This series will give you an inside look into the college recruiting process from the coaching staffs prospective. Understanding what college coaches are asking themselves, looking for & discussing in recruiting meetings will help your communication lines as the recruiting process unfolds. Part 2 will break down the types of questions college coaches will ask the prospect they are recruiting.
When talking to a prospect, college coaches end up initiating 95% of the conversation. Coaches are going to ask questions that guide these conversations in a direction that is relevant and substantive. Many will hold off to ask tougher questions later in the relationship when some sort of comfort and trust has been established. The best way to reveal the truth is by probing with follow up questions that ask for specifics.
-Coaches understand that prospects are used to talking about themselves. They know it will be revealing if they get you talking outside of yourself:
- Tell us about your teammates?
- How do you like playing for your coach?
- Best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten from a coach?
- What do you think about our roster this season? (They want to see if you have done your research to gauge your level of interest)
- Who would you look forward to playing with on our team?
- What does your ideal program look like? What characteristics does it have?
- What coaches do you have the most respect for and why?
- What would it mean to you to represent our program?
-Questions they will ask you to learn more about you as an individual:
- Describe how you practice? How about when you are alone in the gym?
- Who is your hero?
- What do you want to accomplish while playing college basketball? (They are seeing if you are you driven by team or individual goals)
- What do you do on an off day during the season?
- What are your hobbies? (Where does basketball fit into your life)
- What do you need to improve on when you come to college? How do you plan on doing that?
- Compare your game to a similar player? (This serves as an indicator of how much basketball you watch & how realistic you are about their game)
-Coaches will ask you about specific memories or situations (ones they have seen, heard about or suspect may have occurred). Getting the prospect to talk about memories is a good indication of their core values. It is harder to give generic answers when the recruit is talking about a memory vs. a broader question.
- They may ask you about a specific interaction they witnessed when watching a game (with a coach, teammate, ref, etc.)
- Ask you about playing with a specific teammate?
- What was your mentality heading into that game?
- They will ask you about losses or times of adversity.
- Ask about playing against a certain player?
- What is the most memorable memory you have of playing basketball? (Is the answer about a team accomplishment or an individual one)
- What has been the most difficult time during your career so far?
- They will put you on the spot by bringing up a past mistake. Does he/she take responsibility or make an excuse?
With your own recruiting timeline take advice from John Wooden: “failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” Think deeply and critically about these types of questions so you are best prepared to give thorough and genuine responses. Remember you are always being evaluated with your actions & your words.