Speaking to a college coach may come quicker than you think - maybe at an upcoming spring or summer tournament or camp. I know a lot of students clam up and get nervous, but take it from me - they are excited to meet you! Still, it’s important to be prepared – both so that you make a good impression and also so that you get answers to the questions that matter most to you.
Here are a few important tips to bear in mind:
Come prepared! If you have a meeting scheduled with a coach, write down at least a few questions you plan to ask ahead of time. If you just “wing it,” you risk coming off as unprepared or even uninterested.
University of AZ Director of Rugby Sean Duffy with Karen Don’t waste time – especially not the coach’s! Don’t ask questions you can find on the school or rugby program’s website. Instead, use your time to ask questions that only the coach can answer for you, like what a typical “day in the life” looks like for a member of their team both in-season and during the off-season. Questions like “What teams do you play?” and “How big is your school?” might send the message that you aren’t serious enough about the school to have done your own research.
Never ask if you will receive a scholarship or admissions support during your first conversation with a coach (unless they bring it up themselves).
Make a cheat sheet. Keep your running list of questions saved on your phone (maybe in the “notes” section) so you’ll always have it with you and can add things to it anytime. We don’t necessarily recommend that you take it out when you’re talking to a coach, but you could always take a peek at it for review before you walk over and introduce yourself. Plus, just the act of writing it all down will help you remember it better. Here are a few suggested questions:
What are the admission requirements for an athlete?
Will my specific major interfere with the athletic schedule?
What types of off-season activities are expected?
What does the training program consist of at your school?
What is a typical “day in the life” like for a member of your team during the season? What about during the off-season?
Meet/Get to know current players - If possible, see if you can also talk to some current players and ask them some hard questions: why did you choose this school/program? If you could change one thing about your experience what would it be?