Calling a college coach can be nerve wracking and exciting all at the same time. What do I talk about? When should I call? The key is the have a plan, understand one is going to deviate from the plan, and know when to hang up.
1. Having a plan before one calls a coach is the main step. The plan can be that the first initial phone call is going to be an introductory phone call where one wants to accomplish getting one's name, position, accomplishments, and future schedule out. There is a plan and an ending goal to go by. Others might include follow up phone conversations where one wants to ask about academics where the specifics are a certain major, the requirements, graduation rate, etc.
The key in having a plan is knowing that there are topics of conversation to bring up. As a prospect making the call, it is one's job to fuel the conversation. The college coach is not responsible for filling the dead time with meaningless conversation because one did not come up with a plan.
Another thing to remember is, the PSA is making the call, not the parents. If one's parents have questions, make a plan together before calling the coaches. There is nothing worse than when a PSA calls and the parents are interjecting and the PSA is constantly going back and forth between parents and a coach. Go somewhere quiet and make the call. Tell one's parents that one will fill them in after the phone call. It shows a lot of maturity if the PSA can make the phone call by themselves. Remember, college coaches are just people, so throw the nerves out the door, remember to breathe, and stick to one's plan.
2. Deviating from the plan is inevitable. If one asks about a college coach attending a specific showcase and they tell one they will not be in attendance....it's on to plan b. Change the conversation to asking what showcases they will be attending or when their camps are because the main goal is one want to be seen by them.
Think of the phone call as an interview, depending on the college coach's answers is the direction the conversation is going to be head. With every answer, listen and transition to the following question or topic based on their answer.
Coaches know when a PSA has written down the entire conversation and is reading from a piece of paper. Be natural, breathe, and when the dead time comes...because it will....go back to one's plan or written down questions and get back on track.
3. Getting back on track and being on the phone for 5 hours are two completely different things. Initially, when one makes a plan and an ending goal is accomplished, the PSA can end the conversation and say I am going to continue to do my research on the institutions and call back with any future questions one might have. Think of how many PSA's are out there, time is precious to these college coaches and they are taking one's phone calls, usually after hours in their personal time. Be mindful of their time and know that it is ok to hang up even if it is after just five minutes.
End the phone call with something the coach will remember one by. Give them an interesting fact, allow the coach to get to know one as a person as well as an athlete.
When calling a coach, make sure the PSA is the one doing the calling. PSA's and parents can make the plans together, but once the number is dialed, it is up to the PSA to start the "interview" process. Start with a plan, know that the plan is going to be deviated from, and fill the dead time with the questions the PSA had initially. Once the plan ahs been fulfilled and the ending goal accomplished, say one's goodbyes and leave them with something to remember one by!
Good luck on those phone calls!!