There is no one who is in a better position to assist high school student/athletes as they decide on where they want to go to college than you, their coach.
It makes no difference whether they have the ability or the interest to continue their playing career in college or not. Your guidance can ease this difficult and at times, overwhelming decision of how to choose a college.
Here is a list of questions that you can provide your athletes with to consider when they are in the process of selecting a school. All of these questions will help your prospective college athlete. Most of them will apply to students who will not be continuing their athletic career. Feel free to edit the questions to the needs of the student athlete you are providing them for.
You can download this list of questions to use in your program notebook or to provide to your individual athletes at the end of the article.
Considerations for Athletes Being Recruited for College Athletics
- If a school discourages you from taking other recruiting visits, it more than likely means that they are afraid of how they will stack up against the other schools that are recruiting you.
- Be skeptical of recruiters who criticize their competition. They should be putting their best foot forward for your visit, not taking the time to talk about other schools.
- Being impressed with the coach who is recurring you should never be the only reason to choose a school. It is an important factor, but you should make your choice based on the entirety of the answers you arrive at from the questions below. Keep in mind, that coach may leave the school before you have completed your athletic eligibility.
- Take into consideration advice from friends, relatives, and other individuals that you trust. But make the college decisions that is best for you based on what you feel is best for you as a person, a student, and an athlete.
As you work through these questions, get input from the students, professors, coaches, and athletes for each prospective school when possible. Also, get the opinion of your parents and high school teachers and coaches.
Glazier Academies has over 70 coaching videos, including how to help athletes and parents with the recruiting process.
I. Academic Considerations
- What is the academic reputation and record of the school?
- What is the reputation and record of my anticipated major at this school?
(Keep in mind that over half of college students change their major at some point, so your anticipated major may not end up being the major that you graduate with)
- What is the student/professor ratio in my major?
- What is the accreditation rating in my major?
- Will the school challenge me academically at the level I am looking for?
- Do the coaches emphasize academics?
- What is the graduation rate of student athletes in your sport?
- Is there an academic plan for athletes?
- What is the quality and availability of the Academic Advisors, Academic Counseling, and Academic Tutors.
- How does their study table program work?
- What is the quality of the Library and Study Areas?
- What are the coaches’ policies on required class attendance?
- Is summer school education part of the scholarship offer?
- Is a 5th year available with the scholarship if necessary to complete my degree?
II. Coaching Staff
- What is the reputation of the Head Coach?
- What is the reputation of the coaching staff?
- What kind of reputation has the recruiter developed with your High School?
- Do the coaches treat the players as people?
- Do the coaches treat the players as students?
- Will the coaching staff help me plan for my future?
- Will the coaches help with job opportunities upon graduation, including summer work? (ask for an explanation of what they can do)
III. Athletic Scholarship
- Will I be offered a scholarship during my visit?
- Would my offer be a full or partial scholarship?
- If there are no athletic scholarships, what other financial aid opportunities exist? How can I get links to those forms?
- What does the scholarship cover?
- What is it worth in dollars and cents?
- How much will I have to pay myself?
- Ask for an explanation of the “National Letter of Intent.”
- Ask about a conference or league letter of intent.
- Ask for an explanation of the scholarship. Is it a four-year offer, or is it subject to renewal each year.
IV. The College
- How do you feel about the location and surroundings?
- What is the distance from home?
- Will my family be able to travel to visit me and see home games?
- How many away games will my family be able to travel to see?
- What are the campus, the dormitories, fraternities/sororities, apartments and classroom facilities like?
- What are the dining facilities quality and quantity of food like?
- Is there a year round or in-season training table for atheltes?
- Are there spiritual and cultural opportunities available that would be of interest to you?
- Would you be more comfortable with a larger or smaller enrollment?
- What is the attitude of the faculty, student body, and community towards athletics and athletes in general and your sport in particular.
- What are the other players like? Do they seem to be people that you would enjoy being around?
- Does the school have character and spirit?
- What is the social climate of the school?
- Can I find a church of my choice close enought to campus for me?
- Is it a private, public, or denominational school?
- Is the climate a factor that is important to you?
V. Other Considerations
- What is the athletic tradition of the school?
- Are they a regular NCAA tournamet or bowl participant?
- Are they a consistent winner?
- Are they rebuilding?
- Is the head coach secure in his/her job? How long does he or she intend to be at this school?
- How long has he or she been there?
- Where else has he or she coached?
- Is there an opportunity for me to play/start as a freshman? (Be leery of promises of playing time)
- At what position am I being recruited?
- What is the number of returning players, lettermen, or starters at my position?
- How many players are they recruiting at my position? How many do they want to sign?
- How many scholarships are they offering this year?
- Do their offensive and defensive tendencies or philosophies fit my skillset?
- What are the athletic facilities like? Fieldhouse? Locker Rooms? Practice Areas?
- What are their strength Program and Weight Room like?
- What is their conference affiliation?
- What schools do they play?
- Can this program help me reach my full potential as an athlete and as a person?
- What is the medical staff comprised of? What is the quality of prevention and care of injuries?
- What are the team doctors, trainers, medical facilities like?
- What is the policy toward serious injury and graduation?
- If I sign early and am injured, do I still have a scholarship?
- Is there media exposure? (Press, TV, Radio, Internet broadcast)
- Has there been honesty and fairness in recruiting?
- Has there been any history of NCAA probation or investigation?
- Are there any local students or other friends going to the school that I could share rides with or get information about the school and area?
- Can I make alumni connections for summer job opportunities, internships or after graduation?
- Does the area have recreation facilities—fishing, hiking, skiing, swimming, etc…
- What is their redshirt policy and philosophy?