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There are two things necessary for successful recruitment to a sports college; the students passing the evaluation test and the guardian deciding it’s the best college for their kid.
It’s somewhat hard to make the right choice of college for your athlete kid. You don’t want the decision solely based on the college’s reputation, but you also want to be sure that the coaches are up to the task.
Asking relevant questions during college recruitment exposes some secrets about the college, aiding you to make the right choice.
Here is a list of questions you should consider asking a college coach during the recruitment process of your athlete kid.
Questions to Ask College Coaches During Recruitment
1- What academic support do the student-athletes receive?
While student-athletes usually dedicate much of their time to training, academics remain an integral part of college life.
Since about 2% of college players eventually become professional players, 98% of college athletes will likely be depending on their academics.
Student-athletes will most likely miss classes due to their involvement in matches. Therefore, you should ask about the support program the college has for athletes that miss classes.
Also, some schools may offer additional support for athletes, including but not limited to extra tutoring and counseling.
2- What happens in the case of an injury?
Sports colleges see frequent injuries. Most sports require contact that’s out of the ordinary, causing more injuries than people regularly take.
Before letting your kid attend a sports college, you should know what will happen if a student happens to get injured to rule them out for the season.
Colleges are not obliged to cover the medical costs of all of their students. Most times, if students are out for the whole season, parents do cover all the costs.
While the NCAA typically mandates health insurance for student-athletes, you should always know where you stand.
If your kid is getting a scholarship or any financial aid, you may also try to ask if it includes health packages.
3- What does a typical day or week look like for the students?
Before signing your kid up for college, make sure the schedule isn’t too rigorous for the kid getting admitted.
Knowing the typical daily schedule of students in a sports college is crucial to help make the right decisions yourself.
When do they train, and when do they sleep? Do they even take any breaks or train all year long? How do they integrate the hectic sports training with academic education?
Getting satisfactory answers to all the questions above is a prerequisite to making the correct college choice for your athlete kid.
In addition to the schedule, you should also learn about the general team spirit. You don’t want your kid to deal with bullies while trying to live through the hectic schedule.
If the schedule appears too hectic, even by your standards, you should try talking it out with your kid before making any crucial decisions.
4- Is there any off-season time; do students stay at the campus all year long?
Typically, you won’t be having many breaks in a sports college. Most times, you’ll need all year training, and you may even need to be available on campus during the summer breaks to train.
Even when you take the occasional breaks from training, you may need to be in classes for academics, leaving almost no break time.
Even with this, it’s still a good idea to ask if the students will be having any break time.
If the team won’t be having much break time, as usual, you should also try to learn how the athletes spend their little free time.
In addition, you should ask how the coaches help the students achieve a good sports/life/academics balance to make the students academically sound and athletic.
5- When does your coaching contract end?
If you’ve asked many questions from the college coach and you deem him fit to be in charge of your kids, you want to make sure he’s actually in charge for quite some time.
Before making your final decision, it’s crucial to ask if the coach will be around for quite some time before calling it quits.
Ideally, you want the coach to have four years left on their contract, at least. If it appears like the coach isn’t interested in continuing with the school for some time into the future, you should consider asking to see who’ll be in charge of the students.
However, if the coach assures you that they will be around for quite some time, you can sleep with both eyes closed, confident that your kid is in safe hands.
6- What scholarships or financial aids are available?
It’s a rule of the thumb to let the coach propose a scholarship offer. If the coach hasn’t proposed a scholarship offer, you should avoid bringing it up.
Student-athletes on a scholarship may still have to cover some expenses themselves. Even with a scholarship offer, you should always ask the coaches if you’ll be spending on anything.
It’s always best to consult resources that provide information about the financial aids that the school offers if any are available.
In summary, you should try learning about the college’s scholarships and financial aid while trying not to bring it up. You should also know what costs you’ll need to cover, even if you can get a scholarship for your kid.
7- What are the provisions for accommodation?
Before deciding on your kid’s choice of college, reviewing their accommodation options is a crucial step.
Schools require student-athletes to stay on campus for the first few months or years of their stay in the college. For this reason, you should make sure that the campus is good enough.
The location of the campus and the load of the campus rooms should all drive the college choice for your kid.
Also, you should know if the student-athletes live with the regular students or have a different campus exclusive to them.
The meal program is something you should also try to learn about. It should take priority if your kid has special nutrition needs.
In short, choose a college that provides a good place for the athletes to stay and also provides them with sufficient food.
8- What positions are you recruiting for my class?
If you want to become an integral part of the college’s team, you should assess their existing assets and verify that the team needs your skill.
By asking the coach what player positions they will like to recruit, you can already tell if you will be a regular player in the team.
If your specific skillset is unneeded in the team, there is no reason to compete unhealthily. You can apply to another college that needs your skills.
Questions to avoid asking coaches during the recruitment
9- How much scholarship money will I get?
Generally, questions relating to scholarship offers turn off college coaches. If there are any scholarship offers available, you should always let your coach bring that up.
Coaches want a committed athlete that has something important to contribute to the team. If you keep trying to bring scholarship money into the question, the coach may assume that you’re unserious, hurting your chances of securing any admissions or scholarships.
A way to go about scholarships is by going through public resources with detailed information about the school.
If the school provides any need or merit-based financial aid, you should learn about it on your own and try to ask for more information during the conversation with the coach.
10- How much playing time will I get?
It’s simply too early to stop worrying about such stuff. Your coach will decide how much playing time you get if you ever get to play at all.
Coaches will be hard-pressed to decide with just your playing position as the available data.
Even after getting admitted into the college, you should abstain from asking this question. It’s just as annoying as asking the coach to give you a scholarship, and you’ll never get a favorable answer.
Instead of asking this, spend more time training and upping your skills to be worthy enough to play in the team regularly.
The college coach doesn’t make the sole decision to recruit a student. As a parent, you should try questioning your kid’s college coach to determine if they’re the best fit for them.
It’s also crucial to discuss some of the answers to the questions with the students in question, as they know what they want.
Some things you should learn from the college coach during the recruitment process include the possible schedule of the student, accommodation provisions, and academic support information.
If you don’t know how to extract those pieces of information, we’ve compiled a list of questions to ask college coaches during recruitment, either as a student or parent.
To avoid messing things up, we’ve also added two questions that you shouldn’t ask, regardless of the circumstances.
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