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Finding the Right Coach and Program for You

You are looking for a school that meets your academic, social and athletic needs. Your coach should not be the only factor in your choice of school – after all, you are going to school to get an education. But you will be working with this coach intensively for the next four years, and it’s important to be sure you and the coach are a good match.

How do you know whether the coach is someone you would like to work with for four years? One way to find out is by asking questions. When you visit a school, ask questions of the athletes to get a sense of how the coach works with them.

You should also ask the coach questions. Here are some questions that will help you decide whether a coach is a good fit for you:

  • What is a typical day in the life of one of your players? How much time do they spend at practice, in class and studying?

  • How can you and your school help me balance my academics with my athletics? What kind of help is available for athletes who are struggling academically?

  • What is your graduation rate?

  • What are the characteristics of a good program in your mind?

  • What characteristics do you value in your players?

  • How would you describe your personality both during games and during practice?

  • How do you handle it when a player makes a mistake, on or off the field?

  • What is the most difficult adjustment for most players when they join your team from high school?

  • What sets your program apart from other programs?

  • Where do you see me fitting in with the team?

  • How is playing time determined?

  • Have you ever had any NCAA rules infractions?

To use the answers to these questions to determine whether the coach is a good fit, you need to understand what type of coach and program would be best for you.

What motivates you? Do you respond better to discipline and structure, or to someone who is sensitive and nurturing? Can you handle being criticized in front of your teammates? Once you determine your compatibility with a prospective coach, you will have a better understanding of whether a particular program might be a good match.

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