150 Questions to Ask a College Coach on a Phone Call

When it comes to entering the world of college sports, your first phone call with a college coach is a crucial moment. By asking the right questions, you can learn, make a good impression, and determine if this is the right place for you.

Here are the essential questions you can ask during this call to ensure that you feel informed and confident about your next steps.

About Scholarships and Financial Aid

  1. How much does it cost to go to this school for a year?
  2. Are there scholarships available for athletes?
  3. What’s the deadline to apply for athletic scholarships?
  4. Are the scholarships full-ride or partial?
  5. Do you also help with getting academic scholarships?
  6. Is the scholarship for one year or all four years? If it’s a one-year scholarship, how do I renew it?
  7. What are the requirements to keep the scholarship? Can I lose the scholarship? If so, why?
  8. Do I need to fill out the FAFSA? What’s the deadline?
  9. Can I stack an athletic scholarship with other scholarships or grants?
  10. Are there scholarships for my specific sport?
  11. What’s the process for applying for financial aid?
  12. Will my scholarship cover room and board? Does the scholarship include any extra costs, like books or equipment?
  13. How soon will I find out if I get a scholarship?
  14. What happens if I get injured? Does that affect my scholarship?
  15. Who can I talk to if I have more questions about financial aid?

About Playing Time

  1. How many players are currently on the team in my position?
  2. What are you looking for in a player for my position?
  3. How does playing time typically get decided?
  4. Will I get the chance to earn a starting spot my first year?
  5. Do freshmen usually get playing time?
  6. What’s the competition like for my position?
  7. How often does the team practice, and what are the off-season commitments?
  8. How do you handle players who are struggling to get playing time?
  9. Do you use a rotation system or is it a set lineup?
  10. What can I do to earn more playing time? Are there specific skills I should focus on?
  11. How do injuries impact playing time, and are there redshirt plans for my position?
  12. What role do you see me playing on the team?
  13. How does my high school experience compare to what’s needed for college play?
  14. Can I watch some game footage or participate in intrasquad scrimmages to better understand my role?
  15. Can I talk to some current players about their experiences with playing time and adapting to college play?

About Team Culture

  1. How would you describe the team culture?
  2. What are the team’s core values?
  3. What’s a typical day like for a player, including how you handle wins and losses?
  4. Is the focus more on teamwork or individual performance?
  5. How do players support each other off the field or court?
  6. What kinds of team bonding activities do you do, and do players often hang out together outside of practice and games?
  7. How do you handle conflicts between team members?
  8. Is there a mentorship program for new players?
  9. Do players get involved in community service?
  10. How do you keep players motivated throughout the season and handle academics?
  11. What’s the relationship like between players and coaches, and how involved are alumni with the current team?
  12. Are there traditions that the team has before or after games?
  13. What’s the most important thing you want players to learn from being on the team?
  14. How does the team celebrate achievements or milestones, and are there leadership roles within the team aside from captain?
  15. Can I talk to some current players about what the team culture is really like?

About Next Steps and Recruitment Process

  1. What are the next steps in the recruitment process?
  2. When do you usually make offers for scholarships?
  3. Do I need to come in for an official visit? What’s that like?
  4. Is there a tryout or assessment day, and what paperwork do I need to have ready?
  5. When’s the deadline for committing to your program?
  6. Do you need any more game footage or stats from me or letters of recommendation?
  7. What’s the best way to stay in touch with you, and when will I know if I’ve made the team?
  8. What should I focus on during my senior year to boost my chances? How do I ensure I’m academically eligible to play?
  9. Are there any additional academic or fitness requirements specific to athletes?
  10. Is there an orientation for new athletes, and can I meet the team before making a decision?
  11. When does the pre-season start, and do you have summer workouts or training camps?
  12. What’s your policy on walk-ons, and how do you finalize the roster?
  13. How should I prepare for the transition from high school to college sports?
  14. Can I talk to an academic advisor about balancing school and sports?
  15. Is there anything else I should know or do to ensure a smooth transition into the team?

