It is that time of year for NCAA Division III colleges and coaches and high school students to ramp up on their recruiting activities. Colleges will host events for high school students, coaches will be out at soccer tournaments recruiting high school students, and high school students (and their families) will be making decisions about where they are going to go for college.
When you as a recruited high school student athlete (or parent of a recruited student athlete), get the opportunity to meet with the head coach, assistant coach, or players from one of the colleges or universities on your list of schools, you have a great opportunity to gather information. The best way to do this—ask questions! Yet one of the things that frequently happens is an NCAA Division III college coach will say…
“Do you have any questions?”
And the response is…nothing, silence, no questions!
This is a waste of a great opportunity!
In order to help you get started, here are some questions that you can ask.
For Head Coaches/Assistant Coaches
- How long have you been coaching collegiate soccer?
- How long have you been at the school? How long do you intend to stay at the school? Is this position a stepping stone for another coaching job?
- Are you full time or part time?
- Do you have cuts?
- How many players make the team?
- How much playing time do freshmen get?
- Can you describe what you do in the preseason?
- What is your coaching style?
- What is your coaching philosophy?
- How do you select your team captains?
- Do you coach other teams besides this one?
- What times are practices? Do you have spring practices?
- What do players do in the off-season? Over the summer?
- What are your goals for the team for next year? In four years?
- Are you planning any trips? Domestically or abroad?
- Is the team involved in any fundraising activities?
- Is the team involved in any community service projects?
- What are the team rules?
- Do you allow/encourage players to play other sports besides soccer?
For Collegiate Players
- Why did you choose this school?
- What do you enjoy most/least about this school?
- What do you enjoy most/least about playing soccer at this school?
- What is your major? Why did you choose that?
- Did you switch majors? If so, why?
- How is the team chemistry/team dynamics?
- How would you describe the head coach’s style?
- How would you describe the assistant coach’s style?
- How is your relationship with the coaching staff?
- What do you do for fun on the weekends?
- How is the food in the cafeteria?
- Do you live on campus or off campus?
- If off campus, why do you live off campus?
These are just some of the many, many things that you can ask players and coaches about on your visit. Take these questions with you in a notebook. Write them down. Be prepared!
Now understand, you might not hear some of the answers that you hope for. Such as— “Preseason is really rough; two players dropped out” or “The food in the cafeteria is mediocre and Fridays are the worst” or “The worst thing about soccer is getting up at 6:00 AM for team runs” or “I really don’t like some of the away games when we leave at 7:30 AM and don’t get back to campus until 9:00 PM”.
It is better to know that stuff ahead of time rather than after the fact. The other important thing is how the players and coaches answer those questions when you ask them. It is important to start to build a level of trust with the coaching staff and players as you will be with these folks (at one school) for the next four years.
The bottom line is this—Any time you meet with a college coach, assistant coach or players, you should have questions to ask. Asking questions, and listening to the answers, is the best way learn and help you make your decision for college.
Thanks for reading! Questions? Drop us a line at email@example.com .