In giving recruiting advice, it’s important to cover the do’s AND the don’t’s, and today’s post is a mixed bag of both, as they are often related. Today, we’re going to discuss the importance of showing appreciation any time a college coach shows interest.
Few things turn a college coach off more quickly than calling a kid who, in spite of having limited or even no legitimate recruiting interest whatsoever (a typed letter or brochure means NEXT TO NOTHING), expresses no excitement or appreciation for the phone call. Not to mention, it’s just plain bad manners to have an attitude of disappointment if not disdain for a college coach and/or his or her program. And yet, if you ask the average D3 coach, D2 coach, NAIA coach, JuCo coach, and even smaller D1 coach, they will tell you how often parents and kids jump to dismiss their programs.
Now, to be clear, it’s totally understandable for a parent to tell a college coach, “thank you very much for the call, but we are not interested a this time” if your kid has multiple solid options on the table that he or she likes better. We would never advocate wasting your time or a coach’s time if your child is just not interested based on a comparative study to your child’s other options. What we’re saying is that it’s incredibly unnecessary and disrespectful, not to mention delusional and stupid, to metaphorically spit in a college coach’s face when your child has a grand total of ZERO better (or even other) options.
And yet, parents treat college coaches who don’t coach at the Cadillac D1 programs with this kind of attitude on a very regular basis, as though it’s an insult for any program outside of the top 10 D1 programs nationally to even entertain the notion that they might be able to recruit their children. From a college coach’s perspective, why would he or she want to deal with parent who makes a first impression of rude, arrogant, and delusional?
Our advice, return every coach’s phone call and treat every coach who calls with courtesy and appreciation. And if you in your mind believe that your child should have “better” options (from an earlier post, remember that “better” and “perceived higher level” are not always synonyms – pick the school first and the program second!!), keep that opinion completely to yourself at least until so-called “better” options emerge (instead, just say, “Coach, thank you so much for the call. We are appreciative of your interest, and we’re keeping all options open”). Because we can promise you one thing: a college coach will remember being treated like the ugly duckling, even as the ugly duckling starts looking prettier to you as a parent based on the presence of no other ducklings. And we weren’t math majors, but one solid, realistic option is more than zero solid, realistic options.
Thank you very much for reading. We hope these posts are helpful, and we would welcome any questions or feedback.