Just as important as liking the school you pick is liking and respecting the college coach you choose to compete for. Many student-athletes find themselves transferring, dropping out or quitting their sport while in college not because they no longer love the sport, but because they don’t want to work THAT HARD for that coach.
You will want to do you research to really get to know ‘that’ coach at the school you commit to. Understand their motivation styles, their coaching philosophies and their relationship with their current players. There are several ways to do this.
Personally, I think this is the best way to really get into a team and learn what they are all about. Many programs will offer summer camps that are managed by the coaches and led by current team members. Of course you want a coach to know you as a recruit, but you need to realize how important it is to use this time to get to know the coach and the program to see if they are the right fit for you.
Talk to the coach, introduce yourself and let him know you are interested in his school. Talk to the current members of the team and see if these are people you can get along with and how they seem to like the program.
This is a tough venue to really get to know a coach, but if you are going to visit a campus you should set up a meeting with the coach while you’re there. If you are visiting the campus during the season don’t hold your breath on getting a meeting because this is an extremely busy time for a coach. But you should make it a point to attend a home game/meet and introduce yourself.
You can see how the coach reacts on the sidelines, the relationship he has with his team, and what kind of fans you can expect during the event. If you’re able to set up a meeting be prepared with questions about the program, what they look for in a recruit, their coaching philosophy and their main goals for the team.
Know going into this event that the team and the coach are prepared for you and they are putting their best foot forward to get you to want to join their team. This is a great place to evaluate what is important to the team and where their priorities lie by seeing what kind of events and meetings they set up for you while you’re there.
Because they’re in control of your schedule see if they set up meetings with people you’d like to speak to (Deans in your major, academic advisors). Are your athlete hosts for the weekend people you want to be friends with and are they interested in you being there? Are they taking you to see the campus and surrounding community, showing you the campus environment or where you may live if you attend that school? It’s important to know what you want out of your college experience and let your gut lead you to know if that school is a good fit for you or not.
Don’t Sell Yourself Short
So many times student-athletes are so concerned with being the recruit they think a school wants that they forget to evaluate a school to see if that’s the program they want to be part of. Don’t sell yourself short by not making sure that the schools meet your needs.