How to Get Recruited Guide
5 worst things to say on a phone call with a college coach

The 5 worst things to say on a phone call with a coach

A phone call is one of the most important pieces of the recruiting puzzle, and if your teen wants to make the most of it, here are five of the worst things to say on a phone call with a coach.

Being recruited is like going through an interview process. A coach will look at your teen’s athletic resume and watch some game film to make sure your teen is qualified for their level of play. If your teen is a good fit, you can expect the coach to start calling. Now it’s time for your teen to make a good impression on the coach.

Here are the five worst things to say on a phone call with a coach. Athletes who say these kinds of things are the athletes nobody wants to coach. Avoid these five and your teen’s chances of entertaining an offer from a coach will skyrocket.

1. One of the worst things to say: “How much money can you give me?”

This is the worst thing your teen can say if they want to be offered an athletic scholarship, especially if your teen breaks this out on the very first phone call.

How does your teen know the coach will offer them a roster spot in the first place?

If your teen is offered a roster spot, how does your teen know there will be a scholarship?

Never, ever say this to a coach.

The first few calls with a coach are getting-to-know-you calls. The coach wants to chat about sports and school and get a feel for your athlete’s interest level. That’s it.

It will take months before a coach offers your family money if they do at all.

And it’s rude to ask. So don’t.

2. Avoid saying: “Yup.”

Okay, this needs a little explaining. Your teen should never answer a question on a phone call with a mono-syllable word.

One of the worst ways to impress a coach is to answer questions with words like…




Your teen needs to carry on a conversation with the coach. One-word answers are conversation killers.

Now I know this is hard for teens. I’m a dad to teenagers, and my kids give me one-word answers and grunt all the time. It’s annoying.

When I was a coach and made recruiting calls, athletes answered questions this way. It’s common. But it made it hard to talk to them. It was annoying.

Your teen shouldn’t be trying to annoy a college coach. Your teen should be trying to impress the coach. Wow them. Amaze them. Leave the coach thinking, “This is a great kid.”

And one of the best ways to do that is to answer the coach in complete sentences.

Even if the coach asks a closed question, a question that allows for a one-word answer, your teen can really shine by adding un-asked information.

Talk to your teen about treating the phone call with a college coach like an interview and the need to impress the coach by carrying on a conversation. No conversation killers.

3. Never say: “It’s my coach’s fault.”

Some athletes just love to blame other people for their problems. You never want a phone call with a college coach to go like this:

Coach: I came out to watch your game but you were on the bench the whole time.

Your teen: “Yeah. It’s my coach’s fault. She likes another player better and doesn’t give me enough playing time.”

Or maybe instead of blaming a coach, your teen blames a teammate instead:

Coach: “Too bad you missed that fly ball during the third inning on Saturday.”

Your teen: “Yeah. It’s really my teammate’s fault. If he hadn’t run in front of me like that, I would have had it.”

A phone call with a college coach is a great opportunity to impress them. And one attitude that looks good on everyone is personal responsibility. Your teen should take as much blame as they can.

It’s true, sometimes it might be the coach’s fault. Sometimes another player does make your teen look bad.

Even then, train your teen to find a way to soft-peddle it. “Someone did me wrong, but I could still have…”

Trust me, finding an athlete who’s willing to take responsibility is rare. College coaches will love it.

4. Your teen should never say: Nothing.

If a college coach calls and wants to talk to your teen, your teen needs to be on the phone doing the talking. One of the worst things your teen could say is, “Here talk to my dad.”

The coach didn’t call to talk to mommy and daddy. The coach called to talk to the young adult who hopes to compete in a high-stress college environment. When your teen is on the college court or field, you can’t step in and cover for them.

Your teen needs to do the talking.

I know you have a lot of questions. I know you may be good on the phone You want to shoot the breeze with the coach.


This is your teen’s life.  Get out of the way.

“I prefer to see parents that offer advice and help guide their child to a sound college decision, but do not make the college decision for them. I think parents are certainly entitled to ask questions during the recruiting process for the sake of offering sound guidance…but the athlete should dominate their side of the conversation with the parents asking questions on anything the athlete missed or on any answers they didn’t understand.”  Coach Rick Hammer, Edinboro University

I know this sounds harsh, but there are a lot of parents out there that don’t get it,

5. One of the worst things to say: “I’m the best…”

College coaches don’t want to hear any variation on, “Nobody better, you better believe it.”

The coach on the other end of the phone talks to talented athletes all day long. Many of them are probably more talented than your teen.

Your teen has gone from the kiddie pool to the deep end, and there’s a lot of talent.

There’s also a lot of bragging. Coaches hear it all the time. Sometimes it’s warranted. Sometimes the coach is laughing behind the player’s back because it’s absurd. Bragging doesn’t accomplish anything.

Let other people brag on your kid. Your teen’s club coach can say they’re the best. Or the recruiting coach may tell the head coach your teen is the best. Somebody else needs to say it.

Your teen should be talking about objective measures of success. Your teen should talk about how the last game went. And what their stats are. Numbers. Facts.

Then your teen could impress the college coach by talking about how they want to improve.

But no bragging.

Your teen has a chance to stand out.

These are the five worst things your teen can say on a phone call with a coach. But there’s good news.

Your teen can avoid these. You can help your teen know what coaches are really looking for in recruits.

And your teen has the chance to be amazing. If your teen wants to be remembered by a coach and stand out from a thousand other prospects, buy the How to Get Recruited Guide. Inside you’ll find a step-by-step plan to help your teen make the most of every recruiting opportunity and become a college athlete.

There are so many high school athletes who say these things. It’s ludicrous. I wish I’d kept a notebook full of the dumb things recruits have said to me. Because it would be FUNNY. I’d have hundreds.

But see, there’s a lot of room for your teen to stand out and make a good impression.

So get after it!