Archive for February, 2011

Contacting Coaches

A student-athlete should have a list of questions, as well as a script,
to work from when calling the coaches. The script should include the
following components:

An introduction that

1. Includes the child’s name, city, and high

school.

2. If applicable, acknowledgment that the student received

material from the coach.

3. A request to ask the coach a few questions. Remember

that the coach is a busy person. If he doesn’t have time, the

student should ask when he can call the coach back. If an

athlete calls a Division I or II coach before July 1 or June 15

of his junior year (depending on sport and excluding football

or basketball), the coach is not allowed to return the student’s

call, so if the coach is unavailable, the student-athlete should

ask his assistant when he can reach the coach.

4. A list of questions to ask the coach. Regardless of whether

the student is a freshman or junior, or whether this is the first

or fifth call with the coach, an athlete should always ask two

questions:

• What else would I need to do to have a chance to compete

for your program and earn a scholarship?

• What is the next step I should take with you?

Some students don’t feel comfortable being this direct.

Rest assured that coaches want to connect with qualified

student-athletes as much as student-athletes want to connect

with coaches.

Things an Athlete Learns: Time Management

Athletes learn to manage their time effectively.

       Middle school is the first time a student-athlete has to deal with the challenge of balancing the demands of schoolwork and the demands of athletics. As he becomes more serious about sports, his top priority must be on receiving a good education. Parents and coaches can use the child’s participation in sports as incentive. By setting firm rules for participating in athletics, parents and coaches can require the child to make his best efforts in the classroom before he is granted the opportunity to walk onto the field.  Though most schools mandate a required grade-point average for participating in sports, my parents reinforced this system by setting requirements higher than the school’s established standards. Each parent requires a different level of academic achievement. For some parents, a 3.8 grade-point average might be the cutoff for participating in sports. For others, a 2.5 grade-point average is sufficient. My job is not to counsel parents, coaches, and athletes on the importance of academia, but simply to show them that athletics can be used to strengthen time management and academic goals, whatever they might be. My parents used this incentive to great success. I was not a “natural” student, and my interests were not in academia. But were it not for sports, my grades would have suffered. The threat of having sports taken away from me was too much, and I kept my grades high because my parents made it a condition of walking onto the field.  Recognizing that education is a priority is not enough.  Even a child who genuinely desires to succeed in school and in sports will face difficulties because knowing how to balance competing demands on one’s time is an acquired skill.

Myth vs. Reality: Where Do College Coaches Find Talent

Where do college coaches find talent?

The myth is this: College coaches discover talent their junior or
senior year by attending camps, combines, showcases,
tournaments, and high school games.

The reality is this: College coaches depend on verified information
from reliable sources, and they purchase lists of
prospects as young as seventh grade. Most coaches
attend tournaments, games, and camps with lists
of student-athletes they intend to evaluate, not
with hopes of discovering random prospects.