At Athnet, we constantly talk to high school athletes and their families about college recruiting. They always want to know if coach has serious interest in them and what things will tell them they are being recruited. The way a coach responds and acts to these five interactions will help you determine how seriously a coach is recruiting you:
In most sports official visits are offered during an athlete’s senior year (basketball players can take official visits during their junior year). If a coach offers you an official visit then they are showing a very high-level of interest. Official visits cost schools money, and coaches have limits to how many they can offer; they are not going to use official visits on athletes they aren’t seriously recruiting. This doesn’t mean you are guaranteed a scholarship because you had an official visit, but it’s a great indication that you are near the top of a coach’s recruiting list.
Unlike official visits, unofficial visits are visits that are paid for completely by the student-athlete. That doesn’t mean it can’t tell help you determine a coach’s interest level. Has a coach invited you to come on a visit? Is he making a point to set some time aside to talk to you while you are there (if you meet with an assistant coach instead of the head coach, that is ok because coaches are busy)? What was your interaction like after you visited the school?
Answers to the above questions help paint a better picture of the likelihood you get a scholarship offer from a coach. An invitation obviously speaks for itself, but not nearly as much as an official visit invite; since the unofficial visit costs only the recruit and their family, a coach doesn’t risk as much by having athletes towards the bottom of their list on a visit. After your visit if a coach makes a point to actively contact you then you know he wants to recruit you, and you may even get an official visit offer down the road.
Simply receiving generic typed messages does not indicate great interest in a recruit. Schools send out mass mailings to hundreds, if not thousands of athletes. Hand written letters from coaches that are personalized are the best indication of a coach’s interest in recruiting you.
Frequency of Contact
Once a coach has seen your highlight video and your recruiting resume or profile, the frequency he contacts you can help show how serious he is. If you are an underclassmen, he may not contact you as much due simply to your age; but if you are an upperclassmen and a coach actively contacts you then you know he has interest.
Sometimes coaches will send questionnaires frequently because they can’t send an athlete anything else. Prior to 11th grade, other than camp information and official university information, a recruiting questionnaire is the only mail a coach is permitted to send, so don’t stress out if you are only receiving questionnaires. Not all coaches send multiple questionnaires to keep in touch with athletes, so just because you aren’t receiving multiple questionnaires doesn’t mean you aren’t getting recruited, but if you are then it is a great sign.
Phone Conversations/Text Messages
How often is a coach setting up phone calls and sending you text messages (when it is allowed based on the recruiting calendar)? If a coach focuses on making sure there are set phone calls with you, or if he focuses on texting you to keep in touch and stay updated then you know that he has interest in you. It doesn’t mean you are number one on the scholarship list, but it’s a great sign and if you play your cards right you may end playing at their school.