Going to College Archive

When and How Should I Initiate a Phone Call to a College Coach?

Be prepared with specific talking points and questions.

As a junior golfer in the midst of the recruiting process, you probably find yourself writing a number of emails to college coaches in an effort to gain their attention. The recruiting process requires you to be proactive in your communication with coaches and that can come in various forms. A good way to differentiate yourself in the recruiting process is to initiate a phone call to a college coach. This demonstrates to a coach that you are being proactive in the college process as well as displaying a high level of maturity and independence. Phone calls should only be initiated once you have thoroughly researched the school/golf program, evaluated your golf and academic profile to ensure you are closely aligned to that particular school’s requirements and emailed your introductory letter and resume to the coach. Once these actions have been executed, a follow up phone call to confirm the coach has received your information would be appropriate. Introducing yourself “live” can be a great way to further express your interest in the school/golf program, learn more about the coach and team as well as what the coach expects from a prospective student-athlete.

As a reminder, a prospective student-athlete may initiate phone calls to a college coach at anytime, regardless of their graduation year. However, college coaches are restricted in terms of when and how often they are able to return or initiate phone calls to a prospective student-athlete. NCAA rules allow Division I coaches to return or initiate a phone call to a prospective student-athlete beginning September 1 of a prospect’s junior year in high school. There is no limit on the number of calls a Division I coach can make as of the aforementioned date and texts are also permissible at this time. In Division II, there is no limit on the number of calls a college coach can make beginning June 15 prior to a prospect’s junior year in high school. For Division III coaches, there is no limit on the number of calls or when they can be made. Understanding the NCAA rules a coach must abide by will allow you to be better prepared for how a coach may or may not reply to your phone call.

Once you are ready to make your call, there are a number of key talking points to keep in mind:

  • Do your homework prior to the call and write down a few notes regarding the coach, player roster and/or team results/schedule that you can refer to during the call. This is important as it shows you have a sincere interest in their respective program and have gone the extra mile in terms of learning about the school/program.

  • Be confident when introducing yourself. Make sure to state your name, grad year, city/state where you reside and let them know you had recently emailed them an introductory letter and resume.

  • Be prepared to discuss your academic profile (grades, core classes, SAT/ACT if applicable), your golf background (highlights, upcoming tournament schedule, swing instructor, what you’re working on in your game) and why you have an interest in the school/golf program.

  • Establish a list of 4-5 key questions. These questions would vary depending on your graduation year and if the coach has replied to your introductory email. A few examples:

      • What are you looking for in a prospective student-athlete with respect to an academic profile and golf resume?

      • What is your timing for determining your recruiting class for my graduation year?

      • Are there any particular tournaments you evaluate more closely than others?

      • How often would you like me to communicate my academic and golf results?

  • When calling during the school year, you may want to try to reach the coach during the morning hours, as they will typically be in their office at this time since college programs generally practice in the afternoon.
  • If you reach the Head Coach and only the assistant coach had received your previously emailed information, you can confirm to the Head Coach that they have your information on file, affirm your interest in their school/golf program, and then go through your pre-established talking points.
  • If the coach does not answer, leave a brief message including your name, grad year and let him/her know you’ll try back at another time.

Initiating phone calls to college coaches is an effective way to stand out in the recruiting process. Coaches receive hundreds of emails from prospective recruits, but far fewer phone calls. Make it a point once you have emailed a coach, to follow up with a phone call to further express your interest and provide the coach the opportunity to get to know who you are and why you have such a strong interest in their respective school and golf program. Be prepared for the call and then just be yourself when you connect with the coach.

Take the proactive approach!

Ted Gleason
Road to College Golf

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