When college coaches need to fill a position on their roster, they create a “recruiting list”. Then they decide who they really want by prioritizing the list. They will rate each prospect to determine who is #1, #2, #3, and so on. They may have as many as 15 student-athletes on their list depending on the sport. It is important that you find out where your student-athlete ranks on that list. This will tell you how serious the college coach is about recruiting and offering your student-athlete. If they are the #1 recruit on the list then you are kind of in the driver’s seat. If they are #10 you can pretty much be sure you won’t receive any early offers if any at all. Knowing where your student-athlete is on this list will help you decide which schools to focus your recruiting efforts on.
So, all you need to do is ASK the college coach. You should do this sooner rather than later. I recommend that the parent or coach do this by phone. Tell the coach that you care about your student-athlete and you are trying to explore ALL their options. The tone of your voice during this conversation is critical. You do NOT want to sound confrontational but merely caring. Ask them where your student-athlete is on their “Recruiting List” and do they plan on offering them an official visit and/or any financial aid? After asking this question, DON’T say another word! Let the next words come from the college coaches’ mouth. Listen carefully to what they say and try to write down as much as you can. After they are finished you may ask them any additional pertinent questions. But again, be sure to ask in a very caring tone. When they are finished, thank them for their candor and ask them how long the offer will be good for once it has been made. In other words, is there a specific time frame for a decision to be made or will they give your student-athlete all the time they need?
After this conversation with the college coach sit down with your student-athlete and discuss their options. Now you can create a “recruiting plan” to follow up with the schools that have the most interest.
Remember, this is a game played by professionals. In this case, the college coach is the professional so you want to understand how they think and how they operate.