For aspiring student-athletes, understanding the ins and outs of a college athletic program is crucial for achieving success both on and off the field 🏈🎓. To help navigate this process, we’ve compiled a list of 39 essential questions covering various aspects of college life, athletic programs, and personal development. By asking these questions, you will gain insights into coaching philosophy, team culture, and daily expectations, ensuring a well-rounded experience as a student-athlete 🌟.
👋 If you’re a student-athlete striving to conquer the 🎓🏈 college sports world, it’s a given that interacting with college coaches is an inevitable component of the recruitment process. But here’s a secret to help you stay ahead of the game – 🙋♂️ ask them questions! Yes, asking thoughtful questions can help you make informed decisions about where to attend college and play sports. Need more convincing? Let me enlighten you with a few reasons why:
First and foremost, asking questions can help you delve deeper into the 🏀 coach’s coaching philosophy and style. You can gain insight into their 🏋️♀️ training techniques, 🏃♂️ practice regimens, and 🎯 playing strategies. By doing so, you can evaluate if they align with your own goals and aspirations. It’s a slam dunk way to ensure that you’re on the same page with your coach, and that’s an essential ingredient for a winning team. 🏆
In addition, coaches can provide valuable information about the 🎓 academic and 🏆 athletic programs at the school. Ask about the 📚 majors and 🤝 support services offered, and you can determine if the school is a good match for your academic and athletic goals. It’s like hitting the books and the gym at the same time – a win-win situation! 📚🏋️♂️
Furthermore, asking questions showcases your seriousness about the recruitment process and demonstrates that you’ve done your research. It’s akin to putting your best foot forward, and that can create a positive impression on the coach. It’s also a chance to build a rapport with your coach and establish a foundation for a successful coach-player relationship. Score! 🤝👍👊
Lastly, asking questions helps you evaluate the fit between the college and the coach. It’s like trying on a pair of shoes before buying them – you want to make sure they fit just right! By inquiring about team culture, academic support services, and campus life, you can determine if the college is a good match for your needs and preferences. 👟💭🤔
So there you have it – asking prospective college coaches questions is a slam dunk strategy to ensure that you make an informed decision about where to attend college and play sports. With a little bit of research and some thoughtful questions, you can score big and have a successful and fulfilling college experience. Now that’s what we call a winning play! 🏆👍🎉
- What are your program’s core values? 💭
- What have you done in the last two weeks to further your commitment to those values? 📈 Core values without constant commitment can be a red flag on focus.
- Why did you decide to become a coach? 🤔 Listen for the passion and commitment in their story. Hear their “why.”
- How would you as a former basketball player describe you as a coach? 👥 Most coaches have likely not been asked this question, and you should be able to feel candor in their response.
- What is your overall coaching philosophy? 🧠 Sure it is a big question, but the answer should be simple and concise.
Team Building and Community Involvement:
- What are the team building activities you do every year with your team? 🤝 Coaches should have a smile as they think back on last year’s activities, not just ho hum thru this message.
- What does the team do at the philanthropic level? 🌍 You can followup with question on average hours
- Coach- what are the community services you are involved in? 🏥 Do we walk the walk, or just talk the talk?
- How do athletes make this a better campus? 🏫
- Are athletes fans of their campus too?
- What is a typical weekly schedule during the in-season vs. ‘off’ season? 📅
- Followup with the question, what other activities are not mandatory, but highly encouraged? Also known as unofficial “captain practices.”
- What are the summer obligations? Christmas Break? Spring Break (hopefully March Madness baby!)
- How many study-hall hours do student-athletes complete each week? 📚
- Is it mandatory, or only for specific GPA levels? 🎯
- What challenges do you see with my specific major and also being a student-athlete? 💼 Nursing, pre -med concentration, engineering students beware. Many students have arrived on campus only to be told to switch business majors to economics, that nursing isn’t an option because you can’t perform the clinical hours in a two semester sport.
- What athletes do you currently have in my major? 📖 Try to follow up with those athletes, ask the coach permission to touch base with those athletes about their paths.
- Do any of your athletes study abroad?
- Do any athletes have interships during the school year?
- What athletes were in my major, and have graduated, and how are they doing? 🎓 Most people go to school to become professionals… not pro basketball players. Keep your eye on the end goals.
- What other academic support do student athletes get?
- What is different than the rest of the student body?
- Are there any special meal plans for athletes?
- Do our practices limit access to dining facility hours?
