Most coaches receive hundreds of requests for in-person meetings each year. To be efficient with their time and yours, coaches limit in-person meetings to those with prospects they believe are strong candidates for their program. Figure out well ahead of time what you need to do to make yourself a strong candidate.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when you are asking to meet with a coach.
Do your research. Before requesting a meeting know the academic and athletic benchmarks the coach likes to see in a prospect. Provide the answers to the coaches’ questions before he or she has to ask. In short, make less work for the coach.
Be courteous - and acknowledge that you are asking for someone to take time out of their schedule. It’s refreshing when prospects have an honest sense of themselves and whether they qualify to meet. Saying something like, “I would love to meet with you in the future after I prove I am a strong candidate” goes a long way.
Provide plenty of advanced notice. If you are planning a visit to campus, contact the coach well in advance. Prior notice shows true interest in the school and program. It also demonstrates respect for other people’s time. Hearing from a prospect who is already on campus is less likely to be received well.
First impressions matter. Remember the cliche -- you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Prepare as you would for a job or admissions interview. You should look nice, shake hands, smile, and make eye contact. And then relax! The primary reason for meeting a coach is to get a sense of each other. Try your best to be yourself.
Be prepared. You researched the program initially. Now you need to dig deep. Ideally you will be able to share something and ask questions that show you know a lot about the coach and program. At the same time, think about what the coach will want to know about you. Coaches care about your interests and accomplishments. They also care about what you want. Be prepared to share your goals with the coach.
If you aren’t able to meet with the coach, you may want to visit anyway. Spending time on campus is the best way to get a sense of a school. Ideally, your visit will involve spending time interacting with current students. Your peers at college will have the most significant impact on your experience. Take a tour, attend an info session, and visit the athletic facilities on your own if permitted.