The ultimate goal through the college recruiting process is to find the right fit with both the school and the golf program. As much as I wish I could say this was the easy part, unfortunately it can be a very stressful time. Even if you take take lots of visits, do the research and ask all the right questions, it can still be a tough decision. Sometimes you may end up having to go off that gut feeling that you get about a particular school, other times it may be an obvious right fit and for some they may not feel they have found the right fit but are determined to make it the best 4 years of their life. But no matter what, you must do as much homework as possible so that you can make the best decision based on the options that are available. The decision you make will be a life changing decision so don’t take it lightly and don’t take the mindset that you can always just transfer later if it’s not right.
Below are some quotes from college coaches on things they feel families should consider in order to help determine the right fit:
“The Coach, what is expected by the coach out of the student athlete, size of school, area of study, how far you want to be from home, the team.” – D1 Coach
“Do they like the school, the coach and the team? Does the school have the correct major for the student. It is important to establish a relationship with the coach and to know the students on the team. The student must be qualified academically. The student has to have a solid tournament record.” – Division 1 Women’s Golf Coach
“Does the school have my major field of study? How many players are on the team? Is the program set up to help me elevate my game from a practice environment”. – Division 1 Women’s Golf Coach
“Learning style, class size, coaching staff, consistency and/or improvement in the golf program, coach’s track record, coach’s past employment timeline. Also, take a look at the coach’s NCAA ASR/GSR to see how the coach prepares his/her player’s careers after college golf.” – Division 2 Women’s Golf Coach
“Does the school have the major that interests you and is the coach willing to accommodate that? Are you comfortable around the coach and the team? Will you have a good chance of being on the travel team?” – Division 2 Women’s Golf Coach
Below are some good questions to ask yourself in order to determine if it’s the right fit. While you must love the school beyond just the golf program you also must keep in mind that the relationship you have with the coach and team will be one of the most important factors in your college experience. These are the people you will spend majority of your time with during your college years. Try to spend as much time as possible getting to know the coach and players before making your decision.
Take any red flags or bad gut feelings very seriously. Don’t look at the less important factors such as the cool swag you will get, newest equipment or the top of the line van you will get to travel in. If you aren’t compatible with the 5 or 6 other people who are in that top of line van with you, wearing the cool swag, unloading the newest equipment then those road trips, daily practices, workouts and team experiences are going to be very tough to enjoy.
And worse than that, if you aren’t even on the van when it leaves to go to tournaments, then your experience will be very difficult to enjoy. So really consider the possibility of playing time at the school you choose, and how quickly you see yourself being on the travel team. You may not travel for every tournament freshman year, but you need to feel that you have the ability to get in a lot of playing time and develop as a player early in your college career. If not, it’s very difficult you get back in tournament mode as a sophomore if you spent all of freshman year at home.
- Are you compatible with the coach and other team members?
- Is the coach trying to “sell” their program to you or do you feel they are being honest and genuine in their answers?
- How does the coach interact with the players?
- Do you feel that you can earn playing time your freshman year?
- How much will you be expected to practice/play each week?
- How does the coach handle qualifying?
- Does the coach work with players on their golf swings? Are they allowed to keep their swing coaches?
- How far are the practice facilities?
- Do you feel that you can handle the school workload while traveling?
- Are the class sizes compatible with your personality?
- What is transportation like on campus?
- Can you see yourself attending the school if you weren’t playing golf?
If you would like more assistance with making your final decision or getting started with the process please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.