What questions should I ask a college coach during a campus visit?

Making the most of your face-to-face time with a coach

Before selecting which college to attend, prospective student-athletes are strongly encouraged to visit at least several college campuses. Whether the visit is official (paid for by the school and limited to no more than five schools) or unofficial (paid for by the prospect and without limitations), this experience will provide meaningful insight that will help prospects determine their best college fit (see April 6, 2004 column).

During the visit, prospects should attempt to meet with the golf team’s coaching staff for at least 30 minutes. This meeting will already be scheduled on official visits and may be challenging to schedule on unofficial visits. If the head coach is unavailable, try to meet with an assistant coach or graduate assistant who recently played for the team. Always call or e-mail a week or two in advance to make your request. Refrain from showing up unannounced and expecting coaches to meet with you on the spot.

Once you are in front of the coach and his staff, there are 10 key questions that need to be posed:

  • Your team has X seniors and X juniors (do your homework), how many players do you expect to recruit/sign over each of the next two years?
  • What is the typical scholarship range for a freshman at my level and what do I have to accomplish early in my collegiate career to realize a scholarship increase?
  • Specifically, how do the coaches interact with the players during practice in an effort to improve their games? How do you structure the practice week for the team to balance "team-together" practicing and also allowing time for players to work on their individual needs?
  • Does your team have a mandatory strength and conditioning program and if so, what does it include?
  • If a player has to miss practice to get caught up in school do you penalize that player?
  • How do you determine which players on your roster make the traveling team (qualifying, coach’s selection, or a combination of both)?
  • What golf courses and practice facilities do your players have access to and is the access allowed seven days a week?
  • How competitive do you think your team will be over the next several years?
  • What is your coaching style during tournaments specifically while the players are on the course competing?
  • Who are some other players in my graduating class that you are recruiting?

    Keep in mind that many of these questions may be answered by the coach before you ever ask them. I recommend, however, that you know what you want to discuss with the coach before you visit and if necessary, take a note pad with you to keep your thoughts organized. This is a great opportunity to show the coach how prepared you are.


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