t your strong suit, come up with a handful of questions you would want to ask a coach. Any question is a good question, especially if it’s related to your sport or their school!

Tip #5: Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help

Talking with coaches can be intimidating. Athletes sometimes get overwhelmed as they think if they say the wrong thing an opportunity will be lost. If you are nervous or unsure how to talk to a coach, reach out. Your previous coaches, your parents, even recruiting services (such as us here at NLU Sports!) have great insight about how to talk to people in higher positions such as coaches. It can be as simple as how to respond to an email, what questions should I ask, seeking help is not a sign of weakness, it shows you care!

As overwhelming of a process talking to a coach may be, by taking the right approach to each individual situation, asking the right questions, and seeking help when you need it, you can make the most out of this potentially life changing experience.

Written By: Ethan Andrew