The Daily Guru – Episode 3 “College Coaches and Recruiting”
What’s up everyone? Like I said in my first entry, this will be a whats on my mind, brain dump, journal like space. Not worrying too much about structure, punctuation or grammar (although my left brain won’t let me hit the button without a spell check). I know that will drive a few of you crazy, so save your text messages and DM’s…not to mention any names….@kevinjpmurray 🙂 just kidding my friend. So let me tell you about my day. Today was a big day for my son, Nicklaus, who is a freshman in High School. He had his first recruiting visit today with UNCC and coach Cabbage. I know for those of you who aren’t dealing with golf recruiting might think this is too early but it’s not. There are several kids in his class whom have already committed…which I am not a big fan of…but I continue. I have been very fortunate over my career to coach several players that have gone onto play college golf but honestly until the last couple of years I haven’t spent the time to learn the rules and regulations of the recruiting process and how the coaches deal with players, evaluate them and ultimately how I can improve the chances of the players that I coach in playing college golf. We had an outstanding day as I was able to step back and observe Nicklaus and the coach get to know each other, ask questions and get a feel of college life as a student athlete. Coach Cabbage did a great job of giving Nick the picture and the vision of his outstanding program and a fantastic job of making us feel comfortable with the entire process of recruiting with honest answers to all of our questions. I have great respect for Coach Cabbage as one of my players just committed to play there and today just deepened my trust in every way. I won’t divulge everything that we talked about today out of respect for coach but I will share with you a few thoughts about what I have learned from this process and how it may help you if you are a coach (or a parent) or a player wanting to play college golf. I will learn more as I go through this process as a parent/coach. We have another visit at NC State this Saturday. Good times for sure.
First, A few thoughts on college coaches from a swing coach’s perspective. The college golf coach should not recruit a kid and then attempt to become his/her swing coach. You recruited the kid because of their talent and potential and it is important not to mess with that. The great coaches such as my friend, Derek Radley (UofA womens asst.) stress the importance of the relationship between the college coach and the kids Swing Coach. If I were the college coach, that would be the first phone call that I made to get a good idea of their work ethic, potential, attitude and a read on the parents. Yes the parents. If the kid does come and play for them, they already have a relationship with the swing coach if the kid starts to struggle. There is no excuse with coaching apps like Edufii which allows for you to invite the college coach into the training space in order for them to see what you are working on with the player. Such a great feature. It is ok for them to be another set of eyes as long as they know what they are working on. The college coaches job is to evaluate talent, recruit, motivate, listen, lead, keep stats (pulse checks on strengths and weaknesses) and structure practices in order to get the most out of their players. I have just heard too many stories from kids (usually from mini-tour players when its too late) that the coach is looking at trackman numbers and wanting me to change what made them great.
2. Play as many of the big tournaments that you can get into. If you aren’t qualified then play whatever you can to get that experience. There is a big difference in playing your daily games with your friends, giving putts and for fun than when you have to post a score in a tournament with tough pins, less than optimal weather conditions and with better players. The more you do it the more comfortable you will become. If you don’t know what to play in, ask your swing coach.
3. Pick the colleges that you would like to attend. Start with your dream list and then pick some that you know that you can likely play for and start sending out emails introducing yourself, your past tournament results and your upcoming playing schedule so they can come out and watch you play. You can email or call coaches and talk to them but they can’t respond or call you until Sept. 1 of your junior year. Other than a questionnaire that they will send you after you contact them which is code word for (You are on the radar).
****Tip of the Day for juniors going through the recruiting process: coaches are not just looking at your scores although they are important. They are looking at things like: attitude when you hit a bad shot or have a bad hole. How do you bounce back? You all act right when you hit a good shot or make a birdie..learn to control your emotions. 2) How you dress. Are you matching with your shirt tucked in and your clothes pressed? Or are you a wrinkled mess with your shirt half way out. I know there are great players that might dress sloppy but you are not making a good impression. 3) How do you treat your fellow competitors? with respect of are you…as they….the kid that no-one wants to play with. I am not saying you have to talk the entire round but be respectful and compliment them on good play. Lastly, carry yourself with confidence. As I like to call it “Take up some space”. Good players have a way about the way they walk, talk and handle themself on the golf course. If you don’t know what that looks like, watch Jordan Speith.
Enough for today. Send me some questions on twitter, instagram or snap-chat #askguru or comment and don’t be afraid to share