Recruiting: How To Talk to a Lacrosse Coach on the Phone
By Coach Damon on October 3, 2016
If you’re going through the process of getting recruited to play goalie in college, there will arrive a moment when you have to speak to coaches on the phone.
Today’s post is inspired by an email I received from a young goalie going through the recruiting process.
Hey Coach Damon,
In the past few weeks I’ve sent out my recruitment emails to many colleges, and I’ve been getting a few responses! Yet, I’m somewhat confused on what are the right steps to make. There are many detailed articles on how to send out a great email to a coach, but I can’t find any thing to help with how I should talk over the phone to a coach. I would like to know how to get them to come down and see a game without being pushy, how to plan a visit on campus, and some tips on making a more personal connection whit a coach.
M.E. – thanks for the question and first of all, congratulations on getting interest. That’s awesome news!
Here are my tips for how to handle a phone call with a college lacrosse coach.
Do Your Homework
A recruiting call with lacrosse coach is no different than a phone job interview or a sales call with a potential client.
The more prep you do, the more likely you are to succeed.
Lacrosse coaches, like recruiters and clients, are busy people. Asking them basic questions that you easily could have Googled shows a lack of respect for their time.
Alternatively doing research ahead of time on the university and its lacrosse program demonstrates your interest and your work ethic to the coach.
So before any recruiting call with a coach take some time to do basic research on the school and its lax program.
This research may also inspire some interesting questions, which leads me to my next tip…
Prepare Interesting Questions
When a lacrosse coach asks you if you have questions – “No, I’m good” is the wrong the answer.
Asking some good questions will help you make a personal connection with the coach and get a good, natural dialogue going.
So prior to the call pull out your notebook and jot down 3-5 questions you’d like to ask the coach during the call.
Something like –
Coach, when you think about the players who’ve had success in your program what characteristics did they share? And on the other hand when you think about players who did NOT have success in your program what some similar characteristics?
Coach, what is something that players are surprised about when they 1st join your lacrosse program?
Questions along these lines will help you understand more about the coach and his program and also get a good conversation flowing between you two.
And because this is a phone interview and not a live chat you can have the questions printed out and sitting right in front of your as you take the call.
Figuring Out If You Have a Match
Remember that the recruiting process is a two-way street.
The coach is trying to figure out if you’re a good fit for the program. But you should also be trying to figure out if the lacrosse program is a good fit for you.
If you have to endure 4 years of a coach whose style totally conflicts with your personality or your preferred method of handling business, your college lacrosse experience won’t be as enjoyable.
If you a beach guy and the school is located in the frigid northwest, you need to make sure the entire experience is going to be a fit for you.
So as you approach the call with the coach keep this in mind and allow it to help guide your conversation.
Ask the Coach
M.E. – regarding your specific requests of the coach, here’s what I’d say. While I do advise that you do prep work before the call, you certainly don’t need to have everything figured out.
You don’t have to have all the answers. Ask the coach in a polite and courteous manner. And if he declines, don’t get discouraged, just move along in the call.
Assuming they have some tenure they’ve been through this process and know exactly how it works.
Coach, I’d love to visit your campus and possibly meet the team. Is that possible? How would I do that?
Coach, if possible, I’d love for you to see me play. I’m playing in [game or tourney as close to them as possible] on this [date]. Is that something you’d be interested in?
I’m pretty sure all college lacrosse coaches would have no problem answering these type of questions as long as you’ve done your basic research.
Basic Phone Call Tips
Here are a few tips for any type of professional phone call, whether that is a recruiting call with a coach or your first job interview via the phone.
Take the Call in a distraction free environment
Schedule the call for a time when you can focus completely.
Be in a quiet place where you are comfortable and unlikely to be interrupted.
“Smile” on the phone
If you smile while talking on the phone you’ll find that your voice sounds more upbeat and engaged. Your “smiles” will be heard by the coach or interviewer on the other end of the line.
Some even suggest placing a mirror by the phone and looking into it to ensure you’re smiling while talking on the phone. Start doing that next time you talk on the phone so you’re comfortable with it.
Use a landline if possible
These ancient beauties are becoming more and more rare but if possible use a landline for the call. A cell phone’s connection is less reliable, and the call could get dropped.
Don’t have a landline? Then make sure that your cell phone is fully charged and that you take the call in a place where your reception is at its best.
And be sure you have the coaches phone number in the event you get dropped.
Learning to prep for a phone call with a lacrosse coach will help you in life.
Regardless of which profession you end up working you’ll likely have to take an important call over the phone.
By following the tips I outline in this article you’ll maximize your chances for success. Good luck in your call M.E.!
Until next time, Coach Damon