11 Questions to Expect From a College Coach

“So what kinds of questions were you asked before you were awarded a full ride athletic scholarship to the University of Reno – Nevada’s Swimming and Diving Team?”  I asked my wife.

I listened to her answers and made some mental notes.  Each month, I pick 2-3 topics that I cover in depth with my athletes.  I write these topics on my garage gym whiteboard so that they are front and center for the entire month.  I figure if I get to spend a couple of hours  2-3 times a week with these athletes in my garage gym, it’s a great time to talk about subjects that can profoundly affect their high school years, college years and even the rest of their lives.  I try to develop leaders through my strength and conditioning program because I know that that’s what high school, college coaches and communities are looking for and need.


One of our topics this month is “Peak Performance”.

One of my favorite books is called “Peak Performance” by Charles Garfield, Ph.D.  I give this book to each of my athletes once I’m certain that they are looking for “next level” information.  When you have an athlete who wants to excel, feed them with quotes, books, stories…constantly.  Dare them to dream big and let them know that they can do anything that they are willing to work hard for.

In the overview of this book, Dr. Garfield writes:

“Most athletes will acknowledge that 60-90 percent of success in sports is due to mental factors and psychological mastery.  In spite of this fact, we rarely encounter either recreational or competitive athletes who regularly practice disciplined, scientifically based mental training programs.”

“Peak Performance” provides just that – techniques to boost mental mastery with colorful stories of athletes overcoming great odds to accomplish great feats.   So what does this have to do with questions that college coaches may ask a potential scholarship recipient?

A lot.


To me, peak performance is about being prepared, anticipating and exceeding any expectations that a coach or boss may ask of us.  Two of my athletes have been attending football camps around the United States this Summer.  They have been showcasing their talents in the hopes of sparking interest by football coaches.  The ultimate goal is to play at the next level and to earn an athletic scholarship.


So the other day, in between sets, I threw out the question:

“When is the first day that a D1 Texas college coach can contact you via phone about playing football for their school?”

Pause.  Silence.

The guys looked at each other and threw out some guesses.  Granted, this is a tough question but it’s not hard to find out the answer and it’s a good idea to print out a calendar and stick it to your wall.  

That’s what peak performers do, right?

Client, Keegan Nichols All Time Best, Cedar Park High School

We also talked about the fact that YOU (the athlete) can contact a coach anytime.  If he/she picks up the phone when you call, it’s perfectly legal for you to talk about your goals of playing for that program and how you can help.  If you leave a message then it’s a different story.  The coach cannot call you back.

This is good stuff.  Information is power.

I want to know how many days until my next competition – Austin’s Fittest, True Athlete Games, Crossfit qualifier, or a Powerlifting meet. Once I know the date, I update it first thing every morning in my garage gym.  I ask my athletes how many days until their first football game – they’ve been conditioned to know that this question is coming.  Along with how many calories in a gram of protein, a gram of carbohydrate or a gram of fat?  How many calories did this workout burn?  How many reps are you going to do on this next set of squats?

Peak performance.

Unfortunately, many prospects have no idea what to expect from a college Coach and so here’s how prospects in ALL sports can prepare for a phone call from a college Coach.

  1. How are you doing in school? What is your GPA, test scores, etc?
  2. What are your strengths as a player?
  3. What areas of your game are you working to improve?
  4. What are your goals for the upcoming season?
  5. Do you think you are capable of playing at our level?
  6. What improvements have you made over the past couple of years?
  7. What type of scholarships are you looking for?
  8. What are your interests or hobbies? Do you have a girlfriend, boyfriend?
  9. Who is going to help you make your college decision?
  10. What other schools are recruiting you?
  11. What questions do you have for me?

Some of these questions may not be asked. But be prepared either way.

After all, you are a peak performer aren’t you?





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