Finding the Right Coach - USA Athletics Scholarships

Finding the Right Coach

In order to ensure a positive stateside experience, a healthy athlete – coach relationship is essential. Anything less than this and chances are things could get pretty miserable. Those who speak of having bad experiences in the US will often point to their relationship with the coach as one of the key reasons why things didn’t work out. Obviously you can never be guaranteed to get on with the coach and their methods, but sound research prior to signing with a team will certainly improve your chances.

Get to know the coach during the recruiting process

During the recruiting process you have the chance to really get to know a coach well. Typically there will be phone calls and emails taking place over several months before you both make a decision. Assuming the process isn’t rushed then you should be able to get a feel of what type of coach you are dealing with. Is it someone that you would ‘run through a wall for’ and would you trust them to set your training? Ask as many questions as you can possibly think of, find out what the coaches’ goals are for you and the team, and what their methods would be to get you there.

40 Times NCAA Champion John Mcdonnell

Where is the team going?

From these discussions you can get an idea of the general team direction. Is the coach positive, looking forward to the future, and enthusiastic about what you can bring to the table?  Or is the team on the way down and struggling to replicate previous achievements? Look for trends in the results and ask the coach about this. Being part of a forward thinking programme is vital.

Who is recruiting you?

Make sure that you speak directly with the coach that you will have most of your day to day contact with should you sign. By this we mean you should speak to your specific event coach and not just a recruiter/administrator. Often it will be the job of the assistant to recruit athletes, but ultimately it is your event or head coach with that you will need to speak to the most as they will be the one making all the important decisions.


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