Making a Great First Impression: A Guide to Asking Coaches Questions

By Sparks Editorial Staff | October 6, 2016

As the fall gets into full swing, a lot of our clients are trying to figure out what questions they need to be asking, whether it be in first emails with coaches or on official visits. Sure, there are the basics – how practices are scheduled, selection structures, popular majors amongst the team – but those barely scratch the surface of finding the right fit for you.

The first questions recruits should be asking aren’t actually outward. First, you can ask yourself about your values, motivations, and goals. By gaining some definition on personal elements like these, you’ll be better able to go deeper than the superficial questions and learn if the program is right for you – not to mention that the coach will surely notice that you have a thoughtful approach.

Ask yourself:

  • Do I perform better under pressure, or when I’m comfortable?
  • Do I row to be happy every day, or rewarded at the end of the year?
  • Can I reach my potential if I’m near the top of the team, or do I need people above me to push me harder?
  • Does my coach support me when I’m struggling? Do I need that?
  • How do I motivate my teammates, and how do I want them to motivate me?
  • What’s the scariest part of rowing for me?
  • What’s the most exciting?

Once you can start digging through yourself, you’ll be able to analyze how a team fits better.

Ask the coach or rowers:

  • How do you motivate your athletes/teammates?
  • Have you encountered athletes who need different types of motivation?
  • What do you do when an athlete/teammate is struggling?
  • What excites you most about your team?
  • That’s the hardest part of getting your team to perform?

The more you get learn about yourself, the more informative your interactions with college programs will be!

- Nate Rooks