I am very excited about this guest post from Chuck Self. He is a great resource in the college search process. You can read more about Chuck at the end of the post.
Athletic, drama, dance, mock trial or other club college interviews can be stressful for most high school students. Not only does the young man or woman wish to present a positive image but she/he knows that scholarship money may be at stake in the process. “Confident Humility” that shows focus and purpose yet portrays a student that is coachable and a team player tends to be attractive to college coaches.
Before the recruiting trip, your child should understand that he/she is interviewing the coach as much as he/she is being interviewed. The coach will be impressed that the student wishes to find the correct collegiate fits academically, socially and in the activity. After the usual small talk and the coach’s questions, your child (not you, the parent) should ask questions in five categories. Here are some sample questions that can be utilized in each category:
Needs of the team
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the team currently?
Where do you see the most pressing needs in the coming years?
Given that my position is x, when do you think you will have a strong need in this position?
What sets you apart from your peer coaches in your conference/region?
If I asked current or past members on your team the one way you changed their lives, what would they say?
What is the biggest lesson you have learned as a coach?
What have been the best and worst moments of being a coach?
If you had to attribute your success to one skill or trait, what would it be?
Proper preparation for college activities
What can I do right now to prepare myself for college (athletics, drama, dance)?
If I join the team, what should I do in the first weeks to get off to the best start possible?
What one thing do you tell new team members before the season begins to increase their chances for success?
If you were me, what would you be doing right now to maximize my chance for success at the college level?
On- and off-season time commitment
What is the routine for this activity during the season?
What are the required and suggested activities during the off-season?
How much time are you able to commit to the activity during the off-season?
Do your best players engage in outside coaching during the off-season?
Do your best players engage in other school activities during the off-season?
Balancing academics and activities
What steps do you take to help your team member properly balance academics and activities?
If I have trouble in a class during the season, are there resources available to help me?
How well do you or your staff know the professors in my major?
Have your team members earned academic honors? How did they balance their time while doing so?
Obviously, your child will not have time to ask all of these questions during the first meeting but he/she may wish to pick a couple from each category to start the conversation and see where it goes. Hopefully, the answers received will help give your student the confidence to choose a school where she/he will experience success. (And make sure your son or daughter sends a thank you email to the coach when you get home!)
Chuck Self is America’s College Choice Expert for parents of young women and founder of Her College Success. A former Trustee of St. Mary’s University of Minnesota, Chuck has utilized his experiences to help his daughters and those of his friends choose, be admitted and receive the maximum financial aid for the colleges they attended. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst and has over 30 years experience in financial management. Now Chuck is sharing his knowledge with the hope that more teenage girls will be prepared for their work as the women leaders of tomorrow!