Going to College Archive

Should I Communicate a Poor Performance to a College Coach?

Letting a coach know how you’ve played, no matter the score, is important.

After forwarding your initial introductory email, resume, and swing video to college coaches, you’ll want to forward periodic updates of your tournament results to keep the coaches well informed on your results. From time to time when talking to clients, the question arises, “Should I email a coach after a poor performance?” Certainly, it’s understandable that you want to highlight your best achievements, both on and off the golf course, to garner a coach’s interest, and it’s important to communicate these achievements throughout the recruiting process; however, it’s never a good idea to try to hide from a poor performance along the way.

First, a coach is going to look at many factors when determining your potential as a recruit and will certainly look at your entire body of work when it comes to tournament results. College coaches also realize every player will have off days and/or tournaments. Communicating all your results to a coach demonstrates that you’re confident in your abilities and are taking responsibility for both good and bad rounds. It also allows you to communicate to a coach what you specifically learned from the competitive experience and that you are a student of your respective game. Every coach wants a player to learn from each competitive experience and have the emotional stability to integrate these “lessons learned” into his subsequent practice sessions and tournaments.

Emailing coaches after an “off” tournament also differentiates you from the vast majority of players who will only email a coach when they play well. With the Internet, coaches can access a player’s results anyway and will typically have the recruit’s full playing schedule on file. Make it a habit to provide an update on all your results. Simply let the coach know your scores, what you did well, what you learned, and that you’re looking forward to demonstrating your abilities at your next event (list the specific event). You can also list specific practice drills you plan to incorporate into your subsequent practice sessions—things you’ll work on with your swing instructor and where you need to prepare more in a certain area of your game. Never list any excuses for your score, but only the facts and what you learned.

Taking ownership of all your results will demonstrate a proactive attitude from you and shows coaches that you’re taking a comprehensive and mature approach in learning from your experiences. Communicating your tough performances also provides you a great opportunity to show the coach you can bounce back from a rough round or tournament. Showing your resiliency may be just what the coach is looking for in his next recruit. Handle the communication with coaches in a “cards face up” approach and remain proactive in updating coaches.

Keep Swinging!

Ted Gleason

Road to College Golf

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