This post was written by Bob Whitcher, owner of Sport EuroTour & co-owner of World Camp USA
I was recently asked by a client’s mom (European camp participant) to help her connect with a head coach. Seems the assistant coach had left for another job and all previous time, effort and contact with this assistant coach was now lost. Communication was positive with that coach, but after her departure, the mom and athlete were unable to connect with the head coach or anyone in the department. Radio silence.
I asked this mom three questions. Without an answer to these questions, it is of no use to try and get a coach excited about who you are and your game. I would not have helped if I did not have these questions answered.
There’s always an exception. I doubt the best 1%’ers of hockey athletes are even reading this blog. They are being courted by the top programs in the country. As long as they stay healthy, their road into college is an easy one. For most of us, that is not the case.
Here are the first things you need to consider when initiating contact with a coach
1) Have you completed the team recruiting questionnaire ?
2) Do you have a hockey resume ?
3) SAT and/or ACT Scores – GPA ?
There are subcategories to this that you should do for your own due diligence, i.e. visit their campus, attend a tour and meet with admissions and find out student criteria. But that is not what this article is about.
This is about the basic steps you need to take. When I talk to a coach about a player, it always starts off with me saying “you need to look at this player’. However, most of my coaching friends will not go any further than the “curiosity” stage, and always ask for these three things to determine if a player is worth the investment of recruiting time.
— Have you completed the team recruiting questionnaire?
We are operating a camp for a coach this summer and 80% of the athletes who have registered to attend have not communicated with the coaching department of this university. PEOPLE, HEAR ME NOW – THIS IS BEYOND NAIVE. THIS IS NEGLIGENCE. It’s easy. Go to the team’s website and look for the link for registering your interest. This is your first step if you are interested in a school or program.
–Do you have a hockey resume?
This is not that hard. Check out this blog for a sample hockey resume. A lot of you think “video”. No, a resume first – that will be updated as your high school career progresses.
–SAT or ACT Scores – GPA?
Depending on your age you may not have these actual scores. But you do have an idea of where you stand academically – and that is what the coach is trying to understand too. Again, review the sample “Hockey Resume” for examples. You can offer PSAT or practice test scores, GPA and weighted average, class ranking plus difficulty of classes like AP.
Different schools have different criteria. A coach is overwhelmed by the number of requests they have, make it easy for them to invest in you.