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Do You Know Where You Stand in the Recruiting Process?

Learn how to ask coaches these key questions!

As junior golfers communicate with college coaches during the recruiting process, it’s common for them to have questions and feelings of uncertainty as they try to figure out which coaches are really interested. Of course, it’s fairly easy to see that interest isn’t there when coaches don’t respond to multiple inquiries over time. But I’m talking about situations where prospects are getting some “nibbles on the line,” especially in the later stages of recruitment. Those nibbles are what every prospect is hoping for, yet it can still be difficult to gauge sincere interest.

I’m sure you’re familiar with some of the signs that indicate sincere interest from a coach. Some positives in ascending order of importance (from “you’re one in fifty” to “you’re one in five”) include a questionnaire, regular emails, handwritten letters, phone calls and texts, frequent evaluations during tournaments, and official visits. (Note: Division I coaches are only permitted to contact prospects with emails/letters, calls, and texts or meet for visits on or after September 1 of a prospect’s junior year.) Even when these signs occur, it still may not mean a junior golf recruit is a top-of-list candidate or will receive an offer.

So, what should players and parents do to get more specific feedback from coaches and eliminate doubts? To me, the importance of being up front with coaches (during phone calls and visits) and politely asking about where you stand as a recruit is crucial. It provides peace of mind and valuable information, which will allow you to manage your recruiting process and decision making more efficiently.

You might think prospects and parents would easily cover this topic in conversations with coaches. Surprisingly, I have found the opposite. Concerns of being too direct or coming off as disrespectful often short circuit efforts to explore this key question. Here’s how a junior golf recruit might go about “making the ask.”

    “Coach, I really appreciate your hosting me and my parents for a campus visit. I’m impressed by what I’ve seen, and I feel your university and golf program would support my development as a student-athlete. Now that you’ve seen me compete and have gotten to know me during the last few months, can you tell me more clearly where I stand among your recruits for my class? Is there an opportunity to join your team?”

Depending on the answers, you can continue with the following questions.

    “When do you expect to make your final recruiting decisions? What advice do you have for me to strengthen my candidacy going forward?”

I realize, depending on your situation, the wording I’ve used might need to be adjusted, but this is a straightforward and respectful approach to learn more about a coach’s view of your position and value as a recruit. Using this strategy will help you more quickly determine your best college golf options and, ultimately, will allow you to proceed confidently in making a well-informed decision about your future.

To your success,

nicky goetze


Coaches Finding & Evaluating Players

    What Should I Say When Calling a Coach to Decline a College Offer?
    How Do Coaches View Junior Golf Recruits Who Play Other Sports?
    When is the Best Time to Communicate with Coaches?
    When Should Junior Golf Prospects Expect to Receive Offers from College Coaches?
    Should I Communicate a Poor Performance to a College Coach?
    Are You Waiting for Tournament Success Before Contacting College Golf Coaches?
    Who Should Speak When Meeting with Coaches – Parents or the Student-Athlete?
    Do College Coaches Use Swing Videos To Evaluate Recruits?
    Do Coaches Really Care About Academics?
    Do You Have the Game to Play College Golf?
    How Do College Coaches Work Junior Tournaments?
    How Do College Golf Coaches Discover Talent?

Finding the Right School - Your "Best Fit"

    Are There Golf Opportunities in the NAIA?
    What Can You Learn from College Golf’s Post-Season Championships?
    How Do College Golf Scores Compare to Junior Golf Scores?
    How Do I Know Which Schools Are “Best Fits” for Me?
    How Do I Remain Proactive in Identifying My “Best Fit”?
    Is a Walk-On Opportunity the “Best Fit” for Me?
    What Are the Real Keys to a Successful College Golf Recruiting Experience?
    What Useful Information Can I Research on a Golf Team's Website?
    When Should Junior Golfers Begin Visiting and Researching Colleges?
    What’s the Story on Division II and Division III Golf Programs?
    Are Unofficial Visits to College Campuses Necessary?
    Should Junior Golfers Attend Collegiate Tournaments?
    Just How Big is College Golf?
    What questions should I ask a college coach during a campus visit?
    Where Should I Attend College to Study and Play Golf?

Playing in College

    How do teams qualify for the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Division I Championships?
    How Do College Coaches Determine Who Makes the Traveling Squad: Qualifying Rounds, Coach’s Selection, or a Combination of Both?
    Repeating a Grade in High School or Pursuing a Post-Grad Year – Part Two
    Repeating a Grade in High School or Pursuing a Post-Grad Year – Part One
    Are College Golfers Expected to Take Part in a Conditioning Program?
    What’s the Story on Club Golf?
    What Is Your Ideal Time Commitment for Playing Golf in College?
    What Can You Expect From a College Golf Tournament?
    Are You Practicing to Play the Odds?
    Am I good enough to play Division I golf?
    What does it mean to Redshirt?
    How Do I Prepare for my Freshman Year in College?
    How Important Is Time Management for Student-Athletes at the Collegiate Level?
    What Is a Typical Week Like in the Life of a College Golfer?
    Is College Golf an Individual Sport?
    What are the main differences between junior golf and college golf?
    What Commitment Level is Necessary for Junior Golfers to Become Successful Collegiate Student-Athletes?

Playing Junior Golf

    Should I Play in Junior Golf Tournaments During the Winter Months?
    Do You Know the Rules of Amateur Status?
    What Academic Habits Are Essential for a High School Student-Athlete?
    Are There Benefits to Playing on a High School Golf Team?
    Is playing a practice round important?
    Is There More to Golf Than a Score?
    You Have Completed the College Placement Process—Now What?
    Is It a Good Idea To Withdraw After a Poor Round?
    How Can a Junior Golfer Improve Practice Sessions?

Promoting Yourself – Being Visible

    Are You Being an Effective Self-Advocate?
    With spring around the corner, am I staying active in the college recruiting process?
    What Should Junior Golfers Do Before Their High School Years To Start Pursuing College Golf?
    How Can Golf Recruits Maximize Visibility Among College Coaches?
    When and How Should I Initiate a Phone Call to a College Coach?
    Is Your Written Communication to Coaches Sending the Right Message?
    What Information Should Prospects Send to College Golf Coaches?
    Will Playing AJGA Events Increase My Chances of Earning a College Scholarship?
    What Should Recruits Say When Coaches Call Them?
    College Recruitment Timeline - Part 2
    College Recruitment Timeline - Part 1

Recruiting & Scholarships

    Do You Know Where You Stand in the Recruiting Process?
    Do College Golf Camps Provide a Recruiting Edge?
    Can My Social Media Activity Affect How I am Recruited?
    How Should I Respond When a Coach Makes an Offer?
    How Do the NCAA’s Recent Rules Changes Affect You?
    Is the College Recruiting Process Putting Too Much Pressure on You?
    When Should I Apply to Colleges?
    What is the Purpose of the NCAA Eligibility Center?
    What Is a Parent’s Role During a Campus Visit?
    What Should I Do if I Didn’t Sign a National Letter of Intent in the Early Signing Period?
    What Questions Should I Be Prepared to Answer During a Campus Visit?
    What Are the Most Frequently Asked Questions Concerning Scholarships?
    How do I know if a School is Really Interested in Recruiting Me?
    How do Players Verbally Commit to Schools so Early in the Process?
    As a Rising Senior Is It Too Late To Be Recruited?
    What is a Parent's Role in the Recruiting Process?
    When Should Junior Golfers Sign the NLI?
    What is a Full Scholarship?