Tuesday, March 11, 2008

You Make the Call…Literally

RT Staff Note: The following is from Carmen Bucci, President of The Complete Athlete. Carmen teaches high school athletes how to communicate better with their current coaches, college coaches and/or professional scouts. He is a great resource and if players want to get serious about the recruiting process...Carmen's site is a must see.

By Carmen Bucci...
Sometimes how you say something is more important than what you say. We’ve all heard the phrase, “You only get one chance to make a first impression.” In this day and age of text messaging, instant messaging, and whatever other kind of messaging that High School Students create on a daily basis, that phrase has never been more true…Especially in the realm of Athletic Recruiting.

Do you prefer to get an e-card wishing you a Happy Birthday or Congratulations, or a phone call? I know it’s the thought that counts, and sometimes those animated cards are very funny….sometimes. Personally, I like getting a phone call, and so do college coaches. You don’t have to call and wish them a Happy Birthday, but instead of sending emails all the time, do something to separate yourself from the pack. Sure emails are easy, quick, and it’s what we do now, but that doesn’t mean it’s always the best means of communication. Are you going to email everyone on your team during the game? NO. You need to be able to communicate with the coaching staff, and your teammates. Show that to the college coaches right now, in high school.

In the business of Athletic Recruiting, it’s essential to develop relationships with college coaches. Think of it this way….. In high school, people start to date. Doesn’t it feel good to get a phone call from someone that you like and find out that they like you too? Of course it does. Or, how about getting a call from someone that you didn’t know likes you, but they happen to be the perfect person for you? Great, right? Well, that goes for college coaches too, especially if you want to be the one that gets offered the scholarship. One way to start the relationship is to write a letter to a coach. Another way is to send an email. But one of the most effective ways is still verbal communication. You won’t have the opportunity to meet face to face with every coach during the recruiting process, and some of the time you’ll get recruited off of your video and through conversations over the phone. A coach is going to feel more confident about the decision to offer you a scholarship, if he’s gotten a chance to get to know you, over time, as a player and especially a person. Remember, their reputations and their jobs are on the line based on who they recruit, and the results that come of it.

If you’re interested in some schools, and you fit in there academically and athletically, pick up the phone and call the coaches. They would love to hear from you! I know what you’re thinking, “There are rules about when a coach can talk to me.” Not True! There may be rules about when coaches can call you, but there are no rules as far as you calling them…Big difference (See www.ncaa.org for phone call dates for each sport). As a student-athlete, you can call a coach anytime you’d like. By you picking up the phone, you’re showing those coaches that you’re really interested in their school and their athletic program. Coaches want to recruit athletes that want to be there. And many coaches use that phone call to get a better idea about you as a person. How you come across on that first phone call, whether initiated by you or the coach, can have a huge impact on whether the process goes any further. Some coaches translate how you communicate on the phone to your ability to handle the academic, social, and athletic environment at their school.

Always have some questions ready by the phone. Be prepared. You never know when a coach will call. Don’t you prepare for a test, or an athletic competition? Don’t tell me you’re not prepared for the phone call. This could be your one shot to make a great first impression. Remember, it’s not mom or dad’s job to call the coach. Coaches are recruiting you for their team, not your parents. The best line I’ve heard from a coach about parents calling is, “We’ve never recruited a kid whose parents didn’t think they were good enough.” Like anything else, if you want it, you have to go and get it.

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