Do Coaches Just Like You or "Like, Like" You?
How to tell how serious a coach is about recruiting you going into summer camps.
Hey, Brendan Cahill 👋 here
Happy Saturday morning to 500+ smart, motivated, and good looking subscribers
Here is one short tip on how to get recruited.
Today’s article takes about 3 minutes to read.
Recruiting is weirdly like dating, except you’re talking to mostly older dudes.
(…now that it’s sufficiently weird, let’s keep reading.)
A lot of the angst of trying to figure out if the prom queen likes you is the same angst of trying to figure out if Alabama like-likes you or just likes you. Such recruiting agony may or may not include:
Wondering what it means when a coach “likes” your latest tweet or text.
Spending an hour on the phone with a coach only to see them offer another kid in your class and wondering “what the heck?”
Pondering where exactly you actually are on their recruiting board.
“Where am I on their list?”
It is a valid question to ask. Most college camps run back to back for schools and it is just not possible to get to every camp. You have limited time, limited resources, and limited sanity to try to pull it all off.
So, here are a few things to know and try to get some clarity going into camp:
Step 1: Exactly What To Say - To get a coach on the phone
Coach, not sure if you’re free sometime this week but would love to catch up before camp for a few minutes sometime after 7pm today or tomorrow. Thanks!
This is a nice “nudge” message to coaches. You get they’re busy, but you’re also giving them an exact time window and time of day to consider your request.
If a coach won’t text you back directly (not through DM but iMessage) or if a coach won’t get on the phone with you at this point in the game, they’re not serious about you at the moment and you should consider not being serious about them going forward unless something changes.
Step 2: Exactly What To Say - If you got a coach on the phone
Coach, I really love your program and you’ve been great throughout the recruiting process for my family and I. Unfortunately a lot of these camp dates are running back to back and we’re facing some hard decisions about where to go. Is it possible to ask exactly where I am on your recruiting board? And, if it is not #1 what exactly would you need to see from me at camp or from fall tape to move up? Only answer to the extent that you feel comfortable.
How a coach responds to this question will usually tell you everything you need to know about where you are on their list. If they open up in detail about where you are in their plans, you probably are quite high on their list. If they encourage you to seek other options, well, you aren’t.
It might also be the case that the recruiting situation has changed in the past few days: maybe a grad transfer who seemed like a sure thing is not ineligible and the head coach has shifted a priority to finding a game-experienced guy the in the transfer portal for one year.
Step 3: Repeat
I strongly suggest repeating this process for all the schools on your recruiting board. At some point between now (end of May as of this writing) to the start of June.
Coaches are required to come off the road recruiting these upcoming weeks so it is a good time to try to catch them in the office as they frantically shift gears from recruiting on the road to set up for summer camps while also onboarding their players for summer workouts.
Remember, you should have three categories of schools:
Cold Schools: No responses whatsoever.
Lukewarm Schools: Some indirect communication but unsure how serious i.e. only Twitter DM’s at random intervals, no consistency, only sending graphics.
Hot Schools: Direct communication i.e. consistent texting on iMessage, phone calls and in-person visiting.
A few last thoughts:
You are not annoying a coach when you ask them how serious they are. Coaches are not shy about finding out what other schools you are speaking with (in fact that is usually part of the evaluation process to some degree so don’t feel shy asking that question back.
In general, a camp flyer or a DM is nice but represents fleeting interest and nothing serious. That’s like telling your mom you’re going to prom with the prom queen when all she did was DM you a 👍 on Twitter. The bigger the program the bigger their backup plans and usually that backup plan consists of some GA creating a Twitter list of decent alternatives with some kind of connection that can be cultivated if plans A, B, or C don’t work out.
Timing, chance, and luck play an outsized role in recruiting that no amount of talent or hard work can ever fully account for. Randomness is the reason why an undersized player was taken over a no brainer to a power five program, or is the reason why that one FCS coach just happened to be checking Twitter while waiting for a flight in the airport and you hit it off. Instead of complaining about not being able to control luck, you can do things to attract it and that comes in the form of being proactive and making the calls that this article just covered.
That’s all for this weekend. 1 short recruiting tip.
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See you next weekend!