Going to College Archive

When is the Best Time to Communicate with Coaches?

November, December, January is an Ideal Window

As a former college golf coach, I appreciate how challenging it is for my colleagues to not only lead a team of approximately 10 student-athletes, but also to handle the key administrative duties associated with college golf programs. Between tournament scheduling, budget maintenance, fundraising, organizing practices, facility development and NCAA compliance paperwork, coaches are constantly faced with significant time management challenges associated with their profession.

And, of course, they have to allocate a substantial amount of time to recruiting student-athletes – arguably the most important task they face in an effort to build a competitive golf program. So when do most coaches handle their recruiting responsibilities and when should prospective student-athletes communicate with coaches to show interest in their respective school and team? I am often asked these relevant questions.

As the summer season concludes and the academic year sets in, college golf coaches face the busiest time of their year. Having been on the road recruiting at numerous junior golf tournaments throughout the summer, coaches now have to return to campus, welcome their new freshman class and immediately begin competing in their fall season (usually 4-6 tournaments). As the fall season concludes, the National Letter of Intent early signing period takes places in the second week of November. Coaches finalize their recruiting efforts for the current class during the two months leading up to early signing while also managing their team during the busy, condensed fall season.

Once the fall season wraps up and the one-week early signing period has passed, coaches can dedicate more time to recruiting. This break from competition allows them the necessary time to answer emails, call/text recruits and in many cases, host prospective student-athletes on unofficial campus visits. I encourage junior golf families to focus on November, December and January as the ideal time to visit campuses and in cases where the prospect is a junior or senior in high school, potentially meet with Division I coaches. Keep in mind, NCAA Division I coaches can only return calls, emails, text messages or letters if the recruit has reached September 1st of their junior year of high school (June 15th following their sophomore year for NCAA Division II coaches). There is no time limit for NCAA Division III.

Always do your homework before communicating with coaches. What are the academic requirements for admissions at a particular university, how competitive is the golf team and does the golf roster indicate players will be graduating in your class and therefore creating vacancies you may be able to fill? Develop a “best fit” list of schools and try to arrange calls and campus visits with these schools and coaches. Although other times during the year could work as well, November, December and January may be the best window to communicate with coaches.

Play well!

Coach Brooks
Red Numbers Golf®

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