Travel and Accommodations:
- How does the team travel? ✈️🚌
- How do student-athletes work through missing class for away trips? 🎒
- How do professors feel about that?
- Do those count as absences or excused absences? 📚
- What out of conference travel plans do you have coming up the next couple of years?
- What housing do you recommend?
- Will I need a car? 🏠🚗
- How far are away games in and out of conference? If travel is by bus, does the bus have appropriate lighting and satellite internet service so studying can be done? 🛣️
Leadership and Team Dynamics:
- What activities do you regularly do to develop leadership in your student-athletes? 💪
- What intangibles are you desiring in your team? 🔮
- Who was your favorite leader of your past or current teams and why?
- What are the leadership models and books you have your team learn and embrace?
- What does it take to be an GREAT player and leader here? Like Hall of Fame great? 📚
- What do you expect of your captains?
Recruitment and Future Roles:
- What are your recruiting needs for my class in terms of position and leadership? 🌟
- How many players do you have a history of keeping on your team?
- How many do you want on the roster in the future?
- When players commit here are there any more tryouts upon arrival?
- What role do you see me playing as a freshman for the team? In the long term? 🥇
- What position, offensive skills, and mindset do you see me in for the team? ⚽
Preparation for Success:
- What other paperwork do I need to complete for admissions & financial aid? (CSS as example)
- What other paperwork do I need to complete for the athletic training staff? 🏋️
- What other paperwork do I need to complete for NCAA/NAIA Compliance and the Eligibility Center? 🏆
Resources and Development:
- What mental health resources and counseling do you have for basketball players? Sports psychology? 🧘♂️
- Tell me about your prehab, conditioning, and rehab philosophies as a coach? 🏃♂️
- How do you feel about players getting medical opinions outside of the trainer’s office? 🚑
- What stats are important to you for my projected position, why?
- What are benchmark tests in strength and conditioning? Skills? What are the team records?
- What modalities do we have easy access to in the athletic training offices? 🩹
- What expertise are available specific to the strength and conditioning of our basketball team? What is their background specific to basketball? 🏀
- Are there personalized plans to help each player magnify their strengths and improve their weaknesses?
- Can you be candid with me Coach… I can take it… what about my game or personality has you concerned about me being a great player here? Listen, write down the answers, and then clarify by repeating them. Now ask: what would you have me do to go all in on developing on those challenges tomorrow?”
- If asked what other college coaches are you talking to and where do we rank… then I would answer and share the other schools and say you are still processing this meeting but love what you hear (if you do) but I would then flip the table and ask where you rank on their recruiting chart?
- As you close, tell the coach how grateful you are for their time, and ask, what are the next steps for “us” here?
Best Questions Received by College Coaches
“What is your expectation of the team captain?” She was a 17 year old player, who our club team had seen multiple times during the previous few seasons. Highly intelligent player.
I had already envisioned that role for her, if she came on board. She became our captain in her sophomore year and confidently guided the team through her senior year. -Coach Larry Simpson
A future hall of famer at Hiram College, Michael McDevitt, said he was just excited to come in, learn as a freshman, and earn the right to play. He started as a sophomore and thereafter.
-Coach Tim Rice
Questions Not To Ask College Basketball Coaches
- How much playing time do you se me getting next year? A better question to ask would be “Can you tell me about your needs next year?” Then state that you are ready to come in and learn and reference a couple of strengths and stories related to the needs the coach expresses.
- Can you give me a scholarship? This is typically not a first or second conversation topic. And when you get to conversation 3, try phrasing it like… “Coach, obviously I love the idea of playing here… can you talk to me a little about the finances of what that looks like?
- Don’t ask questions you could answer yourself with some elbow grease and Google. It shows a lack of interest in the school.
- Do you have _____ major?
- What was your record last year?
- Who is in your conference?
- What nights do we play?
- Skip questions about dating, parties, and other topics. If those are important to you, find out more online or at the admissions office, or from a non basketball student.
- Why do you need to speak to my current high school or club coach? (this would be a red flag for sure)
- What kind of gear and swag do we get?
Do not ask any of these questions on the first visit. And some never. Proceed with caution.
Asking these essential questions will empower student-athletes to make informed decisions about their college athletic experience, ensuring a successful and fulfilling journey. By understanding coaching philosophies, team culture, and daily expectations, you will be better prepared to excel in your sport and your academic pursuits, creating a solid foundation for your future endeavors 🎓🏆.