About Coaching Style

  1. How would you describe your coaching style?
  2. What’s your philosophy on winning versus player development?
  3. How do you handle mistakes during games and players who are going through a slump?
  4. How much one-on-one time do players get with coaches, and what’s your approach to discipline on the team?
  5. How do you keep practices engaging and challenging? What’s a typical practice session like?
  6. Do you focus more on offense, defense, or a balance of both?
  7. How much input do players have in game plans or strategies?
  8. How do you prepare the team for big games or tough opponents?
  9. Do you have assistant coaches? What are their roles, and how do you approach in-game adjustments?
  10. What’s your policy on communication with players? Are you open to feedback?
  11. How do you keep the team motivated during the season, and handle late-season fatigue and injuries?
  12. What kind of conditioning and fitness program do you have?
  13. How do you integrate sports science or technology into your coaching?
  14. How do you balance skill work with tactical training, and how often do you review game footage with the team?
  15. What’s your strategy for developing young or inexperienced players, and what are you most proud of as a coach?

About Academic Support

  1. What kind of academic support is available for athletes?
  2. Is there a study hall or tutoring program, and are there academic advisors just for athletes?
  3. How do you make sure players stay on top of their grades?
  4. What’s the team’s overall GPA, and what happens if my grades start to slip?
  5. Are there workshops on things like time management or study skills?
  6. How do you work around class schedules for practice and accommodate travel for games?
  7. Can I take summer classes to lighten my academic load during the season, and are online classes an option?
  8. How do you help freshmen adjust to college-level academics, especially for difficult subjects?
  9. How much time should I expect to spend on academics versus sports?
  10. What’s the graduation rate for athletes in your program, and are there academic scholarships I can apply for?
  11. Are there any majors that are hard to balance with sports, and how does the team handle exam periods?
  12. Are study groups or academic mentors encouraged, and can I get academic credit for participating in athletics?
  13. What’s the policy on missed classes due to games or travel, and is there a minimum GPA to stay on the team?
  14. How are academic achievements celebrated on the team?
  15. What’s your personal view on the importance of academics for athletes?

About Off-Season Training

  1. What does the off-season training program look like?
  2. Is off-season training mandatory, and do you provide workout plans for the off-season?
  3. Are there team training camps during the off-season, and what facilities are available for this training?
  4. Can I work with coaches one-on-one during the off-season, and are strength and conditioning coaches available?
  5. How does off-season training differ from in-season training?
  6. What’s the focus of off-season training—strength, speed, skills?
  7. Do you track progress during the off-season, and are there off-season leagues or tournaments I should join?
  8. Are nutrition and diet part of the off-season program, and what kind of rest or recovery time is advised?
  9. How can I prevent injuries during the off-season, and can I get video analysis of my performance?
  10. Are there opportunities to work on mental aspects of the game during the off-season?
  11. Is there a team retreat or bonding experience during the off-season?
  12. How much time should I realistically commit to off-season training, and are there any benchmarks or goals I should aim for?
  13. Can I use the school’s training facilities during breaks, and are there any training facilities near my home that you recommend?
  14. Do you have any partnerships with local gyms or training centers, and can I involve my personal trainer or coaches in my off-season plan?
  15. How soon after the regular season does off-season training begin, and are there any team meetings or check-ins during the off-season?

About Team Facilities

  1. What are the main facilities where the team practices and plays, and how often are these facilities available to athletes?
  2. Do you share facilities with other sports teams, and how up-to-date is the equipment?
  3. Is there a dedicated strength and conditioning area, and do athletes have access to a sports medicine clinic or trainers?
  4. Are there any plans for facility upgrades or renovations, and can I take a tour of the facilities?
  5. Is there a place for video review or tactical discussions, and how close are the facilities to the main campus?
  6. Are there indoor facilities for bad weather training, and is there specialized equipment for my sport?
  7. How secure are the locker rooms and storage areas, and is there a dedicated space for athletes to study or relax?
  8. Are there spectator areas for friends and family, and are the facilities accessible on weekends or holidays?
  9. Do you have hydration and nutrition stations, and how is the facility maintained and cleaned?
  10. Is there Wi-Fi and other tech support, and do the facilities accommodate athletes with disabilities?
  11. What are the emergency medical procedures at the facilities, and are there any restrictions on using the facilities?
  12. Can I use the facilities for individual training, and are the facilities used for any community or non-sport events?
  13. Is there a place to get or repair gear and equipment, and do you have any environmental or sustainability practices in place?
  14. Can family members or outside trainers visit the facilities, and is there transportation to and from off-campus facilities?
  15. Do you have any partnerships with local facilities that further support training and athlete development?

About Medical Support and Injuries

  1. What kind of medical support is available for athletes, and is there an athletic trainer on staff?
  2. How do you handle injuries during games and practices, and what’s the process for getting medical clearance to return to play?
  3. Do you have a team doctor, and are there partnerships with local hospitals or clinics?
  4. How do you deal with concussions or head injuries, and what’s your policy on returning to play after such injuries?
  5. Do you have any injury prevention programs, and what medical tests do players have to take before the season?
  6. Are there on-site facilities for treatment like ice baths or physiotherapy, and how quickly can I get medical attention if injured during practice?
  7. What happens if I get injured during an away game, and how does the team handle long-term injuries?
  8. Is health insurance required to play, and what does it need to cover, including procedures for handling dental injuries or the need for surgery?
  9. What’s the availability of mental health services, and how do you support players through the recovery process?
  10. Is there a plan for managing chronic conditions, and do you offer nutritional guidance or support?
  11. Are there any drug tests or doping controls, and what are the policies regarding the use of over-the-counter or prescribed medicines?
  12. How are family and personal doctors involved in the athlete’s medical care, and can I get a second opinion on medical issues?
  13. How does the team communicate medical updates to players and families, and are emergency medical services available during games?
  14. What kind of first aid training does the coaching staff have, and what are the procedures in place for emergencies?
  15. Can I continue training in some way if I’m recovering from an injury, ensuring a safer and efficient return to full fitness?

About Team Travel and Scheduling

  1. How many away games do you typically have each season, and what’s the furthest distance the team travels for games?
  2. How do you travel to away games—bus, plane, or something else?
  3. Do players need to miss a lot of class for travel, and are there study hours or tutors available during travel?
  4. How do you handle meals and accommodations when traveling, and do players share rooms on the road?
  5. What’s the policy for free time during travel trips, and is there an opportunity for sightseeing or cultural experiences?
  6. How early before a game do you typically arrive at the location, and how do you manage time zones or jet lag for far-away games?
  7. Is there a travel stipend or allowance for players, and are players responsible for any travel costs?
  8. How are family and friends accommodated during travel, and do you have pre-game or post-game rituals when traveling?
  9. How do you schedule around holidays or school breaks, and are there any international trips or tournaments?
  10. Is travel insurance provided or required for the team, and how are travel emergencies or delays handled?
  11. What’s the procedure for getting time off for personal reasons, and how do you manage recovery and rest during travel?
  12. Do you have team meetings or video sessions while on the road, and are there guidelines for player behavior during team travel?
  13. How do you keep up team morale during long trips, and what’s the most challenging part of the travel schedule?
  14. How do you make sure players are eating right when traveling, and how are injuries managed during travel?
  15. What’s the policy for using social media while traveling with the team, and can players bring personal items or entertainment for travel?

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I avoid asking the coach?

Avoid asking questions that are easily answered by looking at the school’s website, as it might make it seem like you haven’t done your homework. Also, avoid asking about other recruits as coaches usually cannot discuss other potential players.

What’s the best time to schedule the phone call?

Generally, it’s best to check with the coach for a time that works for them. Keep in mind that their schedule can be packed, especially during the season. Weekday afternoons often work well.

Final Thoughts

Remember, it’s not just about the coach getting to know you; it’s also a prime opportunity for you to assess if the program fits your goals and values.

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Bea is an editor and writer with a passion for literature and self-improvement. Her ability to combine these two interests enables her to write informative and thought-provoking articles that positively impact society. She enjoys reading stories and listening to music in her spare